CELEBRITY COVERGIRL: SMART STRONG & SPIRITED YARA SHAHIDI GRACE PORTER EDIT SUMMER ISSUE!!
Photography Cass Bird at Art + Commerce, Styling Elissa Santisi at The Wall Group, Art direction Jay Hess, Hair Nai’vasha Johnson at The Wall Group using Kerastase, Makeup Emily Cheng at The Wall Group using Bobbi Brown, Nails Emi Kudo at Opus Beauty, Production Joy Asbury Productions
BRIEF EXCERPT FROM COVER STORY BY LUCY WALKER:
Shahidi, who was born in Minneapolis and moved, aged four, to Los Angeles due to her father’s job, started acting when she was six; three years later she was starring in her first feature film, Imagine That, opposite Eddie Murphy. But it was being cast, aged 14, as Zoey Johnson in ABC’s smash hit Black-ish (currently in its fifth season, it has amassed a raft of awards, including three for Shahidi), that proved her big break. Her lead role in ABC’s equally successful spin-off Grown-ish centers around Shahidi’s character Zoey as she heads off to college – just as Shahidi herself did last September to Harvard (Michelle Obama wrote her college application letter of recommendation), to read sociology and African-American studies. But while Grown-ish may be about the college experience, it’s a very different one to Shahidi’s. Zoey is not political or smart, she’s a party girl. Whereas, to get an idea of what makes Shahidi tick, her 18th birthday party last year was ‘voter’ themed and included a registration booth for her friends, building on a non-partisan platform – Eighteen x 18 – she founded to encourage young people to vote in last November’s midterms.