|“||See, that's your problem. You still think there's something to win. But I'm not playing your game so its outcome means nothing to me.||”|
— Zoya to Julien
Zoya is the younger half-sister of Instagram influencer Julien Calloway. She moves to Manhattan at the behest of Julien, in the hopes of getting to know her sister. She wants to be a playwright, and is afraid of being sucked into this new world and having her goals derailed. Zoya and her father Nick live in Nick’s mother’s rent-controlled Upper West Side Prewar 5.
She is not a follower by any means, and her newcomer status quickly puts a damper on her relationships with Julien's friends. When Zoya catches the eye of the Prince of New York Obie Bergmann IV and the anonymous Gossip Girl, Zoya is launched her into complicated and new experiences on the Upper East Side.
Zoya is the daughter of Nick Lott and Marion, who was the ex-wife of Davis Calloway. Marion left Davis for Nick and subsequently started a family with him. Marion was diagnosed with Lupus before Zoya's birth, and the autoimmune disorder was incompatible with her pregnancy. Zoya was born on October 22, 2006, moments before Marion died of complications due to her disorder. Zoya was raised by her single father in Buffalo, New York. She shares a mother with Julien Calloway, but the two never knew each other growing up due to their fathers' rivalry. The two girls eventually connect online and hatch a successful plan to move Zoya to New York on a scholarship, not aware of the drama it would cause.
In "Just Another Girl on the MTA", the series begins with Zoya arriving for her first day at Constance Billard St. Jude's School. She sees her half-sister Julien Calloway sitting at a table with a group of friends. The sisters reunite in private in the school bathroom, where they excitedly reveal that they planned Zoya's arrival at the school. Julien constructed a plan to introduce Zoya to her friend group and initiate her, which pleases Zoya as she can't wait to get to know her sister better. They had been chatting for two-years online but this would be there first time hanging out in person. As Julien begins to plant the seeds of Zoya being inducted into the inner circle, her other friends, particularly Monet de Haan, Audrey Hope, and Luna La, are less inclined to trust the newcomer. After school, Zoya returns to her apartment and tells her father about her day, leaving out the parts with Julien. He calls her out on not mentioning her sister, so she lies that she only saw Julien from across the courtyard. She promises that's all she thinks it will ever be.
She asks to go out that night with a girl from school, but Nick gives her a curfew of nine-o'clock. She excitedly texts Julien that her father is okay with her going out. Julien directs her to the front desk where she delivered a package, which is revealed to be a beautiful silver dress and shoes for her to wear to the party. That night, Zoya arrives at an exclusive club wearing the dress gifted to her by Julien. She encounters Obie Bergmann, Julien's boyfriend, in the elevator. They enter together which annoys Audrey. The night goes fairly well until the elusive Gossip Girl sends out another blast. This time, she outs that Julien bought Zoya's scholarship to Constance and helped orchestrate her arrival. Zoya is hurt by the revelations and leaves the party with Obie, though they are caught in the rain and decide to wait it out at Obie's penthouse. While they change in the windows, one of Gossip Girl's minions snaps a photo of the pair and sends it in as a tip.
The blast releases the next morning and shakes the upper East sides social scene as everyone labels Zoya and Obie, now known as #Zobie, as cheaters. Zoya is quick to tell Julien that things aren't as they seem, with Julien understanding as Gossip Girl wants to take her down and Zoya is caught in the crosshairs. However, when the student body begins to turn on Julien and she loses followers which Zoya gains, Julien plots to take back the power in a public display. She tells Zoya of her plan not to add her to the fashion shows afterparty guest list, which would make Zoya cause a scene. Zoya agrees to the plan and attends the fashion show. When Julien realizes she's losing followers and Zoya is gaining them, she lets Monet and Luna come up with a plan of their own. They swipe Zoya's phone, Luna snaps a photo of Max Wolfe's balls, and then Monet shares it with everyone in attendance using the Bluetooth sharing feature. This leaves Zoya humiliated as she realizes what Monet and Luna did.
