Gigi Hadid is an American fashion model and television personality who in an interview with Daily Front Row in 2014 said “I’m not interested in reality TV. I want to focus on modeling…. I want to be known as a model, not a reality star.” Well Gigi has come a long way since then, besides gracing several covers, she also recently walked in New York, Milan, and Paris fashion week and made several appearances alongside some of our favorite stars and supermodels. Read more below.
The 20-year-old model recently posted a lengthy message on her Instagram in response to her body-shaming critics- “No, I don’t have the same body type as the other models in the shows,” she wrote. “If I didn’t have the body I do, I wouldn’t have the career I do. I love that I can be sexy. I’m proud of it.” The post raked up more than 300,000 likes on Instagram, and was swiftly celebrated by many in the modeling community. “I honestly broke down, I started crying at the multiple text messages I got today from everyone, from Victoria’s Secret models to plus-size models to people like Tyra Banks, who posted the Instagram letter and who is someone I’ve looked up to for my entire life,” Hadid told Vogue.com.“Those are the people who really touched me because I know those are the people who are the most emotionally affected within the fashion industry by this type of criticism.” Well on that note, here are five things you did not know about our supermodel of the week.
1. Gigi’s real name is Jelena Noura Hadid. Gigi’s mum Yolanda Foster, (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and former Ford model), came up with the nickname when Gigi was younger. “My mom was called that as a kid by her mother when she was younger, but only around the house.” she told Vogue earlier this year. “In first or second grade, there was a girl named Helena and it got confusing with the teacher who had to call out our names, and so the teacher asked my mom, ‘If I needed to call Jelena a nickname, what would it be?’ And my mom was like, ‘I call her Gigi sometimes,’ and the name stuck.”
2. Gigi’s modeling career began really early. “I was discovered by Paul Marciano, of Guess, when I was actually, like, 2 years old,” she told Vanity Fair in 2014. “And so I started with Baby Guess; I did Guess Kids. . . . Since I started with IMG at 17, I’ve done three Guess campaigns.”
3. Late 2013, Gigi started studying criminal psychology at the New York City’s New School. She said that she hoped to graduate college by the time she’s 23 years old, “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.”
4. Hadid put modeling aside and focused on her athletic ambitions in her teen years, “I stopped because I was a really competitive horseback rider and a club volleyball player,” she said. “I went to Junior Olympic qualifiers for volleyball. So, I kind of stopped modeling. I just wanted to have a normal childhood and go to high school.”
5. Gigi’s younger sister, Bella, is also an accomplished supermodel who is currently dating singer The Weeknd.
6. So apparently, Gigi and Kendall Jenner are more than just model best friends —there’s a little bit of family history between these two supermodels. “Hadid’s mother is currently married to the music producer David Foster. Foster was previously married to former beauty queen and songwriter Linda Thompson. Thompson’s first marriage was to Bruce Jenner, and together, they had two children, Brandon Jenner and Brody Jenner. So, basically, Gigi’s stepfather was also the stepfather of Kendall’s half-brothers. Complicated much?