Darren Barnet believes that the road to a healthy mindset begins early on in life, not just when you’re an adult facing a crisis. He’s personally experienced many ups and downs growing up as an actor and hopes to inspire young adults to take their mental health care seriously. That is why he didn’t have to think twice when asked to be the first-ever male celebrity brand ambassador for PINK.
“The brand’s focus on mental health, especially among young adults, was very attractive to me,” Darren tells Teen Vogue. “It’s something I really wish I had paid more attention to when I was younger… I feel like people think mental health is something that you deal with later. But it’s just like any other muscle you train, if you start early, you are stronger in the long run.”
Now, Darren is excited to be partnering up with PINK, a lifestyle brand focused on fostering positive mental health among young adults while celebrating and supporting the power of community and love for the planet. Of course, he was a bit surprised when the opportunity came up (we’ve all known PINK for selling bras and panties), so naturally, he didn’t know what to expect. “My first question was ‘What am I going to be wearing?’” Darren shares. “We live in a very different time and I’ve passed by PINK before, and it was never a store I would go into to get something.”
But as soon as PINK sent over some items, Darren knew right away he wanted to be a part of making history for the brand. “My friend was like, you’re making fashion history, which made me laugh, but I’m honored. I’m honored to be the first male and I definitely don’t think I’ll be the last.”
Darren’s partnership will include participating in various mental health activations, including Instagram live conversations and promoting his gender-free clothing collection featuring cozy sweatpants, casual T-shirts, and one of his go-to wardrobe pieces for the fall.
“There are these things that they have. They’re calling them the shackets. It’s like fleece shirts. I’ve been getting a lot of positive responses on the jackets, which I’m excited about because that’s my favorite item so far. You can dress it up. You can dress it down. I can wear a tight white T-shirt, some jeans, nice shoes, and then throw that over and be comfortable but also stylish. It definitely matches my wardrobe and is what I would wear all the time.”
The collection also came as a natural fit for Darren because he prefers wearing comfy clothes wherever he can. “I think I go for comfort over fashion, but you can make comfy look fashionable and I think that’s 100% what PINK is doing right now, which is great.” The line is also available in a variety of sizes ranging from XS through XXL.
Aside from his clothing collab, Darren is also busy as ever, working on various upcoming projects. Just recently, it was announced (at Netflix’s 2022 TUDUM event) that he would officially be returning to season 4 of Never Have I Ever and he’s excited for fans to see the growth and changes to come for his character, Paxton Hall-Yoshida.