BELLA OF THE BALL

Once known as “the other Ha­did sis­ter”, she’s now the hottest name in mod­el­ling — just ask Dior, Givenchy and her 4.8 mil­lion In­sta­gram fol­low­ers By CLARE MACLEAN

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Contents - Pho­tographed by GE­ORGES AN­TONI By CLARE MACLEAN

BAZAAR gets its mo­ment with fash­ion’s new dar­ling.

AFEW MONTHS AGO, Harper’s BAZAAR US ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor Laura Brown re­posted a very de­tailed (and very help­ful) di­a­gram of the Jen­ner/kar­dashian fam­ily web. It cov­ered ev­ery­thing from Blac Chyna’s en­gage­ment to Rob Kar­dashian (and her for­mer re­la­tion­ship with Kylie Jen­ner’s ex Tyga) to Kris Jen­ner’s mar­riages to both Robert Kar­dashian and Bruce (now Cait­lyn) Jen­ner. And while it’s no se­cret that mod­els Gigi Ha­did and Ken­dall Jen­ner are close friends, the di­a­gram of­fered up a more ob­scure con­nec­tion be­tween them. It turns out Ken­dall’s fa­ther, Cait­lyn, was at one time mar­ried to song­writer Linda Thomp­son, who used to be mar­ried to record pro­ducer David Fos­ter, who re­cently sep­a­rated from Gigi’s mother, Yolanda Ha­did. (Did I men­tion it was help­ful?) The di­a­gram also fea­tured Yolanda’s other chil­dren: her youngest, An­war Ha­did, and the model and for­mer Real Housewives of Bev­erly Hills (RHOBH) star’s mid­dle child, Bella Ha­did.

While the past cou­ple of years have seen Gigi’s star shine bright on the fash­ion scene, it’s Bella whose mod­el­ling ca­reer re­cently went from hot to hottest when she walked The Un­known Girl red car­pet at Cannes Film Fes­ti­val this year in a barely there red satin Alexan­dre Vau­thier dress. The “mo­ment” came af­ter a steady build-up of stand­out ap­pear­ances in­clud­ing her en­trance at the Met Gala, wear­ing Givenchy cou­ture (she was re­cently shot for the house’s A/W 2016 cam­paign) with her mu­si­cian boyfriend, Abel Tes­faye (aka The Weeknd); an ear­lier event at Cannes with Dior (yup, she’s signed a beauty con­tract with them, too); and a quick but me­morable stint on the run­way for fash­ion la­bel Misha Col­lec­tion at Mercedes-benz Fash­ion Week Aus­tralia.

It would be easy to ex­plain away Bella’s re­cent suc­cess as the re­sult of her long list of con­nec­tions — her fa­mous sis­ter, her Gram­my­win­ning boyfriend, her RHOBH mother, her 4.5 mil­lion fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram.yet when I see her do­ing her thing at our BAZAAR Aus­tralia cover shoot and man­age to sit her down for a chat be­hind the scenes at the Misha Gold show, what strikes me is her star qual­ity comes more from her con­tra­dic­tions than her con­nec­tions. She’s one of the po­litest mod­els I’ve ever met, but she also swears. She’s a nat­u­ral blonde who went brunette. She’s a for­mer Par­sons pho­tog­ra­phy stu­dent who found a ca­reer in front of the cam­era.

It also goes with­out say­ing that she is in­cred­i­bly strik­ing.“bella has a time­less beauty that is a rar­ity,” says Misha Col­lec­tion de­signer Michelle Az­na­vo­rian, who flew the model to Syd­ney to ap­pear in the show.“i wanted my col­lec­tion to have that feel­ing of re­fine­ment and so­phis­ti­ca­tion that can be ap­pre­ci­ated in years to come — and Bella em­bod­ies that ideal.” And, of course, she works damn hard. When I speak to Bella, she’s spent the past two weeks jet­ting around the globe from New York to Cannes to Syd­ney, af­ter which she is set to fly back to France for more Cannes events (cue the red satin mo­ment).“i don’t even know what time zone my body’s on right now,” Bella says. “I’ll have en­ergy for a lit­tle bit and then I’ll hit a wall and just crash.” Hor­ren­dous jet lag does have its up­sides, how­ever, like be­ing awake early enough to catch her sis­ter and best friend Gigi on the phone.“i was up at 3.30 this morn­ing and she is in Newyork, so it was just per­fect tim­ing.we Face­timed for, like, three hours. It’s nice to just kind of catch up and have our sis­ter time with­out any of the cam­eras or lights.” On luck­ier oc­ca­sions, the two will find them­selves on dif­fer­ent jobs in the same city.“a lit­tle while ago I texted her and was like,‘what are you do­ing?’ and she was like, ‘Oh, you know, I’m on the plane’ and I was like, ‘Oh, me too!’” It turned out they were both head­ing to Lon­don,“so we ended up at the same ho­tel, just hav­ing a sleep­over for three days”.