She is escorted out of the fashion show while Julien does nothing to stop the scene from unfolding. They sisters faceoff after the show, with Zoya hurt that Julien did nothing to stop what happened and let her be humiliated. As they argue, it becomes clear that the division Gossip Girl worked to create is coming to fruition. They cease their friendship while Zoya goes home, only to find that her father knows about her escapades with Julien due to an article outing the girls as sisters at the fashion show. They have committed fraud by getting Zoya the scholarship, but she promises to fix it. Her father is disappointed in her behavior. The next day at school, Zoya dons her own clothing as she walks up the stairs to the school. Julien and her friends look down on her from the balcony, but Obie joins Zoya as they talk about the upcoming political rally that they both want to attend. Obie agrees to take her, and they enter the school together.
In "She's Having a Maybe",
In "Lies Wide Shut",
In "Fire Walks With Z", Zoya is awakened the morning of her fifteenth birthday to a Gossip Girl blast outing her birthday to the accounts thousands of followers. She joins her father downstairs and is disgruntled that he has a bagel waiting for her with a birthday candle in it. He knows her displeasure for celebrating her birthday on the day, due to it also being the anniversary of Marion's death, but hopes it can be different this year. She blows out the candle half-heartedly and leaves, hoping to avoid the celebrations as it's just any other day. Her hopes are futile as Obie has arranged food trucks to fill the front street of Constance in celebration of her birthday. She thanks him for the gesture but reveals why she doesn't celebrate. He promptly clears out the trucks for her. In the meantime, Julien approaches Zoya to wish her a happy birthday, but Zoya is on edge and sharply asks if Julien told Gossip Girl it was her birthday. Julien refutes the idea but Zoya doesn't believe her, causing a minor tiff between the siblings.
As her day progresses, Zoya is warned by Luna that Julien is planning to do something big. Sure enough, Gossip Girl posts an eviction notice that was sent to Zoya's apartment that morning. Zoya's father promises that he'll deal with everything, though Zoya believes that Julien already told Gossip Girl about her birthday and is now getting her evicted by telling the housing board they were living there without her grandmother. Gossip Girl then teases that Zoya will be retaliating, which pushes Julien to throw a party that night to celebrate their mother. Zoya is hurt over the party and wants Obie to throw a party for her, despite having told him a few minutes ago that she wanted something small with just him and her dad. Obie tries to pull her out of her spiral but she dismisses him, angry to learn that Julien secured Princess Nokia to perform. Audrey and the rest of the elite plan to attend Julien's party, though Aki is unsure. Once alone at the MET steps, Zoya is visited by an ominous younger student named Milo Sparks, who offers to help her with her situation.
Zoya takes his offer and goes to his house after school, where she tells Milo that she doesn't want to go nuclear on Julien. The boy is disappointed but agrees to just cancel her online. She instructs him not to make anything up, and they resurface a fat-shaming tweet made by Julien when she was thirteen. This forces people to withdraw their RSVP's for Julien's party, with even Princess Nokia backing out. Julien fixes things by turning the narrative into a fundraiser for Lupus - the disease their mom died of while giving birth to Zoya. Zoya is monumentally hurt by the exploitation of their mother, and ignores Obie's attempts to smooth the situation over. Before things get too out of hand, the girls fathers intervene and force them to have a joint party for both their mother and Zoya's birthday. Zoya is disappointed over the decision but doesn't protest. That night, Zoya uses the step and repeat that Julien's sponsors provided to take photos with celebrities', then pulls Julien in for a photo together. She also invited the teachers of Constance Billard St. Jude's School to attend. Julien finds Monet and Luna who have set up a GoFundMe for Zoya's housing crisis, so Zoya reacts by having her new ally send bots after Julien. The bots Venmo Julien for BJs, HJs, poppers, urine, coke, and more.
