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Photoshop backlash improves sales at fashion retailer

  • Published on April 4, 2016
Photoshop backlash improves sales at fashion retailer

Since listening to the backlash against Photoshop retouching, a teen-focused clothing retailer reduced the use of Photoshop and has seen positive results. A dramatic increase in sales has followed since retailer Aerie has focused on using models across a wide range of sizes and body types and displaying them without the use of Photoshop retouching in their advertisements and on their website.

Wide use of Photoshop in ads leads to criticism

Many retailers and fashion brands, especially those selling lingerie, are known to use Photoshop to alter the body shape on their models. The use of Photoshop often goes beyond retouching, minimizing blemishes or correcting color, and moves into the realm of completely reshaping the body of a model. This even occurs with models who are selected specifically because of they fit a particular body image that a label is trying to project. This has even led to Photoshop laws being passed in some countries, and models and celebrities complaining when Photoshop is used on their images.

Fashion retailer avoids Photoshop retouching with good results

Aerie has taken an opposite approach, creating an entire campaign focused on their use of a wide variety of young women who are presented without reshaping or Photoshop sculpting of their bodies. Since Aerie has started the Aeire Real campaign, the retailer, a division of American Eagle, has received both great publicity and a positive boost to their revenue. In the past year their sales increased by 20% and they attribute the campaign to a boost in their sales by 26% in the final quarter of the year.

American Graphics Institute supports the efforts of retailers such as Aerie to use Photoshop in a transparent manner to improve image quality without altering the true model behind an image. The Photoshop retouching course at AGI is focused on improving the quality of images across a variety of photos that include models, products, and jewelry, and is among the many Photoshop training programs offered. High quality retouching allows the intent of an original image to be maintained, while it is enhanced to accurately and clearly reflect the beauty of subjects, clothing, products, or jewelry.


About the author

 is a user experience designer, educator and author based in Boston. She has worked in the field of user experience design for more than 15 years.She has designed websites, ecommerce sites, apps, and embedded systems. Jennifer designs solutions for mobile, desktop, and iOT devices.

Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors.She has served as a Designer in Residence at Microsoft, assisting third-party app developers to improve their design solutions and create successful user experiences. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern UX Design, and worked closely with major tech companies to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including XD, Sketch, Balsamiq, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Blend for Visual Studio. She also works extensively in the fields of presentation design and visual design.

Jennifer is also the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices. Jennifer holds the CPUX-F certification from the User Experience Qualification Board and assists others in attaining this designation in leading a UX certification course at American Graphics Institute. She is a candidate for a Master’s degree in Human Factors in Information Design.