Topshop revealed this morning that model Gigi Hadid is the newest face of the fast-fashion brand, starting with a major appearance in the brand’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection. This is hot on the heels of her appearance in Italian-based women’s label Max Mara’s Fall 2015 ad campaign; Balmain’s Fall 2015 ad campaign; and the cover of Vogue Brazil‘s July 2015 issue. Add in the fact that she appeared in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video, and her close friendship with the Kardashian-Jenner illuminati; and we feel like we’re seeing the eldest Hadid sister everywhere (shouts to Bella though).
But all these appearances have us wondering: who the hell is Gigi Hadid, and where did she come from?
Gigi, born Jelena Noura Hadid, is the oldest child of three siblings, born to former model Yolanda Van den Herik and Palestinian real estate developer Mohammed Hadid. If her mother’s time on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is any indication, the Hadids come from means. But considering the new wave of models with wealthy and famous parents (see: Kendall Jenner, Lily Rose Depp, and Kaia Gerber), that’s becoming more of a prerequisite than just good looks.
But making the modeling big-time isn’t possible without the backing of a major agency, and in 2011 Hadid was signed to IMG Models (who still represent her today). While Hadid started modeling back when she was in diapers for Baby Guess, her first foray back into the game came through Guess again—namely, through the brand’s Fall/Winter 2012 ad campaign. Hadid would continue this relationship, modeling most recently in Guess’ Spring 2015 campaign.
Following her work for Guess back in 2011-2012, Hadid scored a series of shoots in minor magazines, culminating with a cover on fashion tome CR Fashion Book‘s Spring/Summer 2014 edition, shot by legend Bruce Weber. It’s likely her cover with CR Fashion Book that set her up for a spot in the prestigious Pirelli Calendar(coincidentally styled by Carine Roitfeld).
But while those are prestigious honors, those are relatively industry-focused moves. Only true fashion fans would commit to following CR Fashion Book regularly, and the Pirelli calendar (while filled with famous names like Adriana Lima and Joan Smalls) is notoriously hard to obtain.
Fortunately, while Hadid was securing her reputation among fashion heads, her editorials—a “young Hollywood” Vogue editorial with Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber, a cover for Teen Vogue‘s March 2015 issue, and an appearance in the 50th Anniversary Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue—made her a recognizable face for men and women alike.
If Hadid’s fashion chops weren’t confirmed on the range of her editorials, then look no further than her runway fashion appearances. Walking for H&M, Michael Kors, Moschino, Tommy Hilfiger, and Tom Ford (to name a few), Hadid’s literally out here when it comes to the global fashion calendar.
But a few major magazine and runway appearances aren’t enough if you’re looking to reach the level of pop culture fame that follows Gigi Hadid. But what makes Hadid more than just a model? Simply put, her incredible social media presence. Not only is full of behind-the-scenes pictures of photoshoots, but it shows intimate moments between her and her famous friends. Like the Jennersisters, and model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne, it allows fans and followers to enjoy a level of access never seen before. A beautiful and charming girl with famous friends and great day job? What’s not to like?
To be honest, aside from a rather clichéd Coachella experience (complete with Kendall Jenner and then boyfriend Cody Simpson), it’s hard to find anything that’s unlikable about Hadid. She emanates a down-to-Earth vibe that’s rare for someone so intertwined in pop culture’s biggest players. In a way, Hadid follows in the footsteps of Cara Delevingne’s meteoric rise—both as a model, and modern-day “it girl.”
Gigi Hadid is the ideal of what a modern model should be. With a string of high-profile magazine editorials and international runway appearances; coupled with a strong social media following, expect to see even more of Hadid in the months to come. | COMPLEX
BY | M A R I E J O L I E