The photos for the new issue of W Magazine are not just stunning visually, they’re also political.
The shoot was inspired by a Slim Aarons photo of C.Z. Guest from the ‘50s which personified wealth, status, and privilege and in the cover story, Zendaya revealed her goal for the shoot was to replace the conventional idea of white society in Aarons’s picture with the more modern concept of a Black couple who live in a similarly grand house with an equally alluring swimming pool.
The cover images is incredible but the other photos are stunning as well.
Check out a few excerpts from the article as well as more photos below:
Zendaya explains her inspiration for the shoot and the message she hopes it conveys:
“Two Black actors in this setting, seems like rewriting history in an elegant manner, like kind of an Old Hollywood that we wished existed. It’s almost like righting a wrong.”
John David Washington recalls the first time he met Zendaya on the set of ‘Malcolm and Marie’:
“I didn’t know Zendaya and I hadn’t seen her in anything but “Euphoria.” When we met, we instantly connected. She was wearing her hoodie and glasses and no makeup. She struck me instantly as a quiet, powerful force.”
Whew! This swimming pool shot is fire.
Zendaya discusses her response to Giuliana Rancic’s infamous comments about her hair on the 2015 Academy Awards Red Carpet:
““That’s how change happens and it made me think, ‘How could I always have a lasting impact on what people saw and associated with people of color?’”
We’re really curious how many people would have understood Zendaya’s intent for the shoot without the breakdown in the magazine? We absolutely love it. Also, do you think all Black art/photography is political to some extent — simply because Black people aren’t traditionally positioned in a centered way?
The issue is on stands April 6th.
Which photo is your favorite?