Was Last Week THE WEEK For Gigi Hadid?

Gigi Hadid

by Hannah Almassi |
Published on

Gigi Hadid’s trajectory has been in steady flight for two years, but last week her fame went stratospheric – thanks to a spot on the Chanel Haute Couture runway, and a surprise appearance in boyfriend Zayn Malik’s debut video...

Every supermodel can be traced back to a defining moment that marked their unequivocal ascent into the history books of fashion: Cindy Crawford in George Michael’s Freedom music video, Claudia Schiffer as a Guess campaign girl, Kate Moss on the cover of The Face. Last week, it was Gigi Hadid’s turn to make her official entrance into the big league – first with a celebrated turn walking at Chanel Haute Couture. But she didn’t just leave it at that; three days later she made a surprise appearance in the debut music video of boyfriend Zayn Malik cementing her place as one half of one of the A-list’s most exciting power duos. According to sources close to the American model, the decision to star in Zayn’s promo for his single Pillow Talk was not taken lightly.

‘They obviously both knew that the video would be a huge talking point,’ said one associate last week. ‘The truth is, it was important for Zayn that Gigi be featured. The song needed a sexy video, and even if it is still early days, neither felt comfortable with the idea of him filming those intimate scenes with anyone else. They’re both excited about the relationship and wanted to celebrate it.’ Discussing the single, Zayn, 23, has previously said: ‘I think I’m pretty black and white

about what it’s about. Everybody has sex, and it’s

something people want to hear about. It has to be talked about.’

By this point in Gigi’s fashion timeline, it wouldn’t have been unusual for her to agree to multiple ambassadorships, collaborations, apps, TV shows, endorsements and every second offer that came her way. But in what’s been described in the industry as a ‘smart move’, the 20-year- old has been quite selective, which is perhaps one of the reasons Karl Lagerfeld chose her for his famed show in Paris. Gigi shared her excitement with her 12 million Instagram followers:

400k likes promptly arrived in response.

Whether starring in the most talked about video of the year, or walking in one of fashion’s most-esteemed shows, it was a huge week for a model who apparently doesn’t fit the average model bill. Indeed, getting to this Chanel-stamped pinnacle would have, at times, seemed unreachable. While Kate Moss was once famously branded ‘too short’, Gigi has been labelled ‘too curvy’ and lambasted for her apparently distracting runway walk. Hard for us to believe when she looks like that, but Gigi eloquently responded to the negativity last year, via Instagram, naturally: ‘No, I don’t have the same body type as the other models in shows. No, I don’t think I’m the best at any given show. Yes, I want to have a unique walk but I also know I have to improve... I’m a hard worker that’s confident in myself, one that came at a time where the fashion industry was ready for a change. I’m just doing my job.’

In addition to her Chanel turn, Gigi also took to the Atelier Versace catwalk; another important contract and one that neatly ties a bow on the fact that she’s front and centre of the brand’s latest ad campaign. Versace joins that list with Stuart Weitzman (Gigi naked in heels and hugging Joan Smalls and Lily Aldridge) and Seafolly (let’s not forget that Gigi started her career as a swim model and that her heavenly Victoria’s Secret-approved body would be wasted if she didn’t still dip a toe in).

Gigi Hadid
Gigi modelling for Chanel Haute Couture - Jan 2016 ©Rex

‘In catwalk terms, Gigi has just been shot into orbit,’ comments Grazia’s fashion director Rebecca Lowthorpe. ‘Not only did she just star in Chanel couture in a golden cape, one of Karl’s key looks, she also closed the Versace show, the ultimate stamp of catwalk hierarchy. That and her Versace spring/summer 2016 campaign means she has officially gone stellar.’

But what’s coming next is particularly exciting for world Hadid-omination: she is about to step up her global retail credentials by designing a capsule line (due out in autumn) as Tommy Hilfiger’s new brand ambassador. ‘Her magnetic personality is bright and always optimistic, and her style is confident, effortless and cool,’ says Tommy

about the American sweetheart.

As well as almost singlehandedly (or should that be leg-edly) launching athleisure as a fashion genre thanks to her hybrid of LA-friendly post-gym-pre- going-out ensembles, you will see that her impeccably crafted off-duty-model looks, assembled with her stylist and the Kardashian-Jenners’ right hand, Monica Rose, include items that – shock! – mere mortals can afford. adidas. Topshop. ASOS. Yes, there’s a smattering of Saint Laurent in the mix, but it’s been a long time since a fashion model’s personal style has been so accessible and what she wears, sells. For fashion brands – both luxury and high street – to not tap those talents would be foolish. Add in her social squad featuring Kendall, Hailey Baldwin and Taylor Swift, and of course ex-One Directioner Zayn, and Gigi is column-inch catnip in its purist form, without ever stumbling out of a club or losing her cool in the face of public pressure. The original supers have revered icon status, no doubt, but these are the days where the ‘influencer’ is king: long may Gigi rule.

Hannah Almassi is the editorial director of WhoWhatWear.co.uk

READ MORE: Meet Monica Rose: The Stylist Behind Gigi and Kendall's Casual Looks

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