In my latest interview series, I zoom my focus in on a very special young lady I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her entire life. – Gigi Hadid! For many years she angelically twirled around in front of my lens for several Guess Kids campaigns as well as timeless editorials, but most importantly I got to know her off camera. This emerging star encompasses pure balance when it comes to her new found freedom graduating high school and the beginning of a promising career. Get ready to hear about her love of horses, family values, advice she has for the creative youth, and what her plan to conquer The Big Apple looks like in an up close & personal visit I had with her just before she jet set off to London—calling Gigi my muse would be an understatement, I love this girl inside and out!. Read on as I share some of our favorite moments together…
KYMBERLY MARCIANO: You’ve been photographed since you were a very young toddler and have shot numerous editorials and fashion campaigns with me as a child and teen. As someone growing up in front of the camera, how has this made you who you are today?
GIGI HADID: I think the most important thing that I’ve taken away from my experiences growing up in front of the camera would be how much I value the relationships that I create with people. I’ve always said that my favorite part of my job is the friends that I get to make every day. From an early age I was always the one hanging out with the crew during lunch break; I try and leave every set making sure that the crew is leaving happier then they came. When I find people on set that I connect with, I really try to stay in touch with them in the future.
KM: Tell our readers your experience as the face of Guess Kids and now the face of Guess as a young woman?
GH: Starting with Baby Guess, and now releasing my third Guess Jeans campaign, everyone, from you, the CEO to the makeup artists and all that I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years through Guess, are like a second family to me. I’ve had the honor of shooting with incredible photographers and some of my best friends in the industry are models that I’ve shot Guess campaigns with; I truly learn something new every day that I’m on set with the Iconic company. I will forever be grateful to Guess for everything it’s done for my career as well as the relationships and experiences it has brought me that I will cherish for my whole life.
KM: Your mother Yolanda is Dutch, was a former Ford model, and now has her own TV show, and your father Mohamed is an impressive developer with a great eye in the world of art, what are some of the main inspirations you draw from your parents? Name some key points on what they have instilled in you…
GH: Both my parents have worked very hard their entire lives for the lifestyle that they both live today. My dad was born in Palestine and immigrated at a very young age. Working his way up, he went from a child that didn’t know a word of English to being an Architecture student with a full-ride scholarship to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. My mom grew up on a farm in Holland, and was discovered by Eileen Ford when doing a friend a favor by filling in for a sick model (her first time on heels). Soon after that she left home to work in the fashion industry, sending home money to support her family in Holland. I think the most inspiring thing about my parents is that they came from nothing and through hard work and determination they both reached their goals. They’ve blessed me with many things, but the most important thing they’ve shared with me are the stories and lessons of their experiences. They worked hard so that they could support their family but they’ve always taught me the importance of making a name for myself regardless of the past success of my family, be financially independent, and using my success to help the less fortunate.
KM: You ride horses, love the countryside, just graduated & heading to NYC in the fall! How will you balance your time in nature and in the city? Where do you like to be more?
GH: I’ve grown up with my horses, and on the beach. Nature will always have a place in my heart and will always be my “happy place.” For me, the city is a place that motivates me. When I’m in New York, or any work environment, I feel like my dreams have no boundaries, and that’s what I love about the city. With that said, the beautiful thing about my job is that I am never confined to one place. My career entails travel and learning about the different countries and cultures that become our office space every day. I know that I will get a wonderful mixture of city and nature throughout my modeling career, and I hope to one day be successful enough that I can buy a ranch or beach house somewhere and get back to my roots.
KM: Do you still own a horse? Name, please!
GH: Unfortunately, I’ve had to put riding horses aside, for now. I’m focusing on my career right now, as well as my first year of college, starting Fall of 2013, where I’ll be studying criminal psychology.
KM: Let’s dive into some pop-culture: favorite actress? model? fashion brand? music artist?
GH: Don’t have a favorite actress…
KM: Favorite Music artist:
GH: I don’t have a favorite artist, or a favorite kind of music for that matter. I really enjoy and respect every kind of music. Recently I’ve been really into Country.
KM: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
GH: In 5 years, I’ll be 23 (my lucky number). I hope to have graduated college feeling like my four years of school was worth it in terms of how much I learned academically and personally. I hope to still have a successful modeling career and maybe be in love with someone great.
KM: If you could give any piece of advice to someone young out there that aspires to be a model, what would you tell them?
GH: There are millions of beautiful girls in this world. You need to find something about you that makes you more then just a pretty face, because at the end of the day, that’s what will make you stand out. Also, know that, among many of the positives, a big part of being in the modeling industry is getting rejected. You can take advantage of those things by taking them as positive feedback and trying to learn from every experience you encounter, positive, or not. Know within yourself that you are beautiful no matter what, so that any words that criticize you or try to tear you down can be used as lessons and motivation.
KM: Can you give us some beauty tips, beautiful! What are your favorite things in beauty, and tell us what your angle is on beauty on the inside?
GH: I feel the best when I feel beautiful without any makeup on and I can just throw on a bathing suit and a t-shirt and feel good about myself at the beach. I would say my biggest beauty tip would be to take care of your body and your skin. Get a good workout/skin care routine going because when you are feeling healthy and naturally beautiful, it shows. Confidence is what makes beauty shine through. That confidence ties back to what’s inside. Everyone is beautiful in his or her own way, and every one should know that and show that. Be confident first in how you treat others, tell people interesting things about you that maybe the eye can’t see- let your inner beauty shine through and it will only increase the outer beauty that you already have.
KM: Are you the kind of girl who goes for Tofurkey or Double Cheeseburger?
GH: DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER ALL DAY Please and Thank You!
KM: Is there a lucky guy?
GH: I’m currently single, I’ve gone on a couple dates, but I’m just trying to focus on my career and school right now. Maybe once I’ve settled in with those things I can settle in to a relationship.
Gigi Hadid is represented by IMG in NYC/London & Fashion Model Management in Milan. You can follow her on Twitter, Vine, Tumblr, and Facebook. For even more on Gigi you can visit her website right here: gigihadid.com
. Here are some of Gigi’s latest editorials below that she is excited to share.
Photo by: Andrew Durham
Photo by: Ashlee Noelle
Photo by: Rony Alwin
Photo by: Steven Chee