Fans fell in love with the quirky high school character, who had an affinity for preppy collared blouses, cardigans and hair ribbons. Although the 22-year-old actress’ style in real life is trendier and more mature than her famous character’s, Condor says she appreciates that Lara Jean uses fashion to express herself.
And speaking with PEOPLE after being named an Aerie #REALRole Model on Thursday, the star gave fans plenty to look forward to in the highly anticipated sequel, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, launching on Netflix on February 12.
“[Lara’s] fashion is much louder than she is. Her style represents what she kind of wants to say inside but she doesn’t often speak it,” Condor tells PEOPLE. “So, it’s much louder and more fun and quirky and she’s very unapologetic with her style. There are some really amazing style moments in the sequel.”
“We flew in a stylist [for the sequel] who had hundreds of dresses for certain scenes that we wanted to become iconic,” Condor adds. “Her style in the sequel is bomb.”
Condor admits the past year has been a whirlwind — Netflix stated that To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was one of the most re-watched original movies of 2018, and a third film has already been confirmed — but says she feels “very blessed and honored” to have opportunities like the Aerie #REALRole Models campaign come her way.
Joining Aerie Role Models like Beanie Feldstein, Aly Raisman and Ali Stroker, Condor will advocate for the brand’s mission of self-love, as well as empower and inspire change through “leadership, advocacy, workshops and philanthropic partnerships,” according to a press release.
As part of the campaign, the brand also launched the #AerieREALChange Initiative, which will award 20 real-life changemakers with $20,000 “to help them on their journey in making the world a better place,” Aerie states.
“[Aerie] is real about it. I think sometimes you talk about change and want to do all these things, but you never actually take action — this is a brand that does take action and does genuinely want to help others and lift everyone up,” Condor, who posed un-retouched in the campaign photos, tells PEOPLE. “I am just so honored to be a part of this. It feels like a dream come true.”
“All the girls [in the campaign] are so accomplished because they’re themselves,” she adds. “It takes a lot of bravery to just be yourself.”
Each Role Model selected an initiative — a cause they’re passionate about — which Aerie will back as part of the empowering campaign. The Netflix star (who was adopted from Vietnam as a baby) chose the scholarship fund she created in 2018 with the help of a nonprofit called The Asia Foundation.
“Through the scholarship, I put young girls from my hometown of Kon Tum, Vietnam, through four years of school high school,” she explains. “Education is not a right there. It’s definitely a privilege, particularly girls education. These girls have to fight tooth and nail to go to school and they are up against insane odds.”
“Aerie has given me a platform where I can have a voice and spread the word to the public,” Condor tells PEOPLE. “I feel really grateful that they’ve given me the freedom to talk about this because it’s so close to my heart.”