Gigi Hadid graces W’s September cover, channeling grown-up glamour, photographed by Steven Meisel and styled by Edward Enninful. Inside, Lynn Hirschberg explores how Hadid is the world’s most connected supermodel, the girl at the center of everything, and part of a new generation of models for the digital age: the Post “It” Girls.
“I have always been aware of the business side of this industry,” Hadid said. “I’ve always seen it as a career that required work and planning.”
On working with Tom Ford and being the face of his fragrance, Velvet Orchid: “I’ve never been scared of being naked in pictures, but I wouldn’t do naked for naked’s sake. With Tom, it was an easy decision. When you think of scent, you don’t think of clothes. In the beginning, I thought Tom would not want to know my name. But he made a space for me in the high-fashion world. When Tom liked me, other jobs followed.”
In the past two years, Hadid has moved seamlessly between mass and class: Maybelline and haute couture, Paris runways and Guess. “My Pirelli calendar is hanging on the wall of my friend’s frat house, and he doesn’t know anything about fashion. That balance is what leads to big campaigns outside of fashion. But I never want to choose one or the other. Both commercial and high fashion are what make my job so interesting.”
On her social media popularity: “I have more than 4 million followers on Instagram,” Hadid said matter-of-factly. “All the companies I work for want me to guarantee how much I’ll post for them, but I’m not going to force my career onto the people who follow me. I refuse to do 40 Instagram posts about any campaign.”
Hadid’s fans are much more interested in her personal life—her friendships with superstars like Taylor Swift; her ex-boyfriend, the Australian pop star Cody Simpson; and her (alleged) romance with the Formula One racing star Lewis Hamilton. “Supposedly, Kendall and I are fighting over Lewis,” said Hadid, who is currently dating Joe Jonas. “I have to read the news to find out what’s happening in my life.”
Lynn Hirschberg uncovers how Gigi is related to the Jenner-Kardashian clan:
Through her stepfather, who was once married to Caitlyn Jenner’s ex-wife Linda Thompson, Hadid is related to the Jenner-Kardashian clan—making Kendall a sort of sister. Gigi’s stepfather, David Foster, produced hit records for stars like Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston, so Hadid has always been surrounded by the rich, famous, and powerful.
Lynn Hirschberg, W editor at large, writes that: “Hadid is a rarity: a model who appeals to the fashion elite, but attracts equal attention in the world of mainstream brands. Unlike anonymous models of the recent past, Hadid is a personality and not just a photogenic mannequin. With their potent combination of family lineage, social media influence, and sex appeal, Hadid and her fellow new-generation models—Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner—should be called the Post It Girls: They are instant celebrities who built their fame online.”
Edward Enninful, W fashion director, said: “Gigi is the face of now. Social media has given the world the new supermodel: accessible, connected, and powered by fans. We wanted to capture this moment in pop culture, while layering a timeless, glamorous look to create something unexpected.”
Photo credits: Steven Meisel for W magazine
W’s September issue hits newsstands August 18.