Op-Ed: Why Spider-Man Star Zendaya Could Be The Next Rihanna

You can never quite predict what actress/singer Zendaya is going to wear.

Actress/singer Zendaya Coleman has just scored the biggest fashion coup a young starlet (or almost any celebrity for that matter) can land – the cover of American Vogue.

She takes her turn as the cover girl of Vogue’s July issue (in Calvin Klein Fall 2017, one of editor Noelle Loh’s favourite collections of the season) – her first – and I couldn’t be happier for her as I’ve had my eye on her for quite some time now. In fact, I’ve even called her the next Rihanna.

Not only is she a Vogue cover girl, she’s also making her movie debut as one of the main characters in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming – releasing next month in Singapore. Zendaya’s going to be busy on the promotional circuit and you’re going to be seeing a lot of her everywhere.

At all of 20 years old, the lanky Zendaya (she’s 1.78m tall) has constantly proved that she’s a fashion chameleon. Below, we take a look at some of her best looks:

#1: She made SpongeBob SquarePants work:

Zendaya in Molly Goddard Fall 2017 – ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Photocall in London

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This is one of the trickiest looks Zendaya’s tried so far, from rising Brit designer Molly Goddard – and I think it’s safe to say she made it work for her with the help of the belt. Personally, I’m really loving the colours and while some might say it’s too wacky, Zendaya translated the look well. The only thing I’m not sure of are those white pumps to go with this outfit.

Oh and by the way, she shares the same stylist (Law Roach) with Celine Dion, who is also currently having a major fashion moment.

#2: When Rihanna fangirl-ed over her look

brown goddess.

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First step…get in the car

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Turning up at this year’s Met Gala in yet another unpredictable look, Zendaya chose to go for a more summery, tropical vibe, in a Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda (the brand’s version of couture) off-the-shoulder gown. Most celebrities would have probably opted for a sleek bun and clean makeup in order not to compete with the dress but leave it to Zendaya, who went for a full-blown afro and a bright orange lip.

It certainly got Rihanna’s attention – the queen of the Met Gala posted it on her own Instagram page, declaring Zendaya to be a “brown goddess”.

#3: Nurse-chic

Some may find this Reem Acra Spring 2017 number to be too nurse-like but I was enamoured by the floral organza sleeves, without which this dress would have been too tame for the likes of Zendaya.

#4: Green goddess

This may have been one of the “safer” moments for Zendaya, especially to a music awards show, but this Zuhair Murad Spring 2017 couture dress won me over with its lovely chartreuse hue that was fantastic against Zendaya’s skin tone. I love that she also played up her demure side with the curled bob and soft makeup.

#5: Pink Ranger

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With one look (by Christian Siriano), Zendaya got two trends at once – the pantsuit, which is inescapable this Fall and fuchsia pink, the It colour of the year. I’m loving how she’s gone for the colour from head to toe, which ties in nicely with the return of the matchy-matchy trend.

#6: She’s not afraid to play with volume

Yep they're pants….. Thank you @rosie_assoulin

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This was probably one of the earliest looks that made me sit up and take notice of Zendaya – she looked impossibly chic in a Rosie Assoulin Spring 2016 striped ensemble that she wore to Rihanna’s Diamond Ball back in 2015.  Few people outside of models could have worked this look – you’d probably have to be as lanky and tall like her in order to pull off this look without looking overwhelmed by the amount of fabric. Zendaya on the other hand, looked completely comfortable and in her element.

#7: When she made metallics work for her:

*sings 2 phones*

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If you’ve been reading our site, you’ll know that sci-fi influences are a huge trend this fall. Personally, it’s one of the more interesting trends so far and if you’re interested in trying it for yourself but don’t want to look too costume-y while doing so, take a leave out of Zendaya’s book. The singer paired her silver metallic skirt with matching heels but opted for the classic white shirt to balance things out.

#8: When she channeled Josephine Baker

Proving she can do classic just as well as whimsical, Zendaya perfectly channeled 1920s symbol and famed dancer Josephine Baker through a pearl encrusted cold-shoulder gown by Italian designer Mario Dice and the era’s signature finger waves ‘do.

#9: When she modernised Cleopatra

Let's start from the beginning….leaving the hotel

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One of her most sophisticated looks so far, Zendaya turned up for 2016’s Met Gala, which had a fashion meets technology theme, in a slinky custom Michael Kors gown – everything from the fit of the gown (you’d be surprised at how even custom-made pieces can look so ill-fitted) to the spectacular bowl-cut hairdo and her smoky-eye makeup was on point.

Like this? Check out Singapore’s newest and most unisex menswear label, Alchemist, the best all-pink buys to get into the mood of the season, and why Icelandic singer Bjork was the original Lady Gaga