Teen clothing brand AE is going to throw the first-ever virtual prom, complete with actor Jerry Harris serving as the emcee, Cash Cash serving as a DJ, and even surprise chaperones. There will be a mini dance lesson from TikTok celebrity Addison Easterling and guest performances by Tinashe and Addison Rae. (If you don’t know who these people are, you’re probably not in high school or college.)
It’s happening this Thursday night, May 14, at 8 p.m. ET via Zoom (of course). Everybody is invited and can register through this link. You don’t need a date or a fancy outfit, though you could, in theory, show up with both. As of Monday, thousands of people had already signed up for this virtual prom, revealing how eager many high school and college students are to participate in their end-of-year milestones. Seniors, in particular, are having a rough time during the coronavirus pandemic: Many did not get to say a proper goodbye to their friends before they got sent home to complete their courses virtually. Schools have canceled graduation ceremonies. But brands and celebrities are stepping in to do virtual events that will celebrate seniors in some small way. President Barack Obama is doing at least three virtual commencement speeches, and Oprah, LeBron James, and Rebecca Minkoff are all participating in online graduation parties.
And now, thanks to AE ( otherwise known as American Eagle), seniors can even go to prom. This event is designed to mimic the real thing, so friends can watch together and have mini dance parties in their own home. But there will also be a charitable component. The company has partnered with America’s Food Fund, Leonardo DiCaprio’s nonprofit that helps ensure people have reliable access to food. During the event, attendees will be able to donate and AE will match donations up to $100,000.