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How Her Style Has Evolved Over The Years

Whether you know her from Shake It Up or Spider-Man, you’ve likely heard of Zendaya. The actress and singer has a long list of accolades and achievements. 

In addition to being a wildly accomplished 20-something, Zendaya also has a killer wardrobe. The star regularly collaborates with design powerhouses like Valentino and Versace. 

But don’t be fooled by her present-day glamour. The Oakland native showed up to her first red carpet in a designer look we all recognize: Target (or Tar-jay, if you’re fancy).

‘I Thought I Was Fly’

In a recent interview with InStyle EIC Laura Brown, Zendaya recalls her favorite red carpet looks over the years. She started with her first red carpet circa 2010. 

At Zendaya’s first movie premiere, she wore items she already had from Target. Her outfit included a jeweled statement necklace and moto boots. It also featured a chambray shirt and a flowy dress. 

Zendaya Coleman arrives at the screening of Disney's "Tinker Bell And The Great Fairy Rescue"  on August 28, 2010
(Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

“I thought I was fly,” the actress told InStyle. “I felt cool. To this day, I think that’s really all that matters. Then you know you’re doing the right thing.” 

From then on, Zendaya continued to push the fashion envelope forward.

Shout Out To Disney

Zendaya left her Disney debut series Shake It Up in 2013, but that didn’t stop her from paying homage to her roots at a 2013 Paramount Studios party. 

Zendaya Coleman attends the 16th Annual "Friends 'N' Family"  Pre-GRAMMY Event at Paramount Studios on February 8, 2013
(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

To complete the look, Zendaya rocked a show-stopping floral metallic skirt, slick black jacket, and hot pink pumps.

Barbie Doll Worthy (No, Really)

In just two years, Zendaya’s red carpet style underwent a serious evolution. Gone were the days of Target ensembles. Indeed, Zendaya was well on her way to establishing herself as a fashion icon.

Take, for example, her 2015 Oscars look.

Zendaya attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015
(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Her white gown, understated jewelry, and natural locs even inspired Mattel to make a Barbie doll modeled after her. She isn’t just Barbie-doll-perfect; she literally is a Barbie doll.

Every Single Met Gala Look

If there’s one thing for certain about the Met Gala, it’s that Zendaya understood the assignment. From her structured, starry Met debut to a breathtaking, parrot-clad gown, Zendaya repeatedly slays the gala’s annual theme. 

Zendaya attends the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018
(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for New York Magazine)

Zendaya cites her 2018 Met Gala look as her favorite (and understandably so). Versace designed the chainmail gown as an ode to Joan of Arc, and the end result is mesmerizing.

Warrior Meets Chic

Speaking of badass women, Zendaya continued the warrior trend with her 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards ensemble. The Tom Ford look featured a metallic pink breastplate, maxi skirt, and matching pumps.

Zendaya attends the 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

“Nothing could hurt me,” Zendaya told InStyle. “I was like a warrior.” Uh, yes, yes you were, Zendaya.

Calling On Cher

Finally, and my personal favorite, is Zendaya’s 2021 Academy Awards gown. The Valentino gown, designed in collaboration with Zendaya’s stylist, Law Roach, pays homage to another style icon: Cher.

Zendaya attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021
(Photo by Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)

A queen embodying another queen—who could ask for anything more? Still, Zendaya is sure to find ways to deliver just that: more glam, more fashion, more innovation. 

There’s no doubt we have many more years to witness Zendaya absolutely slaying the red carpet, and I am very much here for it.

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