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´´