Last summer, singer and actress Zendaya, 19, announced that she would be tapping into design with her very own shoe line, Daya by Zendaya, in collaboration with her longtime stylist Law Roach. We caught up with the star about how the brand has developed over the past year and what we can expect from her next.
Why did you want to start your own shoe brand?
I felt like there was a gap in the footwear market. You either had to spend a fortune on a pair of designer shoes or settle with a pair of knock-offs. We designed a collection that is both luxe and affordable.
How has the brand grown over the past year?
The past year has been a big learning experience for the team. We took the time to look at what people were currently wearing, and what works and what doesn’t. The new collection is not only an expression of my style, but it includes shoes that would be a great addition to every wardrobe.
Was the design process what you expected it to be?
Going into it, I wasn’t sure what the process would be like. We had a goal to make a good shoe at a reasonable price point, and the whole process has been a big learning experience.
Did you look to anyone for inspiration for your latest collection?
I’m really inspired by the women in my life—my big sisters, my mom, and my little nieces who are soon going to need a good pair of heels to wear at school dances. The shoes I design are affordable but luxurious looking and feeling.
What’s one of your favorite pairs?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I love the Aaron pump because it allows you to elevate a look so easily.
You work with Law Roach on the line. What’s it like working together?
I love working with Law! He’s been my stylist since I was 14 and has really helped me grow. We’re both equally involved in the process and we’re constantly sharing ideas with each other.
What’s your favorite part of being a designer?
The whole process is fun. It’s like a free choice school project—you can focus on whatever you want, and it’s all about shoes, my favorite thing!
And what’s the biggest challenge?
Figuring out how to make a luxe shoe that didn’t break the bank was difficult at times. It was a lot of back and forth and figuring out what needed to be taken out without sacrificing the overall design.
Do you see yourself expanding into other categories?
I would love to design a full clothing line!
Check out Zendaya’s Fall 2016 collection, below!