The 24-year-old actress is channeling iconic supermodel Donyale Luna on the cover of the 50th anniversary cover of Essence magazine honoring Black resilience. "I was just looking at Rihanna's Savage X Fenty fashion show, and I was like, 'You better, girl!"
I had so much fun on this shoot paying homage to Donyale Luna, the first Black supermodel.
From being the star of one of the most acclaimed TV shows on one of the biggest networks--Euphoria, to becoming the first Black woman to play the leading woman in one of Marvel's oldest franchises, and her latest accolade--the youngest Primetime Emmy award victor in history, Zendaya keeps proving that there's no stopping her.
Read excerpts from her "A Work Of Art" cover story below.
Zendaya, who became the youngest woman to win best actress in a drama series in September for her role in HBO's Euphoria, also said that with young Black people feeling like they were birthed into a system that was not built for them, it is up to the youth to create change. "But it's important to lean into hope and lean into the attractive things that I see my peers doing, whether through their activism or through their art".
"I also felt very excited that ESSENCE allowed Law [Roach] and me to be a part of the creative team and do something a little bit different". I always think of that Beyoncé song, "They'll never take my power, my power, my power".
Zendaya also shared snaps from her Essence photoshoot on her own Instagram. As someone who has been in the industry since she was a teenager, Zendaya has a wealth of experience in front of the camera.
"A lot of smaller brands and designers were the ones that supported me before I was being dressed by bigger brands", she added. Maybe I'll become a director or a director of photography.
"I love the way it turned out", she says of her black-and-white spread. In my head I was like, 'Dude, just chill out. "Back in Detroit I wasn't considered lovely or anything", Luna said in a 1966 Time Magazine interview, "but here I'm different".
The in-depth interview concluded with Zendaya sharing her "New Year's wish for Black women".
By the way, after making history by winning the first Emmy Award for her portrayal of Euphoria, Zendaya could even win an Oscar with her next film project! "Bad-gal Riri is giving us what we need right now!"
Zendaya recently landed a cover on Essence magazine - here's how you can get a copy.