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Vogue India – Simone Ashley turns creative director alongside Diet Paratha’s Anita Chhiba for a new short film

Johnnie Walker’s ‘Bold Steps’ campaign unites the South Asian community platform Diet Paratha and the Bridgerton star to empower the next generation of creative talent

Dialling back the historical underrepresentation of South Asian heritage isn’t an overnight task, but breakout Bridergton star Simone Ashley is up for the challenge. Joining hands in the noble quest is Diet Paratha, a platform driven by the mission of ensuring that the creative industry isn’t an isolating place for young South Asian creatives. Raising a toast to the union is Johnnie Walker’s ‘Bold Steps’ initiative which is offering a lucrative cash prize for those from the community who can submit a limited-edition Johnnie Walker Black bottle design inspired by their own creative vision. In addition to having the bottle sold in Great Britain, the winning applicant will also be rewarded with a direct mentorship with noted art director Manu Pillai.

To set the ball rolling on the initiative, Ashley has turned creative director along with Diet Paratha founder Anita Chhiba, filmmaker Kajal and a diverse behind-the-scenes crew to script a genuine moment of inclusivity. “I was drawn to this initiative as I know the power of seeing others who look like me at the table and in the room. By lifting up the community that I am part of, I hope to keep the door open for the people that follow,” she reflects.

Chhiba echoes the sentiment of wanting to create authentic stories that can espouse meaningful change. “With the support of someone as incredible as Simone, who has broken boundaries on the global stage, we hope that her presence can offer much-needed hope and inspiration for people of South Asian heritage all over the world. The mentoring programme serves as a fantastic example of how brands can work with different communities in an authentic manner,” she concludes.

Author: Hasina Jeelani
Published on Feb 3, 2023