Sia and Maddie. Maddie and Sia. The two are so inextricably linked, it's hard to remember that there was a time when they weren't twinning on the red carpet or touring together across the nation (so basically, pre-2014). And while Sia's mini-me is growing into her own person as a role model, an influencer, and a designer with her recently launched namesake fashion line Maddie, there's no denying Sia's profound influence in nearly every aspect of Ziegler's life, especially fashion.
"Sia's very relaxed all the time, and I guess I picked up on that," Ziegler tells InStyle, calling out Sia's off-duty look that can be as casual as sweatpants and tees. "She always wears comfy clothing, but she still looks put together. And I know she doesn't care what people think—it's cool that she wears whatever she wants to."
That approach to style, marching to the beat of your own proverbial drum and all, underlines the biggest life lesson Ziegler has learned from Sia: "To stay true to who you are." For Ziegler, that means working hard to get to where you are ("I wasn't very good at dancing in the beginning and I wasn't great at making fashion decisions, but now I have my own line and I just finished touring with Sia—everything's possible if you believe in it," she affirms). In terms of fashion, that means prioritizing comfort above all else.
"My style’s very relaxed," she explains. "If I’m just hanging out with my friends, I would wear a girlfriend or a ripped boyfriend jean with a sweater and sneakers, because I’d rather be comfortable."
Of course her clothing line reflects that ethos as well. Launched in October, Maddie stocks an inventory of easy knits, cozy flannel shirts, playful graphic tees, and cool joggers—all the pieces that Ziegler personally wears herself (one of her favorites: this sweatshirt tunic). Oh, and lots of jeans—she lives in them, preferring baggier fits, like the girlfriend, over skinnies.
"I guess you would say I'm a tomboy—I like neutral tones and flannels," she says, though she's quick to point out that that wasn't always the case. "I would say when I was younger, I was very into pink and sparkles, like I'd wear a sparkly tank with a jean jacket and glittery flats. And I used to wear my hair in ringlet curls and pigtails. Basically, everything I wore, I'm now like, 'Ohmygod, I can't believe I wore that.' Back then, I thought I was the cutest."
And as she evolves fashion-wise, she's hoping her fanbase will grow with her, which has already started with the introduction of slouchier jeans and pieces that are, in her words, "chill and relaxed." "I've worn skinny jeans all my life, and I was at first scared to try a baggy jean, but now I'm in love with them," she says. "I have so many pairs."
The next fashion trends she wants to experiment with? Doubled-up denim, oversized jean jackets, and ripped shirts, she lists. "I’m trying to not be as scared," she reveals. "I’m definitely not going to do anything that’s too old for me, but I do want to step out of my comfort zone, try new trends, and bring them to the girls who are wearing my line. I think it's really important to share that with them: to show them what I'm wearing, so they can wear it, too."