Gigi Hadid 101: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know

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The sweeping global phenomenon that is Gigi Hadid has taken the world by storm. But where did this young icon come from and how did she get her start in the industry? Here, Savoir Flair rounds up everything you need to know about her. 


Jelena Noura “Gigi” Hadid was born in Los Angeles, California on April 23, 1995 to Palestinian real-estate developer Mohamed Hadid and Dutch model Yolanda Van den Herik.

A Brief Hisory of Gigi Hadid - Gigi Hadid guess kids campaign
Photo: Courtesy of Guess

At the tender age of two, Hadid started modeling in Baby Guess campaigns after being “discovered” by Paul Marciano.

A Brief History of Gigi Hadid - Gigi Hadids first runway show walking for Desigual at NYFW
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Although Hadid first became famous as a young model, her mother Yolanda launched the family’s name to stardom with her role on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Hadid was featured on the show many times throughout her high-school years but moved to New York City on her own in 2013, where she signed to IMG Models. Her first runway appearance was at New York Fashion Week walking for Desigual for Fall/Winter 2014.

When in New York, Hadid works out at Gotham gym, boxing with trainer Rob Piela.

A Brief History of Gigi Hadid - Gigi Hadid's first campaign - Tom Ford eyewear
Photo: Courtesy of Tom Ford

A few months after Hadid’s appearance at NYFW, she landed the cover of CR Fashion Book and, shortly after that, she shot her first campaign for Tom Ford Eyewear alongside Patrick Schwarzenegger.

A Brief History of GIgi Hadid - Gigi Hadid Maybelline
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

And just like that, Hadid’s career was off with a bang. At the very beginning of 2015, she was named the Daily Front Row’s “Model of the Year” and a Maybelline brand ambassador. She walked in dozens of fashion shows in 2015, was nominated for a Teen Choice Award, and won “Model of the Year” at the annual Fashion Los Angeles Awards.

Reebok And Gigi Hadid Present #PerfectNever Revolution - Combat Workout
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

In the past two years since her modeling career took off, Hadid has landed the cover of countless magazines, appeared in numerous high-fashion campaigns, and walked in hundreds of fashion shows. She has also seen her star rise via social media, where she is one of the most followed people in the world, parlaying her immense popularity into two fashion collaborations. Her partnership with Tommy Hilfiger and Stuart Weitzman resulted in two wildly sought-after capsule collections.

In 2016, she was also named a brand ambassador for Reebok’s #PerfectNever campaign. Click here and here for her conversations with Savoir Flair about the ambassadorship, her passions, her thoughts on perfection, and how she stays fit. Click here for insight from her personal trainer on how she gets that body. 

A Brief History of Gigi Hadid - Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid attend the Givenchy show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2017 on October 2, 2016 in Paris, France.
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

As a household name and one of the most famous faces in the world, Hadid runs in some pretty spectacular friend circles. Not only is she part of Olivier Rousteing’s #BalmainArmy, but she is also part of Taylor Swift’s #GirlSquad. Her glamorous best friend and fellow model is Kendall Jenner, while her boyfriend is Zayn Malik.

In her current relationship with Malik and her previous relationships with Joe Jonas and Cody Simpson, Hadid has acted as something of a muse, having appeared in music videos for all of the respective performers. She has also appeared in Taylor Swift’s music video for “Bad Blood”.

A Brief History of Gigi Hadid - Gigi Hadid, Anwar Hadid and Bella Hadid attend the Global Lyme Alliance "Uniting for a Lyme-Free World" Inaugural Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on October 8, 2015 in New York City.
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Shortly after Hadid launched to fame, her younger sister Bella joined her on the catwalk. The duo are both equally acclaimed models and have even appeared together on the runway and in fashion campaigns. Hadid also has a younger brother named Anwar, two paternal half-sisters from her father’s first marriage, and five maternal stepsisters from her mother’s marriage to music producer David Foster. Speaking of family – Hadid announced in late 2016 that she was diagnosed with the hereditary auto-immune disorder Hashimoto’s Disease, which is a malfunction of the thyroid.

A Brief History of Gigi Hadid - Model Gigi Hadid from California walks the runway during the 2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 10, 2015 in New York City.
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

In addition to her myriad of successes on and off the runway, one of Hadid’s proudest accomplishments is becoming a Victoria’s Secret Angel – especially after she was initially rejected by the brand, not once, but twice! To date, she has walked in two Victoria’s Secret fashion shows.

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