It’s early Monday afternoon at the Tommy Hilfiger showroom in Knightsbridge, West London — a four-story monument to preppy American style in bright primary colours — and Gigi Hadid, the 22-year-old half-Dutch half-Palestinian model is showing me the collection she co-designed with Hilfiger, titled Tommy X Gigi, that will be shown at the historic music venue The Roundhouse the following night. “This is my favourite piece,” she coos, picking out a vintage-looking oversize leather jacket with her name emblazoned in red lettering on the back. “I get very excited when things turn out the way you envision it.”
She may have just come straight off the red eye from New York — where she modelled in shows including Tom Ford, Prabal Gurung and Marc Jacobs — but she’s cleareyed, focused and attentive. It is this prodigious work ethic, not to mention 35 million and counting followers on Instagram, that has catapulted Hadid to the supermodel big leagues. Last year she was named International Model of the Year by the British Fashion Council; garnered covers for multiple editions of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and CR Fashion Book; and earned $9 million, according to Forbes. In keeping with the multi-hyphenate status of her generation, she has also designed eyewear for Vogue, shoes for Stuart Weitzman and turned the lens on her boyfriend, the pop star Zayn Malik, for a Versus campaign. “I’m always interested in lots of different things and I’ve been lucky in the opportunities that have come to me when I’m feeling creative,” she says. “I do things that come naturally to me and try to build on it.”
Hadid also designs the Tommy x Gigi line, now in its third season, which has succeeded in the see-now-buy-now model, where other brands have failed. “It makes more sense to this demographic,” she says referring to her fellow millennials. “This way is more inclusive. People don’t want to see all the celebrities wear it and have to wait and by the time they put it on, it’s old.” Having shown the Tommy x Gigi line at Manhattan’s South Street Seaport and Venice Beach in previous seasons, for the new collection, Hilfiger planned a “fashion rock circus,” complete with dazzling acrobatics and a performance by the duo The Chainsmokers.
Spending time with Hadid over the next two days is to get a glimpse into the multiple roles she currently juggles. She goes from doing interviews to fittings with the show stylist, Karl Templer, and straight into meetings about next season’s campaign. The rest of her fashion month schedule will be jam-packed with appearances on both Milan and Paris runways and many more shoots, but for the moment, she’s enjoying the experience of playing designer. “I’m so proud of the collection,” she says. “I hope I get better and keep learning.”
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