Rowan Blanchard was woke before we even knew what being awake meant. By the age of 13, the bubbly actress was a keynote speaker at UN Women’s HeForShe conference. In 2014, she openly discussed her struggles with depression, creating a public discourse around destigmatizing mental illness, and in 2017, she spoke at the Women’s March in L.A. She spent the better part of her teens using her social platform to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and rally for intersectional feminism, and to put things simply, she became the de facto face of youth activism in the late 2010s. With every tweet, she strayed further from the Disney box that propped her up. But as she enters adulthood, Blanchard is looking to reconstruct that box, to some degree, in the form of setting boundaries—and asserting herself on her own terms.A longtime friend of H&M, Blanchard is using her time in quarantine to help launch the brand’s new collaboration with Simone Rocha. In celebration of the collection (much of which is sold out worldwide), and in lieu of an in-person party, they created a digital experience with British painter Faye Wei Wei that offers an AR experience of the collection and features a diverse cast of artists, including Blanchard herself.
The digital experience is a virtual pop-up book, using AR technology to let see all your faves, including Kaia Gerber, Paloma Elsesser, and Kelsey Lu, trying on the H&M x Simone Rocha collection.
Couresy of H&M
Since her early years of social advocacy, Blanchard’s sunshine-y positivity as the star of Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World has mellowed. We watched her grow up before our eyes, but we forgot what happens during that process: She grew up. Her current Instagram feed is a stark contrast from her days as a child actor—sometimes mullet-wearing, often corseted, occasionally rolling in mud or posing for steamy selfies. She hasn’t lost the zeal nor the vocabulary she wielded when she spoke in front of the United Nations; she simply took those conversations behind closed doors and now wears vintage Vivienne Westwood.We caught up with Blanchard to discuss how she navigates modern-day activism, embracing her own sexuality, and working with H&M x Simone Rocha.What made you want to partner with H&M and Simone Rocha?I’ve been a really big fan of Simone Rocha since I started accessing fashion and understanding what kinds of clothes made me feel like they bridged…