Zendaya's Custom 'Challengers' Stilettos Have Tennis Balls for Heels

The serves keep on coming for her next stop in Rome.

Zendaya at the Challengers premiere in Rome Italy April 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On the Challengers global press tour, Zendaya has served enough eye-catching looks to become an honorary tennis star in her own right. Today, she took the on-court fashion references to new heights through a shimmering custom dress—and some surrealist footwear. Specifically, stilettos with tennis balls where the heels should be.

On Monday, April 8, the 27-year-old was photographed at the film's photocall, hosted at the Hotel Hassler in Rome, Italy. While overlooking the quaint city, the actress wore a glitzed-up version of the classic tennis uniform, custom-designed by Loewe. Her sparkling silver-and-black mini dress featured a plunging V-neckline, a subtly drop-waist effect, and a thigh-hitting pleated skirt.

Zendaya at the Challengers premiere in Rome Italy April 2024

Zendaya reimagines the tennis uniform in custom Loewe and Bulgari accessories while at the Challengers photocall in Rome, Italy.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tapping her trusty stylist, Law Roach, she paired the glittering ensemble with diamond-studded Bulgari accessories. As for the final touch, the actress made a statement to reiterate signature tennis motifs in custom white heels by Loewe. But they weren't just regular stilettos: They were adorned with Loewe-branded tennis balls at the back, as if Zendaya had speared each sharp heel with a ball before walking on to the red carpet.

Zendaya at the Challengers premiere in Rome Italy April 2024

The actress gave a high-fashion twist to classic tennis motifs. She paired her glittering pleated mini with Loewe tennis-ball heels.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Zendaya kept her glam to a minimum by rocking a natural dewy beat. She also wore her freshly-dyed honey blonde hair slicked back into a half-up style.

Shortly after the step-and-repeat, Roach posted a behind-the-scenes Instagram Reel of the Challengers star from the hotel, writing in the caption, "Tennis but make it FASHION…."

A post shared by Law Roach

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The magic of Roach and Z's collaborative work is not only her ability to look absolutely stunning on the red carpet. Since her Dune days, the two have constantly put their own unique spin on the concept of "method dressing." While polos and pleated skirts naturally come to mind when thinking of Challengers' Grand Slam storyline, the two are arguably redefining what tennis fashion is.

Ahead of her appearance in Rome, Zendaya showcased her most well-received looks for Challengers in Paris, featuring not just one but three custom Louis Vuitton outfits in a single day.

On April 6, the Euphoria star was seen wearing a custom Louis Vuitton number—a white strapless gown with a crisscross drop waist and a flowy maxi skirt, the long fabric trailing right behind her. The ensemble referenced the all-white outfits tennis players often wear, including for prestigious tournaments like Wimbledon.

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

Zendaya's third outfit change in Paris was an all-white custom Louis Vuitton gown.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Earlier that day, Zendaya wore two more back-to-back Louis Vuitton outfits. She started the day in a mod-inspired checkerboard mini dress from Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2013 collection.

Zendaya attends Challengers press in a vintage Marc jacobs dress and pointed toe heels

On April 6, Zendaya appeared at a Paris photocall wearing Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2013 collection.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Later on, the actress changed into a chartreuse co-ord, which consisted of a silky shirt and matching trousers from Jacobs's Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 1999 line.

Zendaya wears a green suit and metallic pumps

She later changed into a vintage Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton number—a two-piece chartreuse set coming from the brand's Spring/Summer 1999 collection.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

With only a few days left of the Challengers press tour, it's guaranteed that Roach and Z have more serves waiting for fans. The only question is: How else can they interpret tennis fashion?

India Roby
Freelance Fashion Writer

Born and raised in Memphis, India Roby is a freelance journalist based in New York City. In 2021, India graduated from The New School with a Bachelor’s in Journalism + Design and a minor in Fashion Communication.

India’s work at Marie Claire focuses on celebrity style, shopping, and cultural deep-dives on fashion trends. She also wears many (!) other hats, with her bylines also appearing in Architectural DigestNYLONHighsnobietyHarper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, Byrdie, The Zoe Report, Fashionista, and others. You can follow her on Instagram at @indiajde and Twitter (she refuses to call it X) at @india_roby.