Yara Shahidi, Priyanka Chopra, and Wiz Khalifa Celebrate Diversity by 'Bridging the Gap'
Here’s how young Yara Shahidi is: She just finished taking AP US History. Now here’s how aware and in tune she is: Throughout the entire course, she questioned, “Why are we sitting through this again? [This current political climate,] it’s all the same.” The breakout star of Black-ish (and newly announced spin-off College-ish) comes at you with an epoch of knowledge packaged neatly in a 17-year-old body—a champion of change, an advocate for getting involved and, “not being procrastinators in caring.” No wonder Gap recruited her for their latest campaign.
Today, the iconic American apparel brand launches their latest campaign, celebrating diversity and an optimistic view of America in a film aptly named “Bridging the Gap.” The film, seen above, stars a standout league of influencers whom Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue and the director of the film Edward Enninful feels embody American culture today: Priyanka Chopra, Wiz Khalifa, Christie Brinkley, Adwoa Aboah, Jasmine Sanders, Alek Wek, Maria Borges, Ellen Rosa, Fernanda Ly, Jonathan Gross, Lineisy Montero, Casil McArthur, Miles Chamley-Watson, and, of course, Yara Shahidi. The cast is seen dancing and singing along to “Sunny” by Boney M., all while wearing classic white tees to serve as a sort of “blank canvas” in which they could celebrate their diverse personalities and identities.
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“I love the optimistic American style that Gap celebrates and the simplicity of the basic white T-shirt that allows you to be yourself,” Enninful shared. “Growing up, I loved the imagery I saw from America as it celebrated being the land of the free and home of the brave. This project is about authenticity and people living their truths.”
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On what it means for the iconic brand to take on this project, Shahidi shared with InStyle, “Gap has always been at the forefront of that … we’re talking about diversity and unity and the love that comes with that. I just so appreciate that Gap genuinely decided to do it. It’s not a ploy. It’s not coming from an inauthentic place. You can see from who they've chosen to be involved from beginning to end, from behind the camera to in front of the camera. It's something in which they really are trying to spread this message. And they have a great platform to do so and a history of doing so as well.”
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For Chopra, "‘Bridging the Gap’ is exactly what the world needs right now. There are so many gaps in this world that need to be bridged and filled. The most important one for me is empowering women. Women need to be given an opportunity to stand on their feet and do the best they can for themselves.” For Khalifa it means, “making diversity more acceptable by making it OK to look or act differently. I do that be being myself.”
Shahidi shares she’s ‘Bridging the Gap’ by being vocal and intentional. “For me, public speaking is something I’m passionate about just because I realize that’s my personal way of communicating that’s my personal activism … Whether it’s going to fantastic event to meet up with people who are changing policy or who are CEOs and who are examples of excellence in their fields, and who have had to face the barriers of being a woman or being a person of color or being somebody who is non-binary—whatever it may be … This idea of putting people together … that is my goal in most everything that I do.”
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Watch the ‘Bridging the Gap’ film above and scroll through to see more photos of the cast from Gap’s latest campaign.