The rise of Gigi: her journey to fashion fame

Miranda Stoner charts Hadid’s swift ascendancy to global stardom

9th May 2016

Even if you don’t follow Gigi Hadid on Instagram, it’s rare not to catch a glimpse of her posing in a magazine, at your local bus stop or on TV. Whilst the model life arguably comes easily to a blonde 5ft 10 girl whose mother, Yolanda Foster, is an ex-model and a regular on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the 21 year old celebrity has still had to work hard to get to her current status of in demand model with 8 million Instagram followers.

Discovered at the young age of 2 by Paul Marciano of Baby Guess, she didn’t actually pursue modelling and instead chose to focus on school. In 2011 she was signed by IMG Models and two years later moved from her home in LA to New York city to study criminal psychology with the hopes of becoming a forensic scientist. A combination of her increasing popularity in the modelling industry and the idea of dedicating 8 years of her life to the course however, convinced her to drop the degree and walk with Desigual in February 2014 for New York Fashion Week, having already done numerous covers and editorials.

Her career really took off in 2015. The year began with her becoming brand ambassador for Maybelline, then in July she took over Cara Delevigne’s role in Topshop’s campaign. She also featured in the H&M Balmain collaboration campaign alongside BFF Kendall Jenner as well as Taylor Swift’s Award winning music video Bad Blood, where she played the leather-clad Slay-Z, complete with a slicked back pony and silver eyeliner. She took the main role in the music video for Calvin Harris’ How Deep Is Your Love and co-directed the video for boyfriend of the time - Joe Jonas’ boy band - DNCE’s track Cake by the Ocean. Finally, in December she walked for Victoria’s secret.

“Discovered at the young age of 2 by Paul Marciano of Baby Guess, she didn’t actually pursue modelling and instead chose to focus on school”

2016 also started well for the model with her cover for British Vogue. Vogue described her as having an ‘all-American, girl-next-door appeal which has set her apart from many of the more traditional catwalk models.’ This image changed in February following her appearance in boyfriend ZAYN’s somewhat saucy video for his debut single PILLOWTALK, although her off-duty staples remain long sweaters, leggings and Nike trainers, reflecting her preference of sports to nights out.

Occasionally body-shamers have flooded Hadid’s Instagram with suggestion that she’s fat. Gigi, however remains proud of her body which she thanks for her job, and at a UK size 8 she is clearly far from fat. She boxes regularly at London’s celebrity hotspot Gotham Gym and for general fitness enjoys walking. As for her diet, like most models she enjoys a burger every now and again, but makes sure to maintain a healthy balance of food and exercise.

Some say it’s her celebrity heritage that’s brought her fame but just google Gigi in Naples; a feature, involving Gigi posing acrobatically atop Zayn whilst modelling Solid and Stripe’s jam jar bikini, it’s clear to see that there is logic to her success.

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