Bella Hadid belongs to a new breed of supermodel. Like Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner and her sister Gigi before her, the Los Angeles native manages to straddle the roles of paparazzi magnet, social-media mogul and high fashion muse simultaneously – and with apparent ease.
The daughter of former model and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster and Jordanian-American real estate developer Mohamed Hadid, Bella grew up around the same LA cliques as the Kardashians. Following the 19-year-old’s signing to IMG Model Management (the same agency that represents her sister) in August 2014, Hadid experienced a rapid rise to success, showcasing her adaptability as a model in advertising campaigns for Balmain and Topshop, walking runway shows for Moschino and Marc Jacobs, and landing multiple magazine covers – as well as featuring in The Weeknd’s BRTHR-shot video for “In the Night”.
When it comes to modelling, she possesses a versatility that has led to her being cast for jobs as varied as Chanel’s SS16 haute couture show and the cover of teen magazine Seventeen. This demonstrates Hadid’s appeal; she’s seen as aspirational by people as varied as wealthy clients of French couture houses and suburban teenagers of Middle America. Having both niche and mass appeal, editorial and commercial viability, is a rare quality but one that’s shared by her 80s and 90s modelling forebears such as Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer. As a result, Hadid is signalling a return to old kind of supermodel era, as much as she’s ushering in a new one.
Text Ted Stansfield