Zendaya's 'Challengers' London Premiere Gown Combines Tennis Rackets With Coquette Bows

She made the carpet her court with a Thom Browne dress covered in tiny, sequined tennis equipment.

Zendaya wears a white Thom Browne dress with a matching hair ribbon on the Challengers London premiere red carpet
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Four cities deep into the Challengers global press tour, Zendaya and stylist Law Roach arrived at the London premiere on April 10 ready to reinvent tennis fashion yet again. This time, the pair managed to fuse two familiar trends into one completely unique gown—all while continuing Z's streak of Wimbledon white Challengers premiere looks.

Zendaya walked the central London red carpet on Wednesday evening in a custom white Thom Browne dress that mixed preppy insignias with coquette bows, both tied in her hair and fixed to her gown.

The drop-waist piece, her second of the press tour featuring the silhouette, included a high Peter Pan collar and a thin, flat bow belt. A thigh-high slit broke up her netted, pleated skirt (referencing a tennis net, of course), which was dipped in Thom Browne's signature red, blue, and white stripe logo along the hem. A subtle shimmer came from sequins stitched all over the gown, some in the shape of itty-bitty tennis rackets. (From far away, they could be mistaken for even more bows.)

Zendaya on the Challengers London premiere red carpet wearing a Thom Browne dress with a white hair bow and red lipstick

Zendaya found yet another way to wear Wimbledon white at the Challengers London premiere, with a drop-waist, tennis-racket-coated gown by Thom Browne.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

From the back, the gown featured a low cut ideal for emphasizing Zendaya's long braided ponytail and oversize satin hair ribbon. Working with hairstylist Ursula Stephen, Zendaya's newly-blonde hair was lengthened with extensions for the dramatic yet sporty up-do.

She once again accessorized with a sprinkling of diamond Bulgari jewelry and pointed Louboutin heels.

Between the hair bow, the netted skirt, and the racket print, the dress looked like the girlhood aesthetic had gone through a four-week tennis intensive with the Williams sisters.

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Zendaya wears a sequin gown covered in tennis racquets to the Challengers London premiere with a bow in her hair

Zendaya switched up her hairstyle for the London event, tying her hair back in a braided ponytail and topping it with a giant white bow.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Coincidentally, Zendaya's gown had a few features in common with Bridal Fashion Week's biggest wedding dress trends from the Spring 2025 shows last week. Exaggerated hair ribbons, stacked bow decals, and drop-waist silhouettes were all prominently featured throughout bridal collections by Monique Lhuillier, Elie Saab, and Viktor & Rolf.

Of course, this isn't meant to be a bridal look—it's a continuation of Zendaya and Law Roach's clever approach to "method dressing" throughout the Challengers press tour. The pair have worked together to bring Zendaya's character, tennis phenomenon-turned-coach Tashi Duncan, to the carpet in the form of sport-inspired outfits. Some Grand Slams have manifested with obvious-yet-opulently-rendered tennis references (like tonight's), while others were more abstract.

Zendaya wears a tennis racquet covered halter gown with white Louboutin pumps at the Challengers London premiere

Zendaya's tennis-meets-coquette gown made a cheeky sports reference with every inch of fabric, from the netted pleats to the sequin decals.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

For the official premieres, Zendaya has stuck to a range of optic white outfits perhaps inspired by Wimbledon's all-white dress code (and the prevalence of white outfits in tennis generally). Those looks range from a minimalist Calvin Klein suit in Rome, to a gauzy Louis Vuitton gown in Paris. So far, the main exception came on the tour's first stop, when Zendaya wore a court-green Loewe gown to the Sydney, Australia, premiere. (Jonathan Anderson, the Loewe creative director, also designed the costumes for Challengers.)

Morning and mid-day photocalls have also come with Grand Slam inspiration. Zendaya spent her Paris press conferences in vintage, tennis ball chartreuse looks by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton. Later on in Rome, she wore stilettos with tennis ball heels and a glittery varsity tennis dress, both designed by Loewe.

Zendaya at the Challengers Rome premiere in a white blazer

At the start of the week, Zendaya channeled Carolyn Bessette Kennedy in a white skirt suit by Calvin Klein.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Zendaya attends the Challengers Paris premiere in a white louis vuitton gown with a belted waist and strapless silhouette

Her white hot streak also included a gauzy strapless gown by Louis Vuitton for the Paris Challengers premiere.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While Zendaya has spent the past month delivering serve after serve by the likes of Loewe, Calvin Klein, and now Thom Browne, she wouldn't call these looks the epitome of her personal style. Instead, they're more like slipping into a role. In her recent Vogue cover story, Zendaya referred to the fashion plate appearing on the Challengers red carpet (and others) as a form of alter-ego. "I have to buy her," the actress said. “I have to buy that this woman exists, or that this fantasy exists."

Clearly, "method dressing" is so much more than winks to tennis tournament style on the Challengers tour. But fashion fans are happy to watch Zendaya perform until the press tour ends either way.

Halie LeSavage
Senior News Editor (Fashion & Beauty)

Halie LeSavage is the senior fashion and beauty news editor at Marie Claire, where she assigns, edits, and writes stories for both sections. Halie is an expert on runway trends, celebrity style, emerging fashion and beauty brands, and shopping (naturally). In over seven years as a professional journalist, Halie’s reporting has ranged from fashion week coverage spanning the Copenhagen, New York, Milan, and Paris markets, to profiles on industry insiders including stylist Alison Bornstein and J.Crew womenswear creative director Olympia Gayot, to breaking news stories on noteworthy brand collaborations and beauty launches. (She can personally confirm that Bella Hadid’s Ôrebella perfume is worth the hype.) She has also written dozens of research-backed shopping guides to finding the best tote bags, ballet flats, and more. Most of all, Halie loves to explore what trends—like the rise of doll-like Mary Janes or TikTok’s 75 Hard Style Challenge—can say about culture writ large. (She justifies almost any purchase by saying it’s “for work.”) Halie has previously held writer and editor roles at Glamour, Morning Brew, and Harper’s Bazaar. Halie has been cited as a fashion and beauty expert in The Cut, CNN Underscored, and Reuters, among other outlets, and appears in newsletters like Selleb and Self-Checkout to provide shopping recommendations. In 2022, she was awarded the Hearst Spotlight Award for excellence and innovation in fashion journalism. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Harvard College. Outside of work, Halie is passionate about books, baking, and her miniature Bernedoodle, Dolly. For a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting, you can follow Halie on Instagram and TikTok.