Zendaya Covers ESSENCE Magazine, Talks About Advocating For Black Hollywood

Lawrence Kim
November 20, 2020

Zendaya paid tribute to a trailblazer in her Essence magazine cover, channeling Donyale Luna, who is generally cited as the first Black supermodel. "I was just looking at Rihanna's Savage X Fenty fashion show, and I was like, 'You better, girl!"

So what makes Zendaya feel strong and hopeful amid hard times?

Luna became the first Black supermodel to appear on the cover of British Vogue in 1966.

She continued: "A lot of what I do, specifically within fashion, is a tribute to fashion icons who came before me-many of whom are Black women".

When asked about her all Black glam squad (composed of Roach, makeup artist Sheika Daley, hairstylist Larry Sims and others), Zendaya told Essence, "It's really important to us to support young Black designers and Black photographers, because the support usually just isn't there for them". "I hope that we continue to expand that in all kinds of handsome ways, because I think we're on a really good path..."

While she discussed championing for the younger generation, she also addressed how her peers keep inspiring her through their work and activism, and how it helps to remind her that what they are fighting for means something. "But it's important to lean into hope and lean into the lovely things that I see my peers doing, whether through their activism or through their art". It's extremely inspiring for me to watch and be a part of. I always think of that Beyoncé song, "They'll never take my power, my power, my power".

Zendaya, 24, also nearly impersonated another famous and fashionable Detroit woman - she was set to star as the late R&B singer Aaliyah in Lifetime's biopic, Aaliyah: The Princess of R & B. As someone who has been in the industry since she was a teenager, Zendaya has a wealth of experience in front of the camera.

She added: "I love to see that genuine love and respect for each other's work". "Back in Detroit I wasn't considered handsome or anything", Luna said in a 1966 Time Magazine interview, "but here I'm different". "I was on a photo assignment in Detroit, photographing Ford cars [and] there was a school nearby", he recalled. In my head I was like, 'Dude, just chill out. "I really love the art of actually making film".

The in-depth interview concluded with Zendaya sharing her "New Year's wish for Black women".

She reached another milestone in her career after becoming the youngest actress to earn a Primetime Emmy Award for her role in Euphoria. "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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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