Zoya meets with Milo and he tells her that's been drugging Julien with Alchosynth - synthetic alcohol, all night but having the food tender sprinkle some in her snacks. He warns Zoya to "stay out of the splash zone". However, the boy intercepts Monet and Luna and forces them to spill their big plan for the night. Milo then confronts Zoya over the video the girls have, causing her to freak out. Obie intercepts Zoya to try and talk her into just enjoying her birthday instead of feuding with Julien. When she continues to burst that Julien is trying to ruin her life, Obie quips that Zoya going down with Julien might be what they both deserve. Julien goes on stage to introduce Princess Nokia and gives a speech regarding Zoya's birthday and Marion, though her intoxicated state causes her to spiral. She then plays the video of Zoya's meltdown in Buffalo to everyone in attendance - including her dad and Nick Lott. The video initially shows Zoya spray painting the lockers of school before tagging the chem lab when her friends lock her in. They call her a mother killer and and taunt her viscously through the locked door. Zoya screams to be let out as Julien begins to panic as she didn't see this part. Zoya cries as she watches the intense video. Julien forces Luna and Monet to turn it off. She apologizes to the party-goers, makes a promise to stop being a bully, and tells Zoya she loves her.
As Nokia performs, Zoya and Julien share a heart-to-heart as Zoya opens up about the night the video was recorded. She had a panic attack in the room so she created a fire to set off the alarm. She felt as if they were right - she killed their mom. Julien assures her that Zoya is alive because Marion wanted her to be alive and wanted her. Julien apologizes and she agrees for this day to be her birthday first. She's glad Zoya Jane was born. They embrace and the moment is filmed by Gossip Girl. The girls agree not to hide from the truth anymore. Julien helps Zoya repair her relationship with Obie. Zoya shares a birthday dance with her boyfriend who offers to put her up in a fancy hotel to celebrate the rest of her birthday in peace. Zoya makes him promise to do it another time, as she promised the night to someone else. After the party, the sisters head to Julien's house where Zoya blows out a candle and they share pastries.
In "Hope Sinks", Julien and Zoya are getting along and spending more time together, a fact that annoys the other girls in the friend group. As the group talks Zoya brings up the annual Halloween party that one of the sisters from Hocus Pocus throws every year. Julien had forgotten about it. Monet and Luna know they have their work cut out for them in getting Julien to win the contest - which includes a price of a three-spread magazine feature, now that the rival influencers Pippa Sykes and Bianca Breer have the sympathy vote after a student brought a gun to their school.
In "Once Upon a Time in the Upper West", Zoya tries to contact Obie who is either avoiding her or bombarding her with calls, while her father prepares for Thanksgiving.
Appearance and Style
Zoya's isn't as concerned with fashion as her peers, nor is she as financially setup to afford lavish clothing. She is also a thrift shopper, so her outfits have an older or vintage themed tone. She believes in her clothing having a voice, and has a sociopolitical revolution book tote. She does get mesmerized by the glitz and glamour of Manhattan, which is shown when she dresses up. Her more expensive outfits are often gifted by Julien, influenced by her own style.
Despite her youth, Zoya is a remarkably strong-willed, confident, and independent leader in the making. She stands firmly true and absolute in her beliefs and activism, which includes civil rights, social liberties and the denouncement of the privileged class's entitlements. She's unafraid to speak her mind and stands her ground against upper-class braggarts who seek to undermine her statements. Her mentality and humble upbringing starkly contrasts her with her half-sister Julien Calloway's high-class lifestyle. Despite their differences, Zoya yearned to connect with the last remaining tie to her mother, Julien, and both formulated a plan to move Zoya from Buffalo to NYC to form a relationship. The foundation of their relationship was thwarted by Gossip Girl, who exposes Julien's shallowness, charity, and lies to the ire of Zoya's pride and honesty. Additionally, her foundling relationship with what appeared to be similarly-minded Obie Bergmann IV rocked with the authenticity of Obie's guilty rich mindset and his own privilege, which she had no problem to check. Her brief time living on the edge of the Upper East Side and shameless showings of the rich lead to disillusionment of those she felt trust to, and an increase passion in being unapologetically herself.
Relationships (TV Series)
- "There's room for more than just you to matter."
- “We are a Greek tragedy waiting to happen.”
Hobbies & Skills
- Zoya is the youngest character in the core cast, being fourteen at the start of the series.
- She has a matching tattoo with Julien, even though such thing is illegal in the New York state.
This character has a Photo Gallery!