American heritage brand Gap enlisted Chella Man, a transgender advocate, artist, and model who is deaf, for their international fashion campaign. Chella Man is joined by a diverse group of young artists, models, musicians, and activists including Kimberly Drew, Carlotta Kohl, Kelvin Davis, Ezinma, and SuperDuperKyle.
Chella Man in particular is a rare combination: He is Chinese, Jewish, deaf, and trans, and he’s gained notoriety for his artwork and documentation of his transition on social media — an arena that has garnered him more than 200,000 followers collectively. He uses Instagram to post his artwork and has created resourceful videos on YouTube, such as “Being in a Relationship with Someone Transitioning” and a short film called Moments of Mom, which was inspired by the letter he wrote to his mother when he decided to transition.
He’s known for his mantra, “Be your own representation.” In May, Chella Man told Yahoo Lifestyle, “Representation permits you to know there are others in the world with similar experiences to you due to your common identity. It has [the] power to diminish the negative aspects of solitude.”
His latest appearance in Gap’s inclusive ad campaign has hit home for many of his followers, who are sharing their support on social media.
— Queersilver (@QueerSilver) August 15, 2018
— chappy (@lowlyscrub) August 14, 2018
i opened the gap’s website and saw chella man and my heart? it’s warm
— jo (@mrgicshop) August 9, 2018
For Chella Man personally, this was a full circle moment, having worn Gap as a child and now being able to represent the brand in its newest campaign, which focuses on diversity and beauty in all shapes and forms.
The diverse casting was intentional by Gap, which was all about “choosing talent that strongly aligned with Gap’s core brand values and overall positive influence and impact in the world,” according to the brand’s press release. “The cast for the campaign includes multiple musicians, artists, performers, and activists who have existing reputations as advocates for positivity, are clearly dedicated to doing good, and are change agents across generations and gender.”
WE ARE THE FUTURE!
It was my honor to be a part of this beautiful casting with @gap!
I ALSO DISCOVERED this highly classified photo of me wearing my favorite Gap sweatshirt back in the day.
You know I’ve reached bliss when I smile so big I can’t see anymore. pic.twitter.com/pMIfdSJ3zW
— CHELLA MAN (@chellamanart) August 13, 2018
The new Gap campaign celebrates the launch of Gap’s new Soft Wear denim line and Vintage Wash T-shirt collection, which are available in stores now and online at gap.com.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
• This 19-year-old deaf, transgender artist will teach you a lesson on representation
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