Daya by Zendaya: Designing for Everyone

 

                                                                                     image credit: harpersbazaar.com

Zendaya, just 20 years old, right around the same age of most of us, just created a fashion brand that is “just as woke as she is”.[1] The young actress and activist has been working with her longtime stylist and friend, Law Roach, to build from scratch a brand and several collections that are designed for literally everyone and anyone. This isn’t one of those lines that talks about being inclusive and is just a collection of one size tee-shirt dresses advertised by size 4 white models. This truly inclusive and revolutionary brand is entirely gender-neutral, sizes 0-22, and is all priced relatively affordably at $18-$158.

 

The pieces are set in a luxurious but neutral color palette of black, white, blush, and khaki green. They are created in sets, but in simple silhouettes and colors so that “you can wear them with whatever the hell you want”, as the designer says; not just in the sets, and also with anything else that you already own. The simple shapes of the pieces are streetwear and menswear inspired, which further promotes the idea of any item being for any one of any gender.

 

The official look book on the Daya by Zendaya site is a cornucopia of diversity. It features curvy women in crop tops, a dress on a male model, and people of all colors, mixing and matching pieces across collections. This coming directly from the brand enforces the central fact that “there is no right or wrong, no singular style”.[2]

                                                                                                              image credit: dayabyzendaya.com

In creating the label and designs, Zendaya says that herself and co-designer, Law, don’t believe in trends. That constantly trying to be on top of the latest thing isn’t the way to stay true to fashion. She wanted to make clothes that her mom could wear, that her older sister could wear. She didn’t want to create clothing that would turn anyone away; she says that most of the women in her life are thick women, and that she’s always thought it ridiculous that there are only sizes 0-12 in the main fashion market. In creating the wide range of sizes, she hopes to completely erase the term ‘plus size’ and the need for separation altogether.

 

The most important aspect of Zendaya’s brand altogether is the fact that it’s coming from HER. Zendaya is a young black woman with a classically beautiful, thin, modelesque body. She has been speaking out publically against body shaming, racial inequality, and the visibility of gender fluidity for as long as she’s been in the spotlight, especially after some heavy criticism of her dreadlocks at the 2015 Oscars.

                                                                                                              image credit: Harpersbazaar.com

A woman who has a figure that is the exact target of the fashion industry today creating a brand of clothing for anybody and literally every body is an example of how all women and all people need to be advocates for each other. Zendaya would rarely have trouble finding clothing that fits her body, and there is no scarcity of models with her body type in the media. It makes perfect sense that women like Ashley Graham, a plus size model, would make a size-inclusive lingerie line, as that fills a hole in the market that personally effects the way other women of their body type feel and see themselves. The fact that Zendaya created this brand for literally everybody else in the world because she recognizes that there is a huge lack of diversity in the fashion industry is one of the biggest leaps forward that I’ve seen recently, and I’m very proud to acknowledge that it’s coming from someone who is younger than I am. It just shows that our generation is the way forward, in not only fashion and art, but in equality and normalization of all people.

 

[1] Racked.com

[2] quoted from Zendaya in marieclaire.com