What Heritage Means to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

This May

by Gap Inc.

The month of May recognizes the influence and contributions that Asian and Pacific Islander people have had on American history as Asian American and Pacific Islander Month. There are many stories to be told and cultures to be shared in our new collection. We invited AAPI artists and small-owned businesses to help us create a collection of graphic tees. These thoughtful designs represent the pride in being a part of the AAPI community. In addition to the talent behind the designs of this collection, we partnered with Saweetie, Dinah Jane and Steven Yeun who shared what heritage means to them.

Every chance Saweetie gets, she flaunts her Pinoy roots. The female rapper shared her appreciation for being multicultural and her love for her Filipino side. Being Black, Chinese and Filipino, Saweetie said it taught her at a young age that no group of people are the same. As someone of mixed race, she is grateful to embrace the culture, values and morals that come from her background.

Singer Dinah Jane said she used to shy away from her background, but now she represents her Polynesian roots loud and proud. She has shown up to red carpet events in Tongan attire as a way to use her platform on a Hollywood scale. The expression of culture is something Dinah is glad to continue through this collection. By tapping into her truth, she celebrates her background.

“Beef” actor Steven Yeun thinks representation is key and paramount. He said it should stem from an actual willingness with good intentions. Just checking a box and doing something because he’s told to does not attract him to what he wants to do in his career. Steven avoids being placed in a box which is what he hopes to reflect in this partnership.

Their stories and more define what AAPI heritage is like and the identity found in it. The collection captures the voices of these cultures that have so much to share.