LONDON — Simone Ashley, the British actress famous for her roles in “Bridgerton” and “Sex Education,” is the star of Johnnie Walker’s new Bold Steps campaign.
She appears in a short film directed by filmmaker Kajal. Ashley and Anita Chhiba, founder of the talent agency Diet Paratha, which promotes South Asian creatives, also collaborated on the film.
In the campaign, Ashley wears a variety of looks, all of which were made by South Asian designers.
“Simone is so inspiring,” Chhiba told WWD. “Working alongside someone who is such a key public figure for smashing through cultural barriers that many [South Asian people] face made it all the more meaningful.”
The campaign offers young British South Asian creatives the opportunity to design a limited-edition bottle for the whiskey brand.
Winners will join Diet Paratha’s Family Tree Mentoring program, which promises to provide them with support and guidance in their careers.
In the film, Ashley sports looks from emerging and more established designers including jewelry made by Basliq and by Amaan Duffer, who is a student at London College of Fashion.
Ashley also wore a dress and matching long gloves from Khanum’s. The label was founded by Rokeya Khanum, who is of Bangladeshi heritage and whose clothing is sustainably and ethically made, Chhiba said.
Ashley is a familiar face in the U.K. and appeared in the front row at Burberry’s spring 2023 runway show in September.
She sat next to the Thai actor Vachirawit Chivaaree, who is known professionally as Bright. They chatted and posed for pictures together in front of the Asian press, who were finally able to travel for fashion weeks following the gradual lifting of restrictions worldwide.