On Tuesday, Nov. 29, Footwear News will host its 2016 Achievement Awards in New York, honoring the best and brightest in the industry, including Launch of the Year winner Zendaya. Read on to learn more about her accomplishments.
At the ripe age of 20, Zendaya has accomplished more than your average public figure. She is a face of CoverGirl, a Disney Channel star and a member of the Marvel universe, with a plum role in 2017’s “Spider-Man” film. On top of all that, she’s a shoe designer.
Her Daya by Zendaya brand, which is produced by Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Titan Industries, initially launched under the name Sole of Daya for spring ’16 but got off to a rocky start, according to Titan CEO Joe Ouaknine.
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But with a few adjustments (such as lower price points), Titan, Zendaya and her co-creative director and personal stylist, Law Roach, reintroduced the line for fall ’16 with a more confident and informed direction. “Since I’ve learned [more] about the making of shoes, I’m becoming more sure of myself,” Zendaya said. “I know what I want faster.”
Styles in the line include a popular strappy pump, flats, booties and a classic heel, all retailing from $70 to $125. “I don’t want to create knockoffs,” the star told FN earlier this year.“I want to create our own movement and style. I want women to feel luxurious and beautiful, but not have to spend three years saving up for a pair of shoes.”
Her design partner emphasized that Zendaya makes her own decisions across the board, whether it comes to her fashion or entertainment careers. “We try to be as hands-on as possible,” said Roach. “She’s adamant about having control and input on something that has her name on it.”
And despite an already hectic schedule, Zendaya is continuing to grow her budding fashion business. This month, she launched a ready-to-wear collection under her namesake label and also debuted an e-commerce site for the brand. Ouaknine noted that a big turning point for Daya was gaining placement in Macy’s and Nordstrom for fall. Since then, the business has seen a ripple effect.
“We weren’t able to capture everyone’s attention to the brand [at first], but since the shoes performed so well — all of sudden, people are buying and expanding doors [for the brand],” he said.
To mark the launch of the Daya by Zendaya apparel line, the actress made surprise appearances at pop-up store locations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, which had fans lining up around the block.
Ouaknine reported that the clothing line has been well received. And the e-commerce site, which stocks Zendaya’s complete collection, “is pumping more shoes out of the warehouse,” he said.
For fall ’17, the executive hinted that consumers can expect “the best line ever,” as the brand expands beyond high heels into new categories. “I expect a big business,” Ouaknine said. “The price points are so friendly, and once the extension happens at retail and the shoes are exposed, I can see a big explosion.”
As for the designer, whose audience includes nearly 36 million followers on Instagram alone, this is just the beginning. “There are so many things that are being created and prepared to come out — 2017 is going to be a big year,” Zendaya said.