Zendaya kicked off New York Fashion Week in style at “The Daily Front Row’s” seventh annual Fashion Media Awards on Thursday night.
The actress, who stars as MJ in “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” was all smiles as she walked the red carpet shortly after Sony Pictures chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra stated at Variety‘s Entertainment & Technology Summit that “for the moment the door is closed” on the hit franchise’s relationship with Marvel.
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Taking the stage to accept her Fashion Force Award from mentor and collaborator Tommy Hilfiger, Zendaya told the crowd gathered in the iconic Rainbow Room, “I’m just so lucky to be here amongst so many incredible people that I admire and I appreciate your work and everything that you do.”
She continued, “Fashion I think for me is really just emotional…It’s allowed me to just really say I don’t give a F, you know what I am saying? It’s allowed me to really find out who I am and be more courageous and more fearless.”
Host Graham Norton playfully navigated the lively ceremony as FMA honorees Indya Moore, Kate Moss, Emily Ratajkowski, Halima Aden and Frederic Fekkai thanked their peers in the crowd including Yara Shahidi, Ashley Graham, Kathy Ireland, Dee Hilfiger, Vanessa Williams, Jordan Barrett, Sailor Brinkley Cook, Tan France, Maye Musk and Christian Louboutin.
But the style icons and innovative pioneers honored at the glitzy ceremony focused their energy on more than the ability to wear a dazzling dress on the red carpet, recognizing the impact they can make socially.
“My hope is that my presence and my visibility and the way that I leverage it helps to send out the message that trans people deserve to be loved, deserve to be safe, and deserve to feel belonging in every space that we’re in,” Moore told Variety early in the night.
The “Pose” star’s fashion at the event was a direct tribute to the cause, honoring the trans community with earrings featuring faces of those murdered in hate crimes this year. And after thanking Lady Gaga and Ryan Murphy for personally changing her life when she took the stage, she added, “Some of you may be uncomfortable with politics of my speech. And I want to apologize for that because my life is politics…. Trans people deserve safety, acknowledgement and respect. Not just when we are on the covers of magazines, but when we are poor and when we are on the streets.”