American Eagle soars into Juneau

Clothing company begins days-long fashion shoot in town

Fashion models descended for a wintery photo shoot on an unnaturally summery day in Juneau. A crew of about 100 from clothing company American Eagle Outfitters arrived in Juneau to shoot photos and film for their website and holiday advertisements, city officials said.

This is the first time a clothing company has come to Juneau for a fashion shoot, Juneau Lands and Resources Manager Greg Chaney said.

The crew began shooting Sunday, and will wrap up Aug. 2. They’ll head home Aug. 3, said Bob Crockett, general manager of Piksik, an Anchorage-based film production company helping with the shoot.

“And they’re shooting for their winter catalogue, of all things, on a day like this,” Crockett said. Temperatures hit 81 degrees Monday, only a notch cooler than the day’s record high of 82 degrees in 2009.

Included in the crew are about 15 models between the ages of 16 and 20, Crockett said. The models are young women from around the country, winners of the company’s Project Live Your Life contest, Creative director Brian Franks said. Monday afternoon, models posed on Seward Street. Model Abbey Ford cruised down the street on a skateboard wearing a beanie and sweater while photographers snapped.

“This is so new and exciting for me,” Ford said. “It has been really nice here. It is my first time in Alaska and it is so beautiful.”

Over the next few days, the crew will shoot at Auke Lake Boat Launch, on North Douglas and at Eaglecrest Ski Area, Chaney said.

“Juneau has been a perfect location for our holiday shoot,” said Michael Leedy, American Eagle Outfitters chief marketing officer. Leedy brought his wife and daughter on the trip. “We were up on a glacier yesterday. It is just fantastic. We have shot in Alaska before. The Juneau residents have been very friendly.”

The clothing company had to go through the Juneau Police Department, Parks and Recreation Department and Docks and Harbors Department to get approval to shoot in various locations around the city, Chaney said. The approval process took about a month, he said. American Eagle Outfitters’ location scouts picked out sites in Juneau ahead of time, he said.

Chaney said the city is excited for the business the shoot is bringing in, as well as the free publicity for Juneau the ads will provide.

“It’s exciting in that it’s bringing new people and business to town, and it’s increasing Juneau’s awareness on the national and even international stage,” he said. “They’ve employed 100 people. They’re renting hotels and renting cars. They’re spending a lot in town which is a direct benefit, and it would be hard to pay for an advertising campaign as good as this for Juneau.”

Despite the good the shoot will do for the city, “we need to make sure the project doesn’t get in the way of traffic,” Chaney said. He said he has received one complaint about the shoot blocking traffic.

The American Eagle crew shot at Eagle Beach on Monday evening. Franks said Juneau “just made sense” for the company’s winter campaign.

“There are a lot of plaid and patterns,” Franks said. “We wanted to get into snow. We really liked Juneau because it gives a good backdrop and inspiration.”

• Contact reporter Katie Moritz at 523-2294 or at katherine.moritz@juneauempire.com.

Sports editor Klas Stolpe contributed to this report.

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