Exclusive: See Zayn As You Never Have Before

Photo: Courtesy of Penguin/Random House.
Can you guess the title of former One Direction deputy-turned-solo star Zayn's new book? What word would truly encapsulate and embody everything we need to know about Gigi Hadid's current boyfriend, the fashion world's current muse, and the music industry's current conundrum?

Well, Zayn, of course.

The new book, a combination of brief essays, "notes and drawings," and never-before-seen private photos (like the one above), comes out on November 1. As the vague title suggests, he's not exactly spilling his guts or revealing the source of all those longing, faraway gazes he's so fond of. But he is providing fans with "a photographic journey of his life."

Below is an exclusive excerpt from the tome, in which Zayn describes his first experience breaking the fashion rules as a student, how he lost his fashion show virginity, and how that led to Donatella Versace hand-picking him for the Met Gala earlier this year.

On Fashion:

"I’ve always had a bit of an individual style, even when I was a kid — for real. I hated school uniforms, and all the rules, having to wear a tie and shit. But when I sussed out that there were no rules regarding how we wore our school blazers, I would walk around the place with one arm in a sleeve, the other out, with my jacket dangling over a shoulder. But then being so much in the public eye at a young age, I got a bit nervous to take many risks. I wasn’t so keen to step outside my comfort zone or think outside the box on what I was wearing. It was a great moment for me when Donatella Versace invited me to attend the Met Gala with Versace. I’d definitely made a conscious decision in my solo career to take fashion more seriously, starting with attending two shows in 2015 with Louis Vuitton and Valentino.

"The Met Gala is a big event in the fashion calendar, as it’s hosted by Anna Wintour (the editor-in-chief of Vogue), so I was really grateful to be invited. The theme of the 2016 Met Gala was Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, which gave me the opportunity to design an outfit with Versace that reflects one of my biggest interests, digital animation. As an avid fan of video-game super heroes, I thought I would base it loosely on Mortal Kombat. We arrived in New York the night before the gala, where I was presented with the outfit and fell in love with it immediately. It was a bit of a risk as it was so out there compared to what I’d worn before, but I decided I didn’t care and the fact that it raised a few eyebrows was all part of the fun for me."

Zayn by Zayn Malik (Penguin Random House) is available as an ebook and in hardcover on November 1.
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