Given her me­te­oric rise, it’s easy to for­get that Bella is only 19. While cur­rently based in Newyork, she’s a Cal­i­for­nia girl through and through, born in LA and raised on a horse ranch in Santa Bar­bara (more on her love of horses later) be­fore spend­ing her teen years in Mal­ibu. She still loves go­ing “home” to see her fam­ily (her dad, real-es­tate de­vel­oper Mo­hamed Ha­did, also lives in LA), her boyfriend and her close friends.“i get to be at peace there and it’s so much calmer than Newyork and Europe, which is very fast­paced, so to be able to be by the beach and with my best friends, who I have known since I was 14, is so great be­cause they don’t care about what I’m do­ing — we can just chill and talk about life.”

Be­fore she pur­sued her cur­rent ca­reer, Bella’s pas­sion was horse rid­ing, and she had am­bi­tions to go to the Rio Olympics, but she says she had to pull out due to resid­ual symp­toms from Lyme dis­ease.“yeah, that’s a sen­si­tive sub­ject. I don’t ride any­more, which re­ally sucks be­cause I rode ev­ery sin­gle day since I was three and all through high school — I was re­ally com­pet­i­tive. Any­way, now I’m so busy it’s hard to keep rid­ing.” Still, the dis­ci­pline she main­tained dur­ing those years of com­pe­ti­tions has come in handy for her new gig.“since I was 13 I would be away at horse shows by my­self and I would have to make sure I was up at 5.30am to go ride my horse be­fore the show started, and I think that def­i­nitely crosses over with what I’m do­ing now, be­cause when I’m pas­sion­ate about some­thing, I want to do my best.”

In­deed, our shoot with Bella is one of the eas­i­est in mem­ory (she cer­tainly knows her an­gles). Later, I ask whether she ever hits up her mother, a sea­soned pro, for ad­vice. “She def­i­nitely gives me tips on how to por­tray my­self while I am shoot­ing, both on set and off. She’s taught me a lot, ac­tu­ally.” In an un­canny co­in­ci­dence, Bella’s just found out from model Cheyenne Tozzi that her mum has an Aus­tralian mod­el­ling story of her own, hav­ing worked here with Tozzi’s mother in the ’80s. “like, lit­er­ally an hour ago I saw all th­ese pic­tures of them to­gether and they are old school — they’re so cool.”

While Yolanda’s shoots for var­i­ous Aus­tralian pub­li­ca­tions were more of the blonde, bronzed beach-babe va­ri­ety (the woman could rock a high-cut swim­suit), Bella’s look has fallen slightly fur­ther from the tree. It says a lot that her favourite red-car­pet mo­ment to date is her black Givenchy cou­ture for the Met Gala. “I love Ric­cardo [Tisci] and when he showed me the dress I was im­me­di­ately ob­sessed with it,” she says.“red car­pets can be hard be­cause some­times you don’t want to be in what you are wear­ing. But he knows me and what I want to wear, and it was one of those times I felt to­tally com­fort­able in my­self.” It’s also re­veal­ing that she loves Misha Col­lec­tion, es­pe­cially its re­sort 2017 col­lec­tion, which Az­na­vo­rian de­scribes as “sleek, flat­ter­ing wardrobe sta­ples in a pri­mar­ily black colour pal­ette ... both strong and bold but still soft and sexy.” Bella says, “They sent me the lookbook a while ago — and I get sent a lot of look­books — but when I saw it I was like ,‘i love ev­ery­thing.’ So it was cool to be part of a cam­paign where I ac­tu­ally just want to wear all of it out.”

Then, of course, there is her dyed brunette hair, which she read­ily ad­mits she likes be­cause it sets her apart from Gigi, but we agree it re­ally suits her. Still, that’s not to say she wouldn’t go back to blonde tem­po­rar­ily. “maybe I’ll do a red car­pet with a wig soon,” she says mis­chie­vously.and why not? She’s clearly on a roll.

“WHEN I’M PAS­SION­ATE ABOUT SOME­THING, I WANT TO DO MY BEST.”

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