Zendaya cast only black models in her debut Tommy x Zendaya fashion show because she wanted to thank them for opening the door for her.
The Euphoria actress showcased her first collection with Tommy Hilfiger with a runway presentation back in March and cast an array of African-American models, including veterans like Pat Cleveland, Grace Jones, and Beverly Johnson.
In a cover interview with Allure magazine, Zendaya explained that she used the show to thank these women for leading the charge towards greater diversity and representation in popular culture and the fashion industry.
"It was a celebration of the women who opened the door for me. Without what these women did in this fashion landscape, without Beverly Johnson, the first black woman to have a (U.S.) Vogue cover, my Vogue cover doesn't exist," Zendaya stated. "It's saying thank you, and it's also putting it in our minds that that's what we have to continue to do. That's the only way that doors are going to continue to be open - if we keep inviting people that look like us, and other people who don't look like us, to come through the door."
Her second and final collection with Hilfiger debuted during New York Fashion Week in September, featuring '70s-inspired clothing such as high-waisted trousers, sweater vests, sharp blazers and bohemian pieces that were designed with women of all shapes and sizes in mind.
"That was my thing - I'm not going to make clothes my sister or my niece or any of the women in my family can't wear," she shared. "A lot of the clothes were for tall people too. For my mom, this is the first time that she can wear pants and not get them altered - she's six feet four."
The 23-year-old also wanted to pay homage to "the working woman, especially in the time where women were taking over in different career facets, becoming CEOs, becoming bosses, and taking over in that sense."
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