Zendaya, who produces her namesake Daya by Zendaya shoe brand with Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Titan Industries, is continuing her dedication to the footwear industry by lending her support to QVC Presents “FFANY Shoes on Sale” and the battle against breast cancer. For the actress and singer, whose grandmother dealt with the disease, the cause is a crucial one.
“Breast cancer can affect so many women, and there’s not a lot of awareness,” she said. “Young people especially don’t know the signs, so [supporting this cause] is definitely important to me since I have so many young women who are fans.”
In addition to starring in national PSAs, Zendaya’s brand contributed shoes to the fundraiser, which has raised more than $50 million for first-step breast cancer research over the past 23 years.
Although just 20 years old, Zendaya told Footwear News that she is completely comfortable in the limelight. “I take the job of being a role model very seriously,” she said. “I just want to give young people a positive person to look up to. I want them to be honest, passionate and thoughtful humans.”
One way she often connects with fans is on social media, where she has a huge following — 3 million on Instagram alone.
Even there, her goal is always to inspire. “Of course social media is fun to post selfies,” she said. “But I try to use it as a platform to talk about important issues that need light shed on them.”
While so many young girls look to her for guidance, Zendaya said it is her own mother and older sisters who have had the greatest influence on her.
“[They] show me a great example of what it is to be a genuine, good person. Even my nieces — I look at them as little queens,” she said. “I want them to grow up to rule their own kingdom. I’m very inspired by that.”