Q&A

model

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Stellar Contents - In­ter­view by JES­SICA PRINCE-MON­TAGUE

Gigi Ha­did: hon­orary Aussie.

You’re renowned for be­ing Amer­ica’s sweet­heart among the cut­throat fash­ion crowd. Surely you didn’t get there by play­ing nice?

It’s funny, be­cause when I first moved to New York three years ago, all I wanted to do was be some­one peo­ple liked work­ing with. My mum al­ways told me you can be pretty, but if you’re not the nicest and most hard­work­ing per­son in the room, there’s al­ways go­ing to be some­one pret­tier, nicer and more hard­work­ing. That was in­grained in me from the

be­gin­ning, so I knew the im­por­tance of be­ing nice to every­one – re­gard­less if they’re the caterer or an ed­i­tor-in-chief. Flip­ping that in peo­ple’s minds is what makes them re­mem­ber you. If there’s an op­por­tu­nity the next day, they’re go­ing to push for you.

You and your best friend, Ken­dall Jen­ner, have been dissed by mod­els of the ’90s as be­ing suc­cess­ful only be­cause of In­sta­gram. Thoughts?

Ob­vi­ous­lyI would be there’s with­out a so­cial­big de­bate me­dia,of what­but it’s a con­ver­sa­tion that doesn’t bother me any­more. If you live your life [ac­cord­ing] to the “what ifs”, then what’s even the point? If I’ve been given the tool of so­cial me­dia as a model in my gen­er­a­tion, it would be dumb not to use it. But how truly au­then­tic are you on so­cial me­dia to your 22 mil­lion fol­low­ers? It’s al­ways come so nat­u­rally to me and I’ve never tried to be any­one else. I started my In­sta­gram when I was a ju­nior in high school and just a vol­ley­ball player. I didn’t start us­ing it in high school, then be­come a fa­mous model and change my per­son­al­ity. If you scroll back through the years, it’s all me.

As a child, were you a mini fash­ion­ista?

My ear­li­est fash­ion mem­ory is dress­ing my­self when I was lit­tle. My mum would let me wear what­ever and be cre­ative. I’d go down to feed our horses wear­ing rain­bow leg­gings and rain­boots on the wrong feet.

Your face is prac­ti­cally on every bill­board and fash­ion ad. Can you com­pre­hend how giga-fa­mous you are?

In my mind I never let my­self un­der­stand the level of fame [I’m at] – that’s how you keep your­self re­moved. You know what’s funny? My se­cu­rity guy will get mad at me be­cause I try to go some­where and not tell him. But some­times that gets me into trou­ble be­cause I put my­self in sit­u­a­tions that I think I can han­dle, but I can’t.

So how do you keep a big head at bay?

go­ing on Be­fore out­side I my think apart­ment,about what’sI try to wake up and ground my­self the same way I would wake up for high school when I was 16. Be like, “This is you, these are the things you love, these are your morals.” I want to stay the same per­son in­stead of think­ing, “I’m this fa­mous.” As long as you re­mem­ber you’re go­ing to work to do a job, you can’t re­ally get big-headed about it.

“There’s al­ways go­ing to be some­one pret­tier, nicer and more hard­work­ing”

When you dated Aussie Cody Simp­son, you spent some time on the Gold Coast. Did us Aussies scare you away?

No, I love Aus­tralia! I’m re­ally drawn to the peo­ple and a lot of Aus­tralians say I could be an Aussie. There’s a cer­tain warmth I feel around them; I love the food, too.

Youin the are world,the most have pop­u­lara rock-star model boyfriend in Zayn Ma­lik and you’re still only 21. Tell us some­thing you’re ter­ri­ble at so that we don’t hate you.

Re­mem­ber­ing peo­ple’s names. I al­ways re­mem­ber faces, I’m re­ally good at that, but I just wish I was bet­ter with names. But even if you don’t re­mem­ber some­one’s name, I think it’s im­por­tant to let them know you gen­uinely re­mem­ber them, so I try to pay at­ten­tion when I’m meet­ing peo­ple.

Many mod­els try their hand at de­sign and fail mis­er­ably. You’ve done a col­lec­tion with Tommy Hil­figer – how in­volved were you?

I knew that if I didn’t spend hours every day in the stu­dio or if I didn’t pay at­ten­tion to every de­tail, then peo­ple were go­ing to know it wasn’t gen­uine. I went through the Tommy ar­chives and used the his­tory of the brand as my in­spi­ra­tion. I wanted to feel like there was one piece for every oc­ca­sion. I was even the fit model be­cause I wanted to know what pieces felt like on. Every but­ton and patch were put on by hand [at pro­duc­tion stage] to make sure it was ex­actly how I wanted it.

Many brands would kill to col­lab­o­rate with you. Why this one?

Tommy cam­paigns were some of my favourite grow­ing up, and I was drawn to tak­ing it back to old Amer­i­can her­itage pieces. When you meet Tommy you can also tell he’s so warm, and it trick­les down through his com­pany when you have some­one that kind­hearted on top. Mak­ing this col­lec­tion, we just had so much fun. I might have been con­tracted to an hour for a de­sign meet­ing, but I would end up stay­ing six, seven, eight or nine hours for each one be­cause we all cared so much.

What does per­fect hap­pi­ness look like to you?

Bal­ance. I try, but I don’t have it yet. For me it’s learn­ing how to be happy on your own, while also mak­ing all the other peo­ple in your life happy, too. You don’t want to lose your­self in ei­ther one – it’s all about a bal­ance of those two things.

The Tommy x Gigi cap­sule col­lec­tion is avail­able in se­lected David Jones stores and Tommy Hil­figer bou­tiques from to­mor­row.

´´a lot of aus­tralians say i could be an aussie´´

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