Zendaya’s Influence as a Fashion Icon and Designer


Dec. 15 2023, Published 11:55 p.m. ET

Zendaya is a woman of many hats and an ultra-achiever in all her endeavors. She was a Disney star in her childhood and was featured in Shake It Up. Fast forward to adulthood, and she’s now an accomplished musician, a great actress, a film producer, a successful businesswoman, and, notably, a fashion icon.

An Enviable Reputation in Fashion

Through the years, she has also emerged as a fashion icon – in the real sense of the title. While the term fashion icon is thrown around willy-nilly, Zendaya has an award to back the moniker – the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Fashion Icon Award, making her the youngest recipient of this prestigious award.

She also worked with the British Fashion Council on the 2023 Smartwater project, a nod to her leadership role in the fashion realm.

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Her Ever-Growing Influence and Influence in the Fashion World

A look at her socials will tell you everything you need to know about the fashion clout Zendaya has amassed. She has over 180 million followers on Instagram alone. Head over to Pinterest, and there are seemingly countless boards documenting her every ‘fits.

While being a multi-hyphenate will help in accruing a huge following, many will admit to following her for her fashion sensibilities.

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In 2018, she emerged atop Lyst’s “Young Fashion Influencers Report,” noting that she had sparked a 43% increase in “red tracksuit” searches after appearing at a Michael Kors’ show wearing one. In 2021, Lyst ranked her as the best-dressed individual in 2021.

And it’s not just Lyst that appreciates Zendaya’s fashionability. All the movers and shakers in the fashion industry, including Vivienne Westwood, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace, and Michael Kors, have worked with her on projects.

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Other celebrities have also borrowed a leaf from Zendaya’s book of style. From her little sister in Euphoria, Storm Reid, to music sensation Harry Styles to acting megastar Michael B. Jordan, many celebs have been inspired by Zendaya.

Part of her success as a fashion influencer is the diversity in her personal style. She has many different styles and has admitted as such, telling Boohoo, “I think the best thing about my personal style is I don’t have just one. She has many styles to choose from whenever she steps out in public. And she always looks good in whichever outfit she rocks.

Entrepreneurship in Fashion Design

Her influence and impact are not exclusively related to setting trends in the fashion realm. She is also an influential entrepreneur in fashion. She has tried her hand at designing clothes for her fans and followers, collaborating with big brands.

In 2016, Zendaya launched Daya by Zendaya, an athleisure clothing line that had a particular focus on affordability. All of the clothes under the Daya by Zendaya sold for under $160. Even though she has since shut down the direct-to-consumer clothing line, she showed that you can be stylish on a budget.

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In fact, she is big on affordability, even when collaborating with other fashion brands.

Speaking with Boohoo about their “The Zendaya Edit” collaboration, she noted, “I know my fans, and I know what’s important to them.”

She added, “They are chic, fashion-forward, and love clothes, but like most people, wanna be able to ball on a budget.”

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She went on to explain her decision to put out pocket-friendly products, saying she “felt this was a perfect fit, to help them [her fans] choose some easy pieces that aren’t just trendy but also attainable.”

She has also championed diversity and inclusivity in her fashion endeavors.

Case in point – she used her collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger for the TommyxZendaya collection to showcase diversity and inclusivity.

Zendaya and Tommy launched the collaborative collection, TommyxZendaya, in 2019 with a runway show held at the Art Deco-style Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The show had cast cross-generational and size-diverse Black models. Her collaborative projects have had a positive impact on encouraging diversity within the fashion industry.

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