Zendaya channels supermodel Donyale Luna for Essence cover

It Girl Goals: Zendaya Channels Black Icons For FOUR Covers Of ESSENCE

It Girl Goals: Zendaya Channels Black Icons For FOUR Covers Of ESSENCE

"It's on us to take it from here and hopefully make it better", Zendaya said.

In her interview with Essence, the youngest lead drama actress victor in Emmys history revealed that she often pays tribute to past style icons with her own looks.

The actress, who channels the late supermodel Donyale Luna in the black and white photoshoot for Essence (Luna was generally known to be the world's first Black supermodel), has been dominating magazine covers as of late having already appeared on InStyle's September 2020 cover where she wore only Black designers and Elle's December 2020/January 2021 cover. It's extremely inspiring for me to watch and be a part of. "I hope that we continue to expand that in all kinds of lovely ways, because I think we're on a really good path..." I think what's slowly starting to happen is, artists like Issa Rae and Lena Waithe have created opportunities that have resulted in more of us being in these rooms. "That's such a special feeling, and I think it's definitely changing the idea that there can only be 'one at a time, ' which is false".

Under the creative direction of her longtime stylist and "image architect" Law Roach, Zendaya stuns in a variety of looks inspired by Luna (who is widely considered the first Black supermodel), including a floor-length long sleeve knit dress by The GiGi Hunter Collection, a Miu Miu fur coat, a Fansy metal shift dress and a zebra print frock. "Back in Detroit I wasn't considered attractive or anything", Luna said in a 1966 Time Magazine interview, "but here I'm different".

It Girl Goals: Zendaya Channels Black Icons For FOUR Covers Of ESSENCE

"I'm incredibly grateful-because without the incredible, iconic people who have graced the cover before me, I wouldn't be here, standing on the shoulders of giants".

"Seeing Black women win, in any form, brings me joy", she declared. I'm very proud of it.

"I love being able to create what I want to see made. It's one of my favorite cover shoots I've ever done". "That is why I do this". She says this is especially important considering there's "an obvious disregard for Black women specifically in this country" and sends an empowering message: "To all the attractive Black women out there, we have to continue to be fearless and do what we do unapologetically and continue to lift each other up and love on each other". We're often convinced that we're not, and taught to shrink-but we have to believe in our collective power. "I always think of that Beyoncé song, 'They'll never take my power, my power, my power.' Let's take that energy into the new year..." The issue also features The Black Women Behind the Biden-Harris Campaign, an article showcasing key movers and shakers who helped drive the campaign to victory.

Zendaya's Essence edition is out on newsstands on Tuesday, November 24th.

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