The Fashion Influence of Zendaya: Setting Trends and Breaking Barriers


Aug. 24 2023, Published 6:17 p.m. ET

In recent years, Zendaya has shot up the Hollywood ladder and is now among the most popular actresses around. From her roles in The Greatest Showman, Spider-Man, and Euphoria, you’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard of her.

But aside from her roles on screen, Zendaya is also largely influential off-screen as a fashion trendsetter. Since her early days at Disney, Zendaya never dressed “normally,” her style always stood out. Today, Zendaya is a brand ambassador for brands like Louis Vuitton, Lancôme, and Bulgari.

Early Beginnings in Acting and Fashion

Zendaya’s career kicked off in 2010 when she starred as Rocky Blue in Disney’s Shake It Up. At the same time, she also partnered up with stylist Law Roach, whom she still works with to this day.

Her first major fashion statement came at the 2011 premiere of Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never. Zendaya wore a metallic silver blazer, a white top, a blue miniskirt, and black tights. The look was edgy for the then 14-year-old, and her fellow youngsters all loved it.

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But looking back, Zendaya described her outfit back then as “cute.”

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Partnering Up With Global Brands

Zendaya has come a long way since her Disney days. In 2014, the singer and actress was picked up by Material Girl, Madonna’s clothing line. She also joined a Michael Kors campaign and even launched her shoe line — Daya by Zendaya.

Her fashion choices also began to mature. Zendaya started to build a reputation as someone who you could never guess what she would wear next. She also began embracing her black heritage and culture in her fashion, sporting hairstyles like Bantu knots, wearing Maasai neckpieces, and partnering up with numerous Black designers to get them more recognition.

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2017 was a huge year for Zendaya, with the release of both The Greatest Showman and Spider-Man: Homecoming. This shot her into the spotlight and gave her greater influence than ever before.

In 2019, Zendaya became just the second Black ambassador for Lancôme Beauty. Through her role, she was able to promote inclusivity in the beauty industry — something that for too long has been centered around lighter skin tones.

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That same year, she also landed deals with Valentino and Tommy Hilfiger.

Zendaya’s Fashion Today

Today, Zendaya is a brand ambassador for both Bulgari and Louis Vuitton, and she continues to push boundaries in the fashion universe. Zendaya can sport anything, from bright vibrant colors, to simple casual looks. You never know what you’re going to get with her.

For the BIPOC community, Zendaya’s fashion choices have made a huge impact. She not only shows how darker skin can look amazing with almost anything, but she also encourages people to push past their comfort zone and try new styles.

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For Black designers, Zendaya has been a huge help. She not only works with up-and-coming BIPOC designers whenever she gets the chance, but her success in fashion has pushed a lot of aspiring designers to work harder and chase their dreams.

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