Zendaya has already proven she’s a master of talking the talk when it comes to promoting inclusivity and self-expression—now, she’s gearing up to walk the walk, too, with the launch of her first-ever clothing line, Daya by Zendaya. While the 20-year-old multihyphenate debuted a shoe line earlier this year, now she’s teamed up with her longtime stylist, Law Roach, to design a full collection of apparel—velvet jumpsuits, slinky slip dresses, satin bombers, and graphic hoodies—in sizes 0 to 22, all priced under $160.
Unlike many celeb brands, hers is direct-to-consumer and online-only, with the exception of pop-up shops this weekend in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, all of which Zendaya will be making personal appearances at on Saturday (girl’s got a busy day ahead of her—she’s also launching her app today). Yesterday, she visited the Soho store and briefed us on the message behind the line—which, naturally, is all about empowerment. Keeping the price point affordable was essential, she says, because well, “People have lives to live”—meaning they can’t necessarily drop $500 on a jacket. Sizing, too, was a no-brainer. “I want my mom to be able to wear my clothes. I want my older sister to be able to wear my clothes,” she says. “There’s too many shapes and sizes in my family to say like, ‘Oooh yeah but you can’t wear that, though.'”
Naturally, she also wants her fans to wear her clothes—and plenty of them are young people inspired by her you-do-you thinking. Fashion is a tool for self-discovery, and having been in the spotlight since she was 14, Zendaya has done it in a very public way. “When I first started working with [Law] I was kind of shy, like, ‘Oh is this too much? Like are people gonna think it’s weird?’,” she recalls. But now, she says, it’s more like “‘Is this weird enough?’ So it’s been that kind of change and evolving of me as a person—of slowly caring less and less about other people and caring more and more about me and how I feel. And that’s how it should be.”
It also helps that they have such a strong partnership. “Often we agree—nine times out of ten,” she says. “But that one percent that we don’t—that’s when the best stuff comes out.” Fans of Zendaya’s style will definitely find some of this stuff in the line—there are low-key pieces for lounging around, like sweats and a camo PJ top with matching track pants, alongside glam going-out gear (the tuxedo romper, in particular, looked like something she’d rock on the red carpet)—and, if all goes according to her master plan, feel pretty damn good in it.
So, how does fashion fit within her brand of self-empowerment? Well, as anyone who’s walked around in a skirt that keeps riding up or a pair of too-tight jeans knows, what you wear on the outside has a pretty strong affect on how you feel inside.
“Fashion is emotional. Clothing is emotional. When you wear a jacket or you buy a good pair of shoes or you put on a dress that fits your body just right, you feel different. You feel good,” she says. The reverse is also true. “If something doesn’t fit right, if something is not highlighting the part of your body that you’d like, it’s emotional … So my whole idea with this is to just to give people the freedom to do what they want with it.”
Do what you want: who can argue with that?
In the slideshow, shop some of the best pieces from the debut collection, and find the rest at DayaByZendaya.com.