Zendaya has made it clear that she likes to switch up her hair. She rocked box braids at the 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards. Dyed her hair red back in 2018. She also let her locks go au natural for the 2017 MET Gala. And in an interview with W magazine which was released on March 15, the cover star shares that her hairstyles are more than just style choices — they’ve helped her get through quite a lot.
In fact, she took to trying on wigs to help her stay busy during the boring days of lockdown. The 24-year-old actress tells the outlet that momentarily switching up her look helped her “engage with alternate universes.” She would pick up a wig — be in long, short, red or black — and create fictional characters inspired by her new ‘do.
The same logic came into play when planning out her W photo shoot. While Zendaya and her Malcom & Marie costar John David-Washington look undeniably chic in the Old Hollywood glamour images, there was actually a lot more thought behind their carefully curated aesthetic.
The Euphoria star wanted to recreate the grandeur and wealth synonymous with Slim Aarons photos, but with modern day spin featuring Black actors. “That life, but reimagined for now, with the look of then,” she told her long-time stylist and friend Law Roach.
Roach added: “The visuals matter. The way change happens is when people can see wealth and grandeur in a way that they are not used to seeing it.”
And if you ask Us, they succeeded. The cover image for the shoot oozes glamour. Zendaya looks absolutely elegant lounging on a yellow sofa wearing a Gucci pleated dress and Bvlgari jewels. Washington sits at her feet, sporting a Frére suit and Dolce & Gabbana shoes.
The photo wouldn’t have packed such a punch without the crucial hair choice — a blonde wig was a must. “The wig was very important. The entire outfit — the jewels, the gorgeous gown, the stilettos — they don’t make the same statement without the blonde hair,” Roach tells the magazine.
This isn’t the first time the Greatest Showman star has experienced the power that comes along with hair choices. Back in 2015, the then-budding star walked the red carpet in a gorgeous Vivienne Westwood gown with her hair styled in dreadlocks.
Following the Oscars, Zendaya shot to popularity. Mattel even made Zendaya Barbie with dreadlocks to boot. “That’s how change happens. And it made me think, How could I always have a lasting impact on what people saw and associated with people of color?”
This photo shoot is definitely a step in the right direction. “Two Black actors in this setting seems like rewriting history in an elegant manner, like kind of an Old Hollywood that we wished existed in these photos. It’s almost like righting a wrong,” Zendaya says, referencing a pool-side image from the shoot that epitomized ‘60s glamour.
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