Zendaya Masters Edgy Tailoring in a Backless Vest and Barrel Trousers

She kicked off her new fashion era with a chic suited look.

zendaya cinemacon louis vuitton
(Image credit: Greg Doherty/WireImage)

At this point, to call Zendaya a style icon feels almost too small of a label. The super-superstar is more than just a trendsetter, and she's certainly never a follower—Zendaya is what fashion is, or at least should be. The actress represents a new guard of celebrities who aren't afraid to push sartorial boundaries (look to her always-exciting red carpet looks, for instance). And as of Tuesday, April 25, she's officially entered a new era of her fashion: While promoting Dune: Part Two at CinemaCon, Zendaya wore an outfit by Louis Vuitton, her first outing since announcing her position as house ambassador for the legacy label.

For the Las Vegas–based event, Zendaya wore a slate gray vest with a deep, plunging V-neckline and contrasting houndstooth base paneling. Her sleeveless top was completely backless save for a black leather belt slung around the back of her hips (insert business-in-the-front-party-in-the-back joke: here). With her sultry waistcoat, the Emmy winner wore ballooning barrel pants made of woven wool in a warm brown hue. 

Zendaya finished off her look with white, pointed-toe, 4-inch stiletto pumps by Christian Louboutin, with the shoes' signature red bottoms providing a stark pop of red to her otherwise neutral look. Medium-thick gold hoop earrings, sculptural bangles, and rings provided the perfect metallic accents. It's not yet clear if Law Roach—Zendaya's long-time stylist who recently announced his retirement from the celebrity circuit save for working with the Euphoria star—helped create her CinemaCon outfit.

zendaya in louis vuitton vest outfit at cinemacon

(Image credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon)

zendaya at cinemacon in louis vuitton outfit

(Image credit: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

Fellow Dune actor Timothée Chalamet joined Zendaya at the event and also wore a vest (a matchy-matchy moment between co-stars? Now that's fashion PR at its finest!)—albeit his was made of black leather. Chalamet wore his sleeveless top over a classic white T-shirt teamed with matching leather moto pants and black pointed-toe boots.

zendaya and timothee chalamet at cinemacon in matching vest outfits

(Image credit: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

Okay, enough about Timmy—back to Z. If Zendaya's tailored ensemble looks familiar, you likely recognize it from Louis Vuitton's Fall/Winter 2023 show, which debuted this past Paris Fashion Week and explored traditional French fashion. A key distinction, though: creative director Nicolas Ghesquière initially sent the look down the runway with a massive blanket scarf of Lenny Kravitz proportions draped around the model's neck, which Zendaya forwent.

louis vuitton fall winter 2023

(Image credit: Richard Bord/Getty Images)

Her partnership with Louis Vuitton was announced on April 20 in a campaign of the label's iconic Capucines bag. However, fashion fans had their theories that the mega-star was poised to join the fashion house in some capacity since her surprise appearance at Louis Vuitton's Fall/Winter 2023 show, where she, perhaps, first fell in love with the tailored look while watching it come down the runway. As for the future of her ambassadorship and what that means for her new style, that's left to be determined. However, given her smart suited look filled with strategic details (the open back! the barrel trouser!), expect her next fashion chapter to be one that's filled with risk-taking and statement-making.

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Emma Childs
Style Editor

Emma Childs is the Style Editor at Marie Claire, where she researches up-and-coming trends, curates shopping guides, and gushes about the must-buy items she can't stop thinking about. She previously wrote for TZR, Editorialist, Elite Daily, and Mission Magazine and studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University. When she's not writing up fashion deep-dives or finding the season's best pieces, you'll find her fiddling around in Photoshop and perusing HBO Max for the next show to base her personality on (currently, it's "Succession").