Zendaya has made a name for herself in the world of fashion, thanks to her many red-carpet appearances and partnerships with names like Valentino and Bulgari.
Zendaya is the first-ever Nickelodeon star to be named VMA Girl of the Year, joining the ranks of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Jennifer Lopez, who have been bestowed with the accolade in recent years. Since her “Shake It Up” days, she’s come a long way. She went from a sentimental young girl’s wardrobe to one of Hollywood’s most stylish ladies.
Zendaya’s role as Rocky Blue in the Disney show “Shake It Up” was Zendaya’s big break. Her wardrobe was reminiscent of a Disney princess. Her fun ensembles were characterized by bright patterns (often animal or floral) and a preference for layering and graphic tees. One of Zendaya’s earliest red-carpet appearances wasn’t by a top designer, as she revealed in an interview with In Style last month. It was “a lot of things” from Target that she wore to her first red carpet appearance.
Similar to other Disney stars, like Ariana Grande, Bella Thorne, Miley Cyrus, Zendaya began her adolescence on the path to becoming the fashion-savvy woman she is now. Sleek blazers and cutting-edge luxury items like Valentino’s rockstud shoes appeared in her wardrobe. Her clothing started to take a more serious tone as she grew up, with daring bucket heels and a preference for darker color schemes. Though she was more focused on her professional duties, she did once in a while squeeze in the odd tulle Princess gown — albeit one with a leather biker jacket and shocking pink boots.
Zendaya’s career took off when she met up with Law Roach, an emerging stylist, and self-described “image architect.” One of the most successful celebrity-stylist collaborations in Hollywood history was born as a result of their encounter. With a “blueprint” laying out her rise to stardom, Roach revealed in an interview with personal styling website The Zoe Report that he had lofty ambitions for her from the start.
In 2015, she made her debut at the world’s most famous and exclusive night, the Met Gala, and has gone on to receive many more. She played with more significant, creative pieces like her Fausto Puglisi design gown for the Met Gala.
While her Style used to be firmly in the “girl-next-door” category, she began incorporating aspects of streetwear into her wardrobe. She also started paying stylish tributes to Black cultural icons such as Diana Ross and Aaliyah, something she continues doing today and mastering the art of viral fashion moments.
She made history at the 2017 Met Gala when she stepped out in a huge parrot-print Dolce & Gabbana dress. The huge ballgown landed her on “best dressed” lists and signaled a significant change in her Style as she walked up the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute stairs.
She was stunned on the runway in a stunning Moschino butterfly gown that perfectly represented “The Greatest Showman” during one of the film’s premieres. She dazzled at the premiere of “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” a nod to the superhero’s legendary costume.
Zendaya began wearing more couture at this time, working with smaller-known designers and opting for sculptural pieces like the chocolate bell-shaped August Getty dress she wore to the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards and the horse-silhouette cut out Vivetta gown she donned at the 2017 Fashion Awards.
Zendaya quickly came to be regarded as one of the most anticipated red-carpet debuts. Her off-carpet appearances mirrored her on-carpet ones. Whether she was wearing a Carolina Herrera mini dress on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” or a gray Berluti suit at a Harper’s Bazaar soiree, she used every chance to make a statement. After that, Michael B. Jordan, who was dressed in the same suit as her on a different occasion, wrote on Instagram that she had “without a doubt” achieved the look better than him.
She began to mix menswear designs into her ensembles around this time, as seen in a 2019 Armani fashion show, where she put her own spin on a bib-front tuxedo shirt. She also expanded her fashion history expertise by donning rare archival pieces, including a 2000s purple and lime green Versace gown (a variation on a previous Beyoncé stage outfit). She also wore a voluminous blue top once worn by Eunice Walker Johnson, a Black fashion icon who established the Ebony Fashion Fair in the ’60s.
As the epidemic disrupted red-carpet events, Zendaya still managed to wow, wearing a custom Giorgio Armani dress to accept an Emmy and becoming a Bulgari brand ambassador. The highly anticipated “Dune” press tour saw her break new ground after breaking new ground. She began the tour in Style with a Balmain wet-look dress at the Venice Film Festival, which kicked off the schedule. In February, she debuted her new collection at Corte Madera Place in Los Angeles, where she later channeled the sci-fi-meets-fantasy spirit of the film during its London premiere, wearing a sculptural Rick Owens gown and a futuristic gold breastplate by Loewe.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.