Another proud-parent moment as Zaya Wade makes her runway debut 

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade sit front row as their daughter walks in Paris Fashion Week.

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No matter how old you get, there’s no better feeling than making your parents proud, and Zaya Wade is doing just that. During this year’s Paris Fashion Week, the 15-year-old made her runway debut in Miu Miu’s 2023 Fall/Winter show. Wade wore an olive green dress and matching jacket paired with a brown leather handbag and shoes. 

As the budding model strutted down the catwalk, her father, Dwyane Wade, and stepmother Gabrielle Union proudly sat front row. Both sporting all-black looks, the couple tried to contain their excitement as they watched their daughter dominate the runway. 

The family took to social media after the show to celebrate the special moment. In a video posted on the former Miami Heat player’s Instagram story, Wade embraces his daughter in a tight hug while smiling from ear to ear. The proud father followed the story posts with a TikTok video titled “POV: Hyping Zaya’s first runway debut,” which showcased the model’s progressive rehearsals leading up to the big day. 

Zaya Wade, Paris Fashion Week modeling debut Dwyane Wade Gabrielle Union NAACP Image Awards
Zaya Wade walks the runway during the Miu Miu Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2023-2024 fashion show as part of the Paris Fashion Week on March 7, 2023 in Paris. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Zaya took to Instagram with a simple slideshow post captioned “[email protected],” under which she received many congratulatory comments from friends, family, and followers. 

“If I was in the crowd, you for sure gonna break that look & laugh,” her big brother Zaire Wade commented. 

“To witness your grace is something @zayawade I am Proud of you,” her father added under the post. 

It’s clear that Zaya’s parents are among her biggest supporters, especially after Union’s moving speech at the NAACP Image Awards. Last month as the couple received the President’s Award “in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service,” Wade and Union expressed their adoration of Zaya. 

“As your father, all I’ve wanted to do is get it right. I’ve sat back and watched how gracefully you’ve taken on public scrutiny. And even though it’s not easy, I watched you walk out of the house every morning. I admire how you handle the ignorance in our world […] As your father, my job isn’t to create a version of myself that directs your future. My role is to be a facilitator to your hopes, your wishes, your dreams,” said Wade during his speech. 

Union followed her husband’s comments with an important message about the lack of support for the LGBTQ+ community. In a very passionate speech, she posed the question: “will we fight for some, or we fight for all of our people?” 

“Let’s just name a couple of hard truths. The intersection of Black rights and the rights of the LGBTQIA, trans, and gender non-conforming people continues to be rough. Even as we demand equality at the top of our lungs, we consistently fail to extend our advocacy to protect some of our most vulnerable among us,” she asserted. 

The couple received the award for their advocacy work through platforms like The Wade Family Foundation, which “provides relief to marginalized communities in need, helping to advance racial justice and LGBTQ equality.” 

“We honestly don’t approach this work as activists or leaders as much as we do this as parents. Parents who love our children and will do whatever the hell we can to keep them seen and secure, and safe. This is a conversation worth having in ways that can actually build bridges. That doesn’t fan the flames of hatred or division. That doesn’t enable lawmakers or justice systems to look the other way when Black trans people are under attack. They don’t drive our young people to hate themselves or harm themselves.” 

Since Zaya came out as transgender in 2020, her father and stepmother have made headlines for doing the work to protect and celebrate the teen as she lives in her truth. 

“Being my full authentic self feels like freedom. Being out and open and truthful about who I am to myself and others is just freeing,” Zaya told Logo in a 2022 campaign. “It’s a beautiful feeling to have and hold and to be able to share with the rest of the world.”

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