This little-known brand with a cult following was just acquired by American Eagle

Haven’t heard of Tailgate Clothing Company? You might soon.

American Eagle just acquired Todd Snyder’s upscale namesake line as well as Snyder’s casual Tailgate Clothing Company for $US11 million, according to a release.

“We are thrilled to add these unique brands to our portfolio, which provide exciting new business opportunities,” Jay Schottenstein, American Eagle’s Interim CEO, said in a release. “Todd [Snyder, the founder and creative director, who will join American Eagle as Executive Vice President] and Jimmy [Olsson, who is joining as Vice President] bring exceptional creative talent and operational skills. They will continue to lead the business, as our organisation remains focused on driving continued momentum and profit improvement. Capital investments in the Tailgate and Todd Snyder brands will be paced, with a test and scale approach based on profitability and return on investment.”

Tailgate most directly appeals to American Eagle’s current demographic — young adults and the college-aged set.

The company sells an array of graphic, vintage-style tees with designs that range from beer companies to colleges to puns to pop culture.

These t-shirts are ostensibly not of the fast fashion variety — they run for about $US34.

But that seems appropriate for American Eagle. The brand has managed to avoid slipping sales by not succumbing to constant discounts, a trend that’s hurting competitors Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale.

This look captures the essence of American Eagle.

“It’s really our type of look, the American styling,” Schottenstein said to The New York Times.

According to The New York Times, American Eagle plans to expand Tailgate rapidly; it aspires to open 200 stores at colleges across the country. Additionally, The New York Times reports that American Eagle will give itself a boost by selling its jeans alongside Tailgate’s shirts.

Tailgate has a small social media following. As of now, the company has just over 400 followers on Instagram.

Snyder knows that joining American Eagle will help his business.

“Joining a leading American retailer is an exciting step for our brands and provides a strong foundation for future growth,” he said in a release. “Our new Tailgate store concept is an ideal outlet to integrate AE jeans and apparel, creating a unique lifestyle destination on college campuses. I look forward to contributing to AEO’s future success.”

American Eagle already houses its namesake brand as well as its successful teen lingerie company, Aerie, which has made headlines for nixing Photoshop.

American Eagle Outfitters will announce its quarterly earnings on December 2.

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