The COVID-19 pandemic may have raged on throughout 2021, but celebrities got vaccinated, stayed safe and returned to the red carpet.

Throughout the year, tons of stars turned heads with their high-fashion looks, but it’s safe to say that Zendaya was the best dressed celeb of 2021. So much so that, she became the youngest person ever to win the CFDA’s Fashion Icon Award in November of this year.

“It’s kind of a dream and beyond my imagination,” Zendaya told Entertainment Tonight before taking the stage to accept her award. “It doesn’t feel quite real … I was saying, I probably won’t even absorb the night until a few weeks from now. I’m still living in a dream.”

That same month, the former Disney Channel star looked back at some of her most iconic red carpet moments over the years during an interview with InStyle. Zendaya recalled the 2017 The Greatest Showman premiere, 2018 Met Gala, 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards looks as some of her favorites.

“I think about red carpets as having their own characters and narratives. We build a little story for all the looks. It’s like an extension of my acting career in a weird way — you just pop this wig on or whatever it is,” The Spider-Man: No Way Home star the publication November. “Clothes sometimes are very emotional, so I get to embody these different facets — maybe they’re of myself, or maybe they’re alter egos. But I get to meet these different women through clothes.”

When she looks back at old looks, Zendaya reminds herself to “keep doing what you’re doing.’

“When I was 14 and at my first movie premiere, my outfit was a bunch of stuff that I had from Target. And I thought I was fly. I felt cool,” the Shake It Up star told InStyle. “To this day, I think that’s really all that matters. Then, you know you’re doing the right thing.”

Zendaya isn’t the only star who made a splash in the fashion pool throughout 2021. Harry Styles continued his reign as a best dressed celeb, and Outer Banks actor Chase Stokes proved that he also has pretty cool style.

“My go-to [look] is going to be some easy sneaker or a pair of flip flops, American Eagle jeans, and, more than likely, a beat-up vintage shirt. And a beanie because I always try to keep my hair out of my face!” Chase explained to Fashion Week Daily in August 2021. “But, beyond that, I really do dig a lot of the new fashion trends that are coming.”

Scroll through our gallery to see some of the most jaw-dropping red carpet moments of 2021. 

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