by Nathan Bell, photography by Michael Stonis
Casually sipping her iced coffee on the patio of a coastal cafe, model, Gigi Hadid is as cool as the Malibu breeze and poised for success. With a lifetime of work already under her belt and her first Guess campaign premiering this fall, this talented teen is about to leave orbit. Just as long as it’s her idea.
This reasonable rebel has a cause and is headstrong enough to follow through. “It has to be my idea or you have to make me think it was,” she says with a grin. She means it too. After all, how many highschool girls would turn down the alluring opportunity of modeling in New York City to stay home for the summer? It was her idea to spend her time with friends and family while getting ready for her last year of high school. “I wanted to be 100 percent ready for New York and just felt this summer was my last one to enjoy my childhood and my family before starting to work full time in the industry,” she says.
Gigi is beaming about her senior year and why shouldn’t she be? A member of the varsity volleyball team and keeping a 3.8 grade point average in AP classes is pretty impressive. She’s not sure about where she’ll attend college yet, but she knows she wants to study forensic science and stay close to home. “I want to go away, but not too far from family.”
Not stopping there, she’s also an accomplished equestrian. “Growing up on ranches in Colorado and Santa Barbara, I’ve been riding horses for as long as I can remember,” Gigi says. She and her horse, “Trendy,” compete all over California and Gigi has been awarded top rider in the meter-twenty-jumpers events.
With so many leaps in and out of the professional world, Gigi seamlessly takes all of it in stride while having a true sense of gratitude. “I owe so much to my supportive family and also to Paul Marciano and Guess, where I started my modeling career.” Modeling for Baby Guess, Guess Kids and now her first campaign for the company, Gigi is still overwhelmed by all of her success. “People text or tweet that they saw a billboard or magazine ad and it still doesn’t get old,” she notes with a blush.
Signing with IMG New York this past April will no doubt open even more doors for this half Dutch and half Palestinian beauty. With plenty of work on the horizon, she has no intention of doing anything else quite yet. “I’ll keep working hard until all my goals are met if the industry keeps me that long,” she jokes. When asked about where she sees herself in 10 years, her response is “happy with a sense of accomplishment.”
Behind those blue/green eyes is ambition, filled to the brim with wonder and endless possibilities. There’s no doubt that success and many achievements are in the cards for Gigi and at just 17 she is far beyond her competition. “I’m a hard worker and I know what I want – my goal, among others, is to be a Victoria Secret Angel.” No doubt they’d be lucky to have her.
Dress by Ines Di Santo, $6,200
Dress by Ines Di Santo, $12,900