A Love Letter To Zendaya

A Love Letter To Zendaya

Amidst the flood of celebrity-filled awards shows and events, we take a moment to admire a true muse

Amidst the flood of celebrity-filled awards shows and events, we take a moment to admire a true muse

Text: Ian David Monroe

Dear Zendaya,

In an era where image is everything, you aren’t afraid to take a risk, to do what others wouldn’t, and it’s that modus operandi that has always propelled fashion into the future. While fashion is certainly an art, Karl Lagerfeld best describes it as an “applied art,” meaning a dress is only as great as the woman wearing it. Clothes may make the man, but in a world of celebrity events, the woman makes the clothes, and no one does it quite like you.

The adage goes: it’s what is on the inside that really matters, and there is little doubt that inside you are positively beaming. But you have also been blessed with beauty. You could easily show up to events in a classic dress and your hair down. You could phone in a look and be perfectly confident about never appearing on a “Worst Dressed List” in your life. Others certainly do, but you don’t. Instead, you sport a blonde mullet and a pantsuit to the Grammys, because why the hell not!

@Zendaya

Consistently, you are a sartorial chameleon that becomes the highlight of any event. Your ensemble for the 2016 Met Gala enthused the casual viewer, and delighted fashion fanatics when they realized that your look referenced Cher’s ’72 photo shoot with Richard Avedon. If the Met Gala is truly the “Super Bowl of fashion events,” as Andre Leon Talley says, then your look was a touchdown. It is because you dare to venture into the obscure that when you do show up in something pared-down—like your rose-colored Calvin Klein dress at the Billboard Music Awards—it feels fresh. These show stopping moments are not one-offs either, or even restricted to red carpets; there are surely few celebrities that can pull off both a cowboy and comically large hat like you. There are even fewer today that would experiment so dramatically with their hairstyles: from dutch braids to pixie cuts, square afros to dreadlocks, and all in between.

@Zendaya

For some, clothes are a costume, a chance to be someone else for a bit, but your insistence on authenticity makes them only a second skin. You didn’t have to call out Modeliste magazine for photoshopping your cover story, or even give Giuliana Rancic’s inane joke the time of day, but you did, and with class. Thank you for recognizing that every moment is a chance to learn.

Here is hoping you never change, in that you will always change.

With love,

V Magazine

Zendaya for V100 Photography Inez and Vinoodh

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