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.
At the tender age of two, Hadid started modeling in Baby Guess campaigns after being “discovered” by Paul Marciano.
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.
To be a supermodel, one has to keep in peak physical condition, and Hadid is no stranger to the grind. When in New York, Hadid works out at Gotham gym, boxing with trainer Rob Piela.
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.
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.
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 sold-out fashion collaborations.
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.
In 2017, French jewelry brand, Messika, named Hadid as their new brand ambassador.
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 sister is fellow supermodel Bella Hadid.
Hadid is known for dating Zayn Malik of One Direction fame. In the past, she has also been linked to Joe Jonas and Cody Simpson, and acted as something of a muse for the musicians in her life, having appeared in music videos for all of the respective performers. She has also appeared in Taylor Swift’s music video for “Bad Blood”.
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.
In 2016, Hadid saw one of her biggest fashion dreams come to life when she was named the collaborative partner for Tommy Hilfiger. For two years, the duo designed many collections together for collections called Tommy x Gigi, which focused on streetwear, motocross elements, and easeful collegiate separates.
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!
In 2017, Hadid was forced to miss the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in China due to a denied visa. After the previous year’s visa issues, Hadid was back and walked the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York City. It proved the be a historic moment as potentially the last annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show – the show was officially cancelled in 2019 and has yet to announce a comeback. To date, Hadid has walked in three Victoria’s Secret fashion shows.
Another seismic event occured in 2018 when Hadid broke off her relationship with longtime love Zayn Malik. Despite their breakup and surrounding tabloid buzz, Hadid dominated the year with fashion campaigns for Valentino, Missoni, Fendi, Versace, and Stuart Weitzman.
As one of the highest paid supermodels in the world, Hadid stays busy, and 2019 was no exception. She landed multiple international magazine covers, and walked the runways at Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Fendi’s tribute show for Karl Lagerfeld, and more.
However, her biggest news of all came in 2020, when she officially announced via The Jimmy Fallon Show that she and Zayn Malik were expecting their first baby together. The couple had gotten back together in December 2019, but had been keeping their relationship ultra-private. However, a family celebration for her sister Bella’s 25th birthday was discovered to actually be a baby gender reveal party by enterprising Internet sleuths, so Hadid was forced to come clean about her pregnancy. The couple are expecting a baby girl in September 2020.