From Disney star to social media darling, EBONY has had a longstanding love affair with all things Zendaya Coleman. Last year, we handpicked the starlet to join industry heavyweights Harry Belafonte and Jesse Williams on our Power 100 cover. On the heels of that anniversary, we caught up with the young mogul in New York City while prepping for the launch of Zendaya: The App and Daya by Zendaya clothing. As expected, we fell in love with the fashionista all over again.
EBONY.com: What do you think your fans will be most surprised to learn about you on your app?
Zendaya: I’ve always been transparent in who I am as a person, so the app is really about just opening up my life to the fans a bit more. It will feature content about my life and hopefully allow other young people to see all the work that it takes to do things. I love to entertain and make people laugh so there will be videos of me doing that. I also want to use this app to talk about things that are more important. [I’d like to] make it a platform to help other people, I’d love to bring light to various charities that I’m involved in, highlight young designers, upcoming artists and young entrepreneurs. This will allow me to use the app to start uplifting and empowering other people, so then it becomes less about me takes on a life of it’s own.
EBONY.com: Daya by Zendaya clothing is all priced under $160, offers unisex pieces and runs in sizes 0-22. How important was it for you keep your line accessible to all?
Zendaya: I didn’t want make anyone feel like they weren’t included in the thought of my brand. I want everyone to feel like there is something in the collection for them and that they have the ability to wear whatever they want. I believe you should wear whatever you feel confident in so offering a diverse size range and gender-neutral pieces speaks to that.
EBONY.com: How did social media play a role in your design process?
Zendaya: It plays a huge role in my life in general. Social Media has now become a part of our culture—you are either a part of it, or you ignore it. I listened to a lot of the things my fans were saying and price points were of big concern. There were comments like, “We need [the prices] to be lower! We’re college student and working people. We don’t have a large disposable income and we’re not going to be able to afford the collection otherwise.” I wanted to offer quality garments that were affordable while also offering pieces for their wardrobe that felt luxurious. I wanted to create something that was not only beautiful but made them feel like they were a part of something.
EBONY.com: If you could dress any celebrity in Daya by Zendaya, who would it be and why?
Zendaya: One would say Rihanna, right? But that’s a lot of pressure. She doesn’t get it wrong and you don’t just dress Rihanna. I really don’t know. I think my goal is not even with celebrities. I love celebrities, but my goal is to walk down the street and just see people wearing my stuff –that is the goal!
EBONY.com: It’s been a year since you did our Power 100 cover. In the article you touched on social issues and the importance of galvanizing our youth. How important do you think it is for your generation to get out and vote in the forthcoming elections?
Zendaya: It cannot be more important! If you ever wanted to get out and vote, now is the time. This is a very pivotal moment in history. I think we are in a time where the youth play such a huge role. It’s up to us to go the extra mile to vote and raise our voices. We are the people and this country is really nothing without the people. We have to take control and we have realize as young people that this is our future. We have to live here and this where we’ll one day raise our own children. We have to build the country that we want to see our future children and grandchildren live in.
Daya by Zendaya clothing is available starting today at dayabyzendaya.com. The fashionista will also be appearing at one of three pop up shops in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles on November 5th or 6th. Check out our gallery above for an exclusive sneak peek.
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Senior Producer, EBONY.com