The Gigi Hadid You Don’t Know

What if there was a different Gigi Hadid, an alternate one? Where this one veered right—signing to IMG while still at Malibu High, then closing fashion shows and fronting ad campaigns—the other might have turned to the left. “I could have played volleyball in college and been a coach,” she says. Or a lifetime love of art could have turned into a theme park career: “I have this fantasy of working for Disney Imagineering.” What would have remained the same? She’d still obsess over documentaries. She’d have the same intense work ethic, quiet goofy side, deep love of family, and desire to learn. The qualities that are evident in our intimate conversation, the ones that those who know her love most. Really, isn’t that where the true Gigi lies?

This year has given Hadid the chance to find ways of working that help her feel whole—and the ability to show the world elements of herself that haven’t made it into the photos. Last fall, Hadid, 27, launched Guest In Residence, a line of cashmere classics with a spin, built around the idea that key staples meant to be kept and worn for years are inherently sustainable. The business allows her to build on what she’s learned collaborating with design legends and mentors like Tommy Hilfiger and Donatella Versace (a fellow Taurus, she notes). It also offers her a routine and consistency, something she didn’t have before but realized she needed. The lockdown and the birth of her daughter Khai, now two, gave her time to seriously consider how a career reset could improve her life. “I got pregnant and I really started to think about what I wanted after, when the world opened back up. It kept coming back to just a more stabilized schedule where I’m not in a different country every week. This is very stabilizing. I have an office that I come to. I know everyone here. I don’t have to look a certain way to show up. It’s a different experience for me, and it was the right time because I was ready for that,” she says, seated in her downtown Manhattan office, wearing a loose Guest In Residence top with jeans and Ugg boots. (One day earlier, she was dressed in a sequined top, poised on a construction beam high over Manhattan in a photo shoot for Maybelline New York.)

“I always loved being in creative group environments,” she says. She points to a long, tall table and explains that she specifically asked for that style in her office, “because I wanted that to feel like my high school art class tables.” She lives nearby and stops in even without meetings on the slate. The rest of her team will tell her to scram, she jokes.

Guest In Residence consists of a set of core pieces that sit alongside seasonal capsules. The line includes pants and underpinnings, along with cardigans and pullovers, and echoes Hadid’s own laid-back style. “They all have a sense of simplicity to them that I want always to be able to mix with the lifestyles and styles and personalities of different people of different ages. I think that what all of those people would have in common is a desire to express themselves. I think and hope that different people can find themselves in different pieces,” she saAs a founder and creative director, Hadid considers Versace a role model for her ability to be “boss without being rude, ever.” In turn, Versace calls her family. “She has incredible presence as a woman, an inner strength that shines within her,” she says. “She is also one of the kindest women I know, and family is so important to her—like it is to me.” Hilfiger, who worked with Hadid on a series of Tommy x Gigi capsule collections, has similar praise: “Throughout her career, she’s had so many fantastic achievements, but it’s her kind personality and down-to-earth energy that have made her stand out from the rest.” He adds that he’s not surprised to see he leading her own brand.

gigi hadid
Jumpsuit, Fendi, $3,750. Necklace, Hermès. Ring, Hotlips by Solange, $290.

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