How Cher Inspired the Stunning Dress Zendaya Wore at the Oscars

Zendaya attended the 2021 Academy Awards on Sunday, April 25. Although she didn’t receive an award, the 24-year-old Euphoria star turned heads on the big night with a strapless, neon, Valentino gown. Her stylist, Law Roach, recently shared how singer Cher inspired his client’s jaw-dropping look. 

Zendaya Oscars 2021: The actor is  posing in a yellow Valentino dress while on the red carpet.
Zendaya | Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images

Zendaya Oscars 2021 dress caught attention from the fans of Cher

While Zendaya currently stars as Rue Bennett on Euphoria, the actor already had a lengthy resume before the HBO drama. As a child, she became a part of the Disney Channel family with Shake It Up with Bella Thorne. The then-9-year-old entertainer played Rocky Blue for three seasons. Through Shake It Up, Zendaya worked on several more projects from Disney Channel, including Frenemies and K.C.Undercover. However, Zendaya decided to step away from Disney when K.C. Undercover ended in 2018. 

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Before she left  Disney Channel, the actor has appeared in several movies and TV shows, including The Spider-Man movies and The Greatest Showman with Zac Efron. She also acted in Beyoncé and Bruno Mars’ music videos, per IMDb.  Although she moved onto other things, her Disney Channel days caught Cher’s attention. During their Feb. 2016 interview for Paper magazine, Cher and Zendaya expressed their admiration for each other as part of the outlet’s “girl crush” series. Cher said she knew of the HBO star because of Shake It Up

“I have a friend that was writing on it,” Cher told Zendaya about the show. “And he was saying how great everybody was and how great you were, and so I know you.”

“Well, that’s — that’s crazy,” the Disney alum responded. 

Cher was a ‘constant inspiration’ for the Zendaya Oscars 2021 dress

During their conversation back in 2016, Zendaya gushed over Cher’s style. Throughout her career, the “If I Could Turn Back Time” singer often re-invents herself through clothes and accessories. According to Harper’s Bazaar, Cher’s feathered hats, bold hoops, and strapless dresses paved the way for other artists to express themselves. 

Zendaya said in 2016 that, when she’s on the red carpet, she constantly keeps Cher in mind. She told the “Dark Lady” performer inspired her to find her “Cher moment” during each event. 

Five years after her phone discussion with Cher, Zendaya went to the Oscars to present the award for Best Original Score. The Malcolm and Marie star wore a Valentino dress and a reported $6 million worth of jewelry. According to Vogue, the gown paid homage to Cher’s clothing in 1970 on The Sonny and Cher Show. Like Zendaya’s look, the dress was bright yellow and strapless. Additionally, the outlet reported that Cher wore a more sequined gown at the 1973 Academy Awards ceremony. 

During the 2021 Oscars, Zendaya’s stylist, Law Roach, gave his Instagram followers a behind-the-scenes look at the designer gown, per CNN. Roach confirmed that Cher was a “constant inspiration” for the dress. Cher also influenced Zendaya’s hair for the night, styled in a center part and loose curls.