BELLA HADID IS ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS SUPERMODELS IN THE WORLD. WHETHER IT’S STRUTTING DOWN THE RUNWAY DURING NEW YORK FASHION WEEK OR POSING FOR THE COVER OF VOGUE, BELLA SURE KNOWS HOW TO DELIVER THE FIERCE, STRIKING LOOKS THAT SHE’S KNOWN FOR. WITH 29.1 MILLION INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS, IT’S CLEAR THAT HER INFLUENCE ON THE FASHION WORLD WILL BE EVERLASTING.
Bella Hadid was destined for greatness. She was born in Washington, D.C. to Dutch model, Yolanda Hadid, and Palestinian real estate mogul, Mohamed Hadid, on October 9, 1996. She is the middle child in the family, which is complete with her older sister, Gigi Hadid, and younger brother, Anwar Hadid. The Hadid parents settled in Santa Barbara, California where they raised their kids on a ranch. Although Bella was born into riches, she originally didn’t want to pursue a life in the spotlight. Her biggest dream growing up was actually to become a professional equestrian and someday compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics. All throughout her childhood, Bella embraced being an equestrian as she participated in competitions and made sure to spend quality time with her horses after school.
“Growing up on a ranch in Santa Barbara, I would go to school during the day, then go straight to the barn and ride my horses, have dinner with my family every night at 6 p.m., do my homework, and go to sleep,” Hadid shared about her childhood.
Meanwhile, Bella’s older sister Gigi Hadid was following in her mother’s footsteps by pursuing a career in modeling. Gigi had been modeling since she was two years old, starring in campaigns for Baby Guess, Guess Kids, and eventually working her way up to Guess. However, both sisters maintained a fairly “normal childhood” by attending regular school and partaking in activities like volleyball, for Gigi, and horseback riding and photography, for Bella. However, the normal life wouldn’t last for long.
In 2012, both Bella and her sister starred in season 3 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills due to their mother’s involvement in the show. Bella was 17 at the time and was a nationally-ranked equestrian. That same year, the Hadid family received some bad news. Bella, her brother Anwar, and her mother were all diagnosed with the chronic Lyme disease. Although Hadid attempted to continue her equestrian career, she eventually had to give it up as her condition was permitting her from engaging in the intense physical activity. In 2014, after two more seasons on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Bella decided that she needed to switch gears. She packed her bags and flew across the country to study photography at Parsons School of Design in New York City. She spent a semester there, learning the inner-workings of the camera and how to take great shots, but she also had set up a back-up plan of sorts—one that involved being in front of the camera.
Bella had signed with IMG Models earlier that year, the same modeling agency that Gigi and her brother Anwar are also signed to. After dropping out of Parsons, she began to take modeling seriously; finally giving in to her true calling. She walked her very first runway in September 2014 for Spanish brand Desigual’s Spring ’15 show. It’s significant to note that world-famous supermodel Adriana Lima also walked in the show.
After that first runway, plenty of other opportunities soon followed. Hadid went on to land her first magazine cover that December with French magazine Jalouse. On the cover, the headline read, “Bella Hadid: Barbie Star,” comparing her looks to the near-perfect Barbie doll. In 2015, she walked in Tom Ford’s Fall/Winter ’15 show and the amfAR 22nd Cinema Against AIDs Gala fashion show. Hadid was just getting her feet wet in the world of runways and catwalks, but by fall, she was already racking up casts in some of the season’s biggest shows. For New York Fashion Week, she walked in the Diane von Fürstenberg , Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, and Yeezy Season 2 shows. She also had the honor of closing out Jeremy Scott’s show.
As for magazine covers, Hadid was heating up in that realm as well. She landed Seventeen’s November 2015 cover, as well as Wonderland’s 10th birthday issue, Teen Vogue, Editorialist, Unconditional Magazine, Grey Magazine, and even a V Magazine cover with her sister Gigi. It was clear that Bella’s star was rising faster than she expected, and runways and magazines were calling out her name.
