“Vintage! So adorable.” Either fresh off the runway or older than Zendaya herself, the Emmy Award-winning actress never ceases to make a strong style statement in her red carpet ensembles. And some of her most standout style moments are thanks to dipping into the fashion archives for historic finds.
With the help of her longtime stylist Law Roach, the pair consistently pulls beautifully curated ensembles from the past. The “image architect” has always been a vintage connoisseur, having previously owned the Deliciously Vintage boutiques in his native Chicago and in Harlem. With many of Zendaya’s archival style moments having been pulled from Roach’s vast personal archives, including the past works of Bob Mackie and Yves Saint Laurent, the two are working together to give these iconic works another life on the red carpet.
Whether she’s paying homage to the creator of the Ebony Fashion Fair Eunice Johnson at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards, or referencing an iconic Beyoncé moment from her 2003 BET performance at the 2021 BET Awards, Zendaya’s sartorial tributes are always rife with historical significance.
Here, GRAZIA USA has curated a list of Zendaya‘s top vintage fashion moments.
Zendaya in Versace Fall/Winter 2001
To receive the Star of the Year Award at the CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards at Ceasars Palace, Zendaya walked the red carpet in a light cinnamon brown leather and lace dress, harking back to Versace’s Fall/Winter 2001 collection. The figure-forming gown featured a leather harness paneling with a belted bodice and a cowl neckline with halter straps.
A feminine flair was brought to the gown with a rosette lace skirt. Originally worn down the runway by Karolina Kurkova, Zendaya spiced up the ensemble with matching caramel-colored leather pumps and Bulgari jewels.
Zendaya in Roberto Cavalli 2004
Zendaya made a surprise appearance at the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival during Labrinth‘s set. For her first performance in eight years, the pair performed “All for Us” and “I’m Tired” from Euphoria, wearing a pink Roberto Cavalli minidress dating back to 2004, sourced by Aralda vintage. The feminine frock featured a dainty bow tied at the bust and two tiers of a ruffled hem.
Zendaya in recreated Prada Spring/Summer 1993
To present the outstanding motion picture award at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards, the Malcolm & Marie star wore a white two-piece set, inspired by Prada’s Spring/Summer 1993 collection, recreated by designer Miuccia Prada. Featuring a white bra top with star-shaped cutouts, Zendaya donned a matching floor-length skirt with the same motif along the waistband. The original ensemble was comprised of a bra top and a pair of matching white trousers, worn down the runway by supermodel Yasmeen Ghauri.
Zendaya in Versace Couture Spring/Summer 2002
Earlier in the evening, Zendaya walked the red carpet at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards wearing a Versace black gown with lime green accents from the Italian fashion house’s Spring/Summer 2002 Couture collection. Complete with a plunging neckline, a thigh-high slit and a cascading train, Zendaya accessorized the ensemble with Bulgari earrings and a shimming bangle.
Zendaya in Bob Mackie Couture Fall/Winter 1998
Granted exclusive access to the Bob Mackie archives, Zendaya and stylist Law Roach chose this “vintage teal, and turquoise silk faille, emerald velvet strapless couture ball gown,” from the designer’s Fall/Winter 1998 collection for the 2022 TIME100 gala. The star wore her hair straightened and parted down the middle for a sleek, polished effect.
Roach shared a behind-the-scenes snapshot of one of Zendaya’s fittings writing, “I’m so obsessed with this fitting photo! Vintage and Archival dressing isn’t a trend for me it’s what lead me to this career and will always be my first choice when possible. I’m so grateful that I have been granted rare access to some of the most amazing archives. This @bobmackie is one of the most special! Thank you Mr Mackie for trusting me I’m so honored you even know my name.”
Zendaya in Balmain Couture 1956
Posing for a portrait captured by Dominic Miller at the 2022 NAACP Image Awards, Zendaya looked like a regal Old Hollywood starlet in this 1956 Balmain Couture gown. Of course, styled by Roach, the actress and her trusty stylist were given the freedom to dip into the French fashion house’s lavish archives by Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing.
Designed by the luxury label’s founding father Pierre Balmain, the brand posted the image on Instagram writing, Zendaya “embodies mid-century romance” and “casts a glittering spotlight on the house’s sumptuous savoir-faire and Pierre Balmain’s historic ‘New French Style.'”
Zendaya in Valentino Spring/Summer 1992
For Euphoria‘s season 2 red carpet premiere, leading lady Zendaya crushed the competition in a sculpted vintage Valentino Spring/Summer 1992 black and white graphic striped strapless gown. With Roach’s inimitable flair for pulling just the right archival fashion pieces, Zendaya proved to be an absolute vision. With her new auburn locks, the entirety of her look seemed to be an homage to the 1990s supermodel Linda Evangelista, who originally debuted the gown on the runway in 1991.
Zendaya in Roberto Cavalli Fall/Winter 2000
With many theorizing that Zendaya was attempting to emulate each of Spider-Man’s greatest villains during the Spider-Man: No Way Home press tour, her incredibly avant-garde vintage piece for the Ballon d’Or ceremony was thought to have represented Dr. Octopus. Zendaya’s Fall/Winter 2000 Roberto Cavalli gown put an artful twist on the classic column LBD.
Zendaya in Versace Spring/Summer 2003
Attending the 21st Annual BET Awards, Zendaya paid tribute to none other than Queen Bey herself. Clad in a royal purple chiffon cutout gown with lime green and fuchsia accents from Versace’s Spring/Summer 2003 presentation, the frock was previously worn by Beyoncé during her 2003 Crazy in Love performance at the very same awards ceremony in 2003.
Zendaya in Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture 1982
For Essence‘s 2021 Black Women in Hollywood Awards, Zendaya and Roach rightfully paid tribute to the acclaimed businesswoman and creator of the Ebony Fashion Fair, Eunice W. Johnson. Previously owned by the pioneering woman, Roach pulled this vintage Yves Saint Laurent silk periwinkle puff-sleeve two-piece gown from the brand’s 1982 Haute Couture collection from his personal archive.
Zendaya in Versace Fall/Winter 1996
For the 2020 Green Carpet Fashion Awards virtual ceremony celebrating eco-conscious fashion, Zendaya appropriately opted for a vintage Versace confection to champion sustainability. Appearing via hologram for the digital event, Zendaya was granted the Visionary Award in a slinky chocolate Gianni Versace Fall/Winter 1996 beaded silk gown.
Choosing a gown created the year of Zendaya’s birth, Donatella Versace was happy to open the Versace archives for the young actress. With similar iterations adorned by 1990s supermodels Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Anna Klevhag, Zendaya’s gown was as rich in fashion history as it is in luxe glamor.