Zendaya is a fierce advocate for inclusivity in fashion often via her own fashion line, Daya by Zendaya. The affordable brand includes sizes ranging from 0 to 22, features a diverse set of models on its website, and does not include gender categories. And now, she’s speaking out about why that is so important.
In an interview with Glamour magazine, conducted by none other than Black-ish star Yara Shahidi, Zendaya eloquently explained why genderless clothing is so important. “I was lucky to have parents who let me wear what I wanted to wear and let me shop where I wanted to shop,” she said. “Nine times out of 10 I was shopping in the boys section. I wore cargo shorts and hoodies. That was my uniform. And it’s different being a girl. We can wear guys’ clothes, but the second a guy wears girls’ clothes, it’s like…” Yara finishes her thought with a hypothetical, “What is he doing?”
Zendaya also explained that any separate sections — whether they are labeled as being for men, women, plus-size, or maternity — in stores just doesn’t seem right in the modern age. “That’s not fair. I think, for me, it’s all about the experience of a shopper.” She continues, “For example, my sister is a thicker woman. She just had a baby; she’s got hips, a booty popping in these streets. Why should she have to go to a different section to get clothes?”
The one person that Zendaya cites as her style icon? Rihanna, of course. And not only do both style queens go by their first names alone, but they are also both fearless when it comes to red carpet looks. The former K.C. Undercover star sums it up: “There’s something to be said for the fact that literally everybody can hate my outfit, but if I feel good in it, I’m the only one that should matter.” Preach.