More big life changes arrived in 2015 when Canadian R&B artist, The Weeknd, reached out to Bella to appear on the cover of his album, Beauty Behind the Madness. Although she declined, the two remained in contact, hitting it off and forming a close friendship. They were spotted hanging out at Coachella Music Festival in April 2015, and by September, they were photographed hand-in-hand leaving the Alexander Wang fashion show during New York Fashion Week. Their whirlwind romance had begun to bud fast, and the two were already official by October, when The Weeknd was spotted around New York with Bella, her mother, and her sister. That December, he asked Bella again to participate in one of his projects, but this time, he wanted her to star in his music video for one of his songs, “In The Night.” She obliged, playing the part of a femme fatale in the seductive video.
The two would go on to endure an on/off relationship throughout the years, breaking up and getting back together several times over. In one viral Internet moment, Bella Hadid strutted past her newly-ex boyfriend while walking in the December 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. They had just broken up in November and he was performing at the same show that she was walking in—all eyes were on her as she sashayed past her ex in lacy lingerie. Before the show, Bella only had great things to say about her ex: “This is his second year performing , and I think he’s going to kill it. There is no awkwardness. He is my best friend, and I am excited because I am walking during his performance.”
Despite the heartwarming comments, a reconciliation between the two didn’t happen right away. In an unexpected move, The Weeknd began dating singer and actress Selena Gomez just a month later in January, and their relationship lasted until October of 2017. By April of 2018, Hadid and The Weeknd were back together, attending birthday parties, Halloween parties, and award shows side-by-side. Unfortunately, the two split again in the summer of 2019, but rumors are already beginning to swirl about a possible reunion now that The Weeknd’s album, After Hours, is out. The album, which arrived on March 20, featured many tracks about Bella Hadid.
From 2015 until now, Bella Hadid has tirelessly worked her way to the top of the fashion industry. She’s now the “go-to” model for premiere fashion brands Chanel, Miu Miu, Givenchy, Versace, Dior, and plenty others, not only featuring in their campaigns, but also in their fashion shows, and working out brand endorsements as well. She was a Victoria’s Secret model from 2016 to 2018, and expressed gratitude when she first received the honor of walking the show.
“I was really surprised, but definitely excited…I tried last year [to be cast in] the show [but] I think everything happens for a reason,” Hadid said.
The 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show ended up being the biggest show yet, and also featured her sister Gigi, making them the first pair of sisters to walk in the show together.
Hadid also walked for another famous lingerie line, Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty, in 2018 and 2019. Rihanna sure knows how to organize a fashion show—her 2019 one included performances by Halsey, Migos, Big Sean, DJ Khaled, Fabolous, and more; dancers, visuals, and models from all types of ethnicities, body types, and backgrounds. While Rihanna and Savage X Fenty were experiencing success last year, Victoria’s Secret was not. Former executive Ed Razek came under fire right in the midst of the #MeToo movement, as sexual harassment allegations continuously sprung up. He resigned last year. Due to the VS controversy and the atmosphere of inclusivity at Fenty, Bella Hadid seemed to express that she preferred Fenty over VS: “For me, that was the first time on a runway that I felt really sexy…When I first did Fenty, I was doing other lingerie shows and I never felt powerful on a runway in my underwear.”
Besides these accolades, the Palestinian-Dutch model has an abundance of others. In 2016, she nabbed three “Model of the Year” awards at the Second Annual Fashion Los Angeles Awards, GQ Men of the Year Awards, and Models.com Industry Awards. She also became the new face of Dior Makeup in 2017, as well as representing Nike, Burberry, Calvin Klein, and many many more.
This year she dominated New York Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, and Paris Fashion Week, walking runways for Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Khaite, Tom Ford, Brandon Maxwell, Moschino, and others. In addition to those achievements, she also landed magazine covers with Vogue Korea, Elle France, LOVE Magazine, and was even featured in V Magazine’s 2020 calendar. As the year moves forward, Bella Hadid will continue to wow fashion industry critics and fans with her arresting , sharp features; her sassy walk, and her signature “looks-can-kill” poses.
By Selene Rivera