It’s generally considered backwards to separate people by gender, yet for some reason, gender segregation continues to be accepted in clothing stores and styles. Not for Zendaya. Her line Daya by Zendaya is gender-neutral, and she recently explained in a Glamour interview with Yara Shahidi why that was important to her.
“I love that not only are you an entrepreneur, you’ve created a brand that doesn’t say, ‘This is for a girl; this is for a boy,'” Shahidi said.
“That’s the future of fashion, right?” Zendaya responded. “I was lucky to have parents who let me wear what I wanted to wear and let me shop where I wanted to shop. Nine times out of 10 I was shopping in the boys section. I wore cargo shorts and hoodies. That was my uniform.”
They also talked about how, while Zendaya got away with wearing boys’ clothes, men wearing women’s clothes are less accepted. “That’s not fair,” Zendaya said. “I think, for me, it’s all about the experience of a shopper. 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?”
Back when Daya by Zendaya launched, Zendaya told Refinery29 that she also made an effort to include plus-size pieces and use models of all shapes and sizes on the line’s website. “I didn’t want anyone to feel alienated, excluded, or feel like they weren’t a part of this,” she said. “I want my mom to be able to wear my stuff. I want my older sister to be able to wear my stuff. I want thick women, tall women, skinny women to wear my stuff. … That’s why I made sure that in my e-commerce photos there was thick girls in there, not like, ‘Oh, you have to go to a section to find thick-girl models in the clothes,’ — it should feel normal.”