Zaya Wade has a long list of accolades for a 15-year-old — and she just added another.
The daughter of Dwyane Wade and stepdaughter of Gabrielle Union landed her first-ever fashion magazine cover for Dazed.
Wade talked to Dazed about her relationship with fashion, growing up in the public eye, advice for trans youth and more.
“My relationship with fashion has really evolved over the years,” Wade said to Dazed. “It started out as, “Oh, my parents are super fashionable, and I want to dress up and be as fashionable as them.” But, as time has passed and I’ve become more integrated into the fashion world, it’s become a really important part of expressing myself and my identity. Whether I’m wearing a dress for winter formal or wearing a suit for a shoot, it’s just a way to level up my iconicness, I feel.”
Styled by Marika-Ella Ames, Wade wore different looks from Miu Miu’s spring 2023 collection in her cover shoot. She wore various white and beige t-shirts, minidresses and zip-up jackets from the line. For her footwear, Wade wore Miu Miu’s Lambskin Thong Knee Boots in white.
Since coming out as transgender in 2020, Wade has received support, while also receiving scrutiny. She told the magazine that growing up in the public eye has had “highs and lows.”
“I mean, a lot of attention equals a lot more hate, a lot of transphobia, and [there is] a lot of pressure on me, but I’m also able to reach more people,” Wade said. “The positives of having such an inclusive platform completely outweigh all of the negativity online, which my support system has enabled me to filter out. It has allowed me to let in the positivity and distribute it to all of the trans people in the world who need a voice and give them a platform to get inspired to live with themselves without being afraid.”
She also told Dazed about being a role model.
“I am my own person and I have my own experiences, but for me, as a role model, I try to use my personal experience to broadcast the positives and also the negatives in life, because a lot of LGBTQ+ youth go unrecognised in every way,” Wade said. “I think I am here to share those experiences: to voice them, but also to enhance them. So the world can know, ‘We are here, we are queer, we are here to stay, and we aren’t going anywhere.”
Prior to starring on the cover, Wade has been leaving her mark in the fashion industry as well as making a name for herself as an activist. The rising star walked in her first fashion show for Miu Miu at Milan Fashion Week in early March and landed a Puma campaign shortly after.