Gigi Hadid is undoubtedly one of fashion’s hottest “It-Girls.” While the 20-year-old has appeared in campaigns for Guess and Maybelline and walked numerous Fashion Week runways, the young model says that wasn’t always the case.
Appearing on the cover of W magazine for the very first time, Hadid says in her accompanying cover story that famous labels started to take notice only after she appeared nude in Tom Ford‘s Velvet Orchid fragrance campaign.
“Yes, I was nude, but nude works with fragrance!” she explains. “I’ve never been scared of being naked in pictures, but I wouldn’t do naked for naked’s sake. With Tom, it was an easy decision: When you think of scent, you don’t think of clothes.”
She continues, “In the beginning, I thought Tom would not want to know my name. But he made a space for me in the high-fashion world. When Tom liked me, other jobs followed.”
According to Hadid, taking on provocative shoots is a conscious decision as it helps her gain a wider following. Currently, Hadid has 5 million followers on Instagram.
“My Pirelli calendar is hanging on the wall of my friend’s frat house, and he doesn’t know anything about fashion,” she explains, referencing her spread with Steven Meisel in which she’s seen clad in latex. “That balance is what leads to big campaigns outside of fashion. But I never want to choose one or the other. Both commercial and high fashion are what make my job so interesting.”
Though Hadid, who is he daughter of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster, has always lived the glamourous life, she admits she’s more laid back than most people and doesn’t let her ego get to her.
“Other models get overwhelmed by the parties and nightlife,” she says. “With me, it will be baking. And that’s okay. It keeps things from going to your head.”