Zendaya first introduced the world to her new fashion line, Daya by Zendaya, back in July when she started with shoes. She told us then that “Boys will be rocking my heels too.” The ethos is the same for her full clothing collection, out now. Androgyny and gender fluidity is at the heart of it. Labels don’t belong. The clothes are inspired by her own ever-changing, experimental sense of style, which can go from a pixie cut with a suit, a red carpet gown and heels, and sweats and sneakers all within the same week.It wasn’t enough for the singer/actress to make her line direct-to-consumer and super affordable (everything is under $160), but in a world where some designers still don’t make clothes for women over a size 10, hers goes up to 22. “That just seems like a no-brainer to me,” she says. You wouldn’t expect anything less from the girl who fiercely defends body positivity, “Why would I alienate an entire group of people and make them feel like they can’t access my clothes?”
We sat down with Zendaya yesterday at the New York City Daya by Zendaya pop-up, where she talked about her new line, her inspirations (Cher??), and why it’s so important that everyone feels like they can wear her designs.
You created Daya by Zendaya with your stylist Law Roach–what was that design process like?
I’m very lucky that I get to do it with literally my style inspiration and the person that I’ve looked to for everything fashion-related. It starts off as one big meeting, right? It starts off as tons and tons and tons of samples and ideas, and we just slowly go through every single thing, narrow it down, change everything, ask for specific pieces, different colors, different textures, and just get into all the details. It becomes a very, very long meeting—I think the last one was about five or six hours! So it gets really crazy, but it’s great. It’s really fun and we just keep going that way until we get what we want.
A lot of the items are unisex. What made you wanted to go that route?
Because that’s who I am. I like playing with fashion and bending the “rules,” or what was “rules”—there are no rules anymore, you know? Fashion is way bigger than that and it’s about wearing what you want and wearing what makes you feel comfortable and what makes you feel confident. So, I do not believe in a label on a shirt or a dress should tell me that I can’t wear a T-shirt or a pant because it should say “women’s”or “men’s” on it, you know? That’s just not how it should work.
Did any designers inspire you?
Of course designers inspired me, but I was more inspired by everyday people. People that I see walking down the street. You know, that’s what we were inspired by—people. And that’s what is reflected in all the campaign shots. I wanted individuals who were clearly themselves and I just got to put some clothes on them, but they basically came “done,” you know? How they feel comfortable. I just wanted them to walk down the streets of New York and I said, “You know what? Don’t even pose, just walk and we’ll take pictures.”