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Issa Rae Stars in Madewell Campaign

David Moin
·2 min read

Madewell has launched its spring campaign “What Are You Made Of?”​, featuring actress, producer, writer and director Issa Rae.

It’s a look into Rae’s lifestyle and what’s on her mind: “The best advice I’ve ever received is to make sure I’m having fun, to celebrate the wins,” Rae says in the campaign. “I can get tunnel vision in terms of what’s next, what’s next, what’s next. But looking back at what you’ve accomplished is really important.”

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Among the laidback Madewell looks Rae is seen wearing in the campaign are vintage jeans, a jumpsuit, an oversize midi shirt dress, a leather moto jacket and sneakers. The Madewell collection is based in denim, and the brand also sells casual sportswear, accessories and footwear.

Madewell’s chief marketing officer, Derek Yarbrough, said the goal of the “What Are You Made Of?” campaign was to underscore those “Living their most authentic lives and to celebrate what makes them unique…Issa Rae was a favorite of everyone on our team. Not only has she built a creative empire on her unique point of view but also because she has worked so hard to champion the next generation of creatives, and to give a voice and a platform to the underrepresented. She is unapologetically herself and encourages others to be the same.”

Choosing Rae “was really a no-brainer,” he added.

Rae worked with her production company, ColorCreative, and music label, Raedio, on the campaign. The video was directed by Sadé Clacken Joseph, a Caribbean-American filmmaker, photographer and singer from the Bronx, and features the works of author Elaine Welteroth, art curator Autumn Breon, poet Tonya Ingram and novelist Yaa Gyasi, among others.

Rae rose to fame first with her award-winning web series and the accompanying New York Times bestseller, “​The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.​” She created and stars in the HBO show ​”Insecure” and made her film debut in the movie drama “​The Hate U Give.”​