Zayn Malik and Liam Payne are thought to have officially gotten together in 2012, but people started noticing things between them from before then. The combination of closeting and the overshadowing from Larry has always kept many people (including larries) from acknowledging or noticing Ziam being loud.
Then on May 27, 2022, when Zayn (somewhat) cryptically announced his Paynt collection, and Ziams of the world lost their damn minds over the announcement and collection itself. And it was the breaking point for a fair few people to finally notice Ziam.
to note – this only talks about the first collection
First, the announcement itself. The image posted was a sweatshirt with a paint pallet with two brushes and “random” designs colored in red, orange, yellow, and blue. The main design was a little boxy robot, but right front and center of the image (not the sweatshirt) was an L. And the caption was “Zayn Malik, 2022 Coming Soon. 6/1.” From this, we of course couldn’t know that the collection would be called Paynt, but we linked it to Liam just from the blatant L (and red-yellowing). The other piece of information we gathered was that he was releasing the collection on the first day of pride month. All we had seen was a sweatshirt and a date, and we knew this was gonna be some gay shit.
Paynt by Zayn
One of the shirts that Zayn involved most in his promo (posted the most) is mainly red and yellow. The shirt pattern is devised of three columns, and the phrase “Paynt by Zayn” is at the top, but the letters are divided into “Payn / t By / Zayn”. So the first box is… pretty much just Liam’s last name. And ignoring the middle box you get Payn Zayn… Zayn Payne.
Depending on when a person ordered, their items would be shipped on different days. There wasn’t a formal explanation why there were different dates, though I think based off when a person ordered they would be placed into one of the shipping “groups.” Two of those days were June 28, and July 25. June 28 is the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the first gay pride march (which came to be in response to the violent persecution the gay community faced at Stonewall). July 25 is not a specifically important date, but 25 is to Ziam what 28 is to Larry.
Every. Single. Piece in the collection had an L on it and most if not all had a P on it (mostly because of the robot man or Paynt being written on it). Out of 26 letters, why did Zayn choose L? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have Z? Or at least M? Y’know, the person who’s collection it belongs to and not the last name of the person who supposedly hates them (just like the way Larry Stylinson supposedly hate each other)? Or, is it perhaps the person the artist is theorized to be married to? Just a couple of random thoughts.
Several of the pieces had the little robot man, where the arms looked like ‘L’s and the head looked like an upside down P. About a week before the Paynt launch, Liam posted on his Instagram story about a robot or the Terminator (a cyborg/robot). Next to the robot on one of the pieces was a 4, disguised as more “scribbles.” 4/25 is a Ziam day, partially due to Liam’s 4 tattoo on his ring finger. A few people also noticed that the two ‘versions’ of the robot looked like specific photos of Liam.
I won’t be going fully into detail about the podcast, but I will mention what’s important about it. The [Logan Paul] podcast was posted the day before Paynt was launched. Which quite frankly is textbook damage control. They [management] shut down any possible chance of rumors before they can even start. And despite the fact that there were multiple “controversial” things said on the podcast, the only one Liam tweeted to clear up was the one about Zayn (June 2). Almost like that was the only that bothered him – the idea that people thought he didn’t care about Zayn.
On June 10, Zayn posted himself singing a 1D song for the first time since leaving the band. And it just so happened to be You & I, while wearing the red and yellow “Payn / t by / Zayn” shirt. You & I is pretty much considered the Ziam anthem. Mostly because Liam has the first line, “I figured it out,” tattooed on his arm, and the theory behind it (in somewhat condensed form) is that the song/line/tattoo represents the realization Liam had that he really wanted to be with Zayn, that he “figured it out,” and that was important enough to him to get it tattooed.
Quite honestly (to me), You & I is a bit of a random choice for Zayn’s first 1D song since leaving. It’s a single, but not their most successful one, and it’s from the middle of their career (personally I think he would’ve sung Night Changes first, but he sang that second). Especially when there is that connection to Liam/Ziam, one would think Zayn wouldn’t sing that if he doesn’t want people to believe in Ziam. Zayn also posted it the week after the podcast, if Liam and Zayn really didn’t like each other, Zayn would not make the first song he sang be the one Liam has tattooed.
And finally the everlasting question… why is it Paynt and not Zaynt/Zaint? He calls his poems ‘Zoems’ wouldn’t it make sense to have it at least start with a Z? The idea is of course that it’s a combination of paint and Zayn, but why is the only letter he changed the Y… pretty much just making it Payne. Zayn had to have known that by doing that we would immediately associate it with Liam…so why did he do it?