Christie Brinkley, Jonathan Groff and Yara Shahidi on Being Genuine

If there was ever a time to try and celebrate the sense of American optimism that our nation was built on, that moment would be now. Sure, it might be difficult to conjure up a sense of patriotism in the face of a government that appears to be abandoning and neglecting undeserving individuals and communities, but that doesn’t take away from the historical events that shaped our culture. It would be a shame not to recognize the inspiring individuals that sacrificed everything for the sake of positive advancements of all sorts.

Remarkably, that happens to be the theme of Gap’s latest campaign, a concept dreamed up by Edward Enninful. Titled “Bridging the Gap,” the video from the all-American retailer features stars such as Priyanka Chopra, Wiz Khalifa, Yara Shahidi, Adwoa Aboah and Alek Wek singing and dancing to Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny,” all dressed in white shirts and jeans. According to Enninful, the incoming editor-in-chief of British Vogue, that particular outfit is a blank canvas upon which his chosen talent could express who they truly were. That was done by adding flair, like a nameplate necklace, a simple belt or a peek-a-boo pair of boxer shorts. The various models, actors and activists were selected for this modeling gig due to their various takes on being an American, so it only makes sense that they should be able to express that.

“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,” said Enninful. In that vein, the Observer asked the stars of the campaign to describe the moment when they can be their most authentic self. From the shores of Christie Brinkley’s favorite island destination to model Maria Borges’ favorite people, these answers offer an intimate peek into the personalities of your favorite stars.

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