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28 May 2024

Gigi Hadid: I was told I didn't have a runway body

By Bang

Gigi Hadid was told she "didn't have a runway body" when she first started modelling.

The 24-year-old supermodel had her catwalk debut in 2015 after Jean Paul Gaultier chose her despite other brands claiming her body was too muscular for catwalk shows.

Speaking to i-D magazine, Gigi explained: "He was the first designer that let me walk on a runway in Paris, it was in his last ready-to-wear show. At the time I was still starting out in my career, I was coming out of high school, I still had my volleyball body.

"It was a body that I loved. I knew how hard I worked to have those muscles, to be curved in those places - I kind of miss it now. At the time, people were hard on me and tried to say that I didn't have a runway body."

Many other designers chose to cover up the aspiring model's figure, but Jean Paul was the first to make her feel "wanted" by styling her in outfits that celebrated her figure.

Gigi continued: "So for Jean Paul to have me at his last ready-to-wear show in 2015 - not only to have me, but also to put me in an outfit that didn't cover a lot ... like, there were still stylists or designers at that time who were putting me in their shows, but putting me something that really covered my body.

"And so for him to make me feel like he wanted me to shine in that way, it really meant a lot to me as a young model. And I know that he has done that for a lot of people."

Gigi - whose sister Bella Hadid is also a model - now has plenty of mentors and people who helped her become one of the most in-demand names in the fashion industry, including her mother, former model and 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star Yolanda Hadid.

She shared: "Obviously, the first person was my mom. And that wasn't just in the industry - she always allowed me to be creative growing up, she had such a positive impact and always encouraged me to express myself in any way, whether that was cooking, drawing, trying to learn how to sew or letting me use and break her cameras.

"But I think as I've got older in my career, I'd say Carine Roitfeld and Stephen Gan. I call them my fashion fairy godparents. Then there's my manager Luiz (Mattos). Tommy Hilfiger giving me four seasons of a collection was insane. To put that kind of trust in someone - it gave me so much confidence in myself and that meant so much to me."