If there’s one star who we definitely look up to, it’s Zendaya. Her career runs the gamut: acting on a hit Disney Channel show as well as in the upcoming Spider-Man movie, becoming a face of CoverGirl, interviewing FLOTUS Michelle Obama for Teen Vogue’s “Smart Girls” issue, and, most recently, creating her own clothing line, Daya by Zendaya. Even more, she’s always using her celebrity as a platform to shed light on important issues, such as representation and diversity in entertainment and fashion.
Looking to capture all of those career moments and more, Zendaya has recently launched Zendaya: The App, which gives fans a window into her life. As of today, iOS users, exclusively, can download the app to get a mix of free and premium (subscriber-only content) that ranges from live streams, behind-the-scenes footage of her life, beauty tutorials, a curated Jump radio station, fan Q&As, and more. You can also definitely expect insightful conversations initiated by Zendaya on issues affecting young people today. What’s more, the app will serve as the mobile destination for subscribers to shop Daya by Zendaya with an automatic 15% off on all purchases.

Teen Vogue: How did you get the idea and inspiration for creating your own app?

Zendaya Coleman: I wanted a place where I could make my own content and really be in control of what I create and what comes out from me. I really thought the best way to control that and make pieces that entertain people and show more about myself was through an app because that’s where kids’ heads are at now — it’s all digital, it’s all media, it’s all forward-thinking. I want to use it as a platform to not only just [show] things about myself, but also to bring awareness to people that I think are important. I think it’s going to evolve into something really really special.

TV: Is there anything in particular you’re most excited about to share with the world?

ZC: Honestly, a lot of people will get to understand me not just on a deeper level, but on a more personal level. A lot of people don’t get to see who I am as a human being. I just like making people laugh and making people smile. There’s a lot of goofy stuff on the app, a lot of funny stuff, a lot of behind-the-scenes kind of stuff, to everything I do. … [I want] people to see what really goes into my job and my work, so young people can aspire to start attaining their dreams and start doing it at a younger age and see what kind of work it really is.

TV: We love that you have your own clothing line called Daya by Zendaya. What’s one of the best things you’ve experienced while making the line?

ZC: I really wanted to create a line and I wanted to listen to my fans while I did it. I wanted to create something that they needed and they wanted, and I think that was super important because at the end of the day — is it for me? Yes, but it’s [also] for other people. … I tried to listen to my fans and a lot of what they said was price point: We need something that is affordable, we need something that makes sense for our budget, but we also don’t want something that’s falling apart. Also, sizing was important, I didn’t want anybody to feel left out or excluded or felt like they couldn’t wear my clothing. That was really important to me. Lastly, just general inclusion [in terms of] diversity, sizes, unisex pieces. I feel like you should not be stuck to wearing something because of the label. You should be able to wear whatever you want to wear.

TV: We’ve taken notice of how vocal you are about social justice issues on social media. Will you be doing the same on the app?

ZC: Absolutely, that was something that was really important to me. I wanted my fans to see the conversations that I have behind-the-scenes when I think things through and talk things through, because there’s a lot of times when even I don’t know what to do and I have to ask people for advice and help. How do I deal with this? How do I make a difference? How do I help? I don’t know. Sometimes it’s very hard being an activist because you don’t know where to go; you’re confused yourself. For example, for me, after the election I was like, I don’t know what to do. So really having that thought process and thinking it out with other people [was helpful] — just having thoughtful conversations and trying to get to some answers. I documented [myself] going to [Washington], D.C. and going to the [National Museum of African American History and Culture] that just opened, which was really important.

TV: You’ve done so much from starring on Disney to designing your own clothing line, and you’ve also recently interviewed Michelle Obama. If you could choose, what would you say has been one of your biggest career highlights so far?

ZC: I feel like the biggest career highlight for me is when a young girl, young person of color or a parent comes up to me and says thank you for what you do for women, or thank you for what you do for black girls, or thank you for what you did for my daughter that really helped her gained confidence when she really needed it — stuff like that really moves me and that’s what I appreciate and need as fuel to keep going.

TV: What advice do you have for our readers who look up to you when it comes to using their voice for positive change?

ZC: Definitely don’t be afraid of your voice. We’re all given one for a purpose and for a reason. I also would say, great power comes with great responsibility and our voice is a form of power, so don’t abuse it. Make sure that you take care of that and you hold that as a responsibility and you appreciate your voice, because people can use it for the wrong reasons and use it to hurt people. And I don’t think that’s why we’re given that. Be very careful.

By Teen Vogue

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