Gigi Hadid is one of the top models in the world, having been featured in countless runway shows and garnering some of the top distinctions and awards in the fashion industry, including being named the International Model of the Year by the British Fashion Council in 2016.
Despite her success in the fashion industry and on the runway, though, many people didn’t think that Hadid had the right body type to be successful when she first tried her luck with modeling. Hadid recently sat down for an interview with i-D to reveal what it was like breaking into modeling and the fashion industry, as a whole.
The 24-year-old shared that when she first got out of high school, her body was viciously criticized and she couldn’t seem to catch a break in the modeling industry, that is, of course, until designer, Jean Paul Gaultier, hired her to walk the runway at a show in Paris.
“He was the first designer that let me walk on a runway in Paris, it was in his last ready-to-wear show,” Hadid revealed. “At the time I was still starting out in my career, I was coming out of high school, I still had my volleyball body,” she explains. “It was a body that I loved. I knew how hard I worked to have those muscles, to be curved in those places — I kind of miss it now.”
With people telling her that the ‘volleyball body’ she had wasn’t a good fit for the runway, Hadid is eternally grateful to Gaultier for believing in her and giving her a chance to show what she had.
“At the time, people were hard on me and tried to say that I didn’t have a runway body,” the model continued in the interview. “So for Jean Paul to have me at his last ready-to-wear show in 2015 — not only to have me, but also to put me in an outfit that didn’t cover a lot… [and] make me feel like he wanted me to shine in that way, it really meant a lot to me as a young model.”
Hadid might have never even pursued a career in modeling and fashion if it wasn’t for her mother, Yolanda, though. Gigi credits her mother with encouraging her to pursue her dreams, no matter what people told her. The rest is history, as they say, as Hadid took off in the modeling industry, single-handedly setting the world on fire.
“She always allowed me to be creative growing up, she had such a positive impact and always encouraged me to express myself in any way, whether that was cooking, drawing, trying to learn how to sew or letting me use and break her cameras,” Hadid emotionally shared.
And while Hadid has certainly made it in the industry, the model still feels the need to take time away from all the cameras and spotlight to enjoy being with friends and family. In Pennsylvania, her family owns a farm that acts as a refuge for her to unwind when she’s not walking the runway or participating in photo shoots.
“I think that the weird and wonderfulness of it comes from also being in isolation. A lot of the time, I’ll have friends and family at the farm, but there are a lot of days where I’m there just by myself, and I sit in my little cottage in silence and just doing these little things for myself,” Hadid said about her family farm in Pennsylvania. “I think that also gives me the energy and the love for what I do. It recharges my batteries.”