Friday 17 November 2017

Bella and Gigi Hadid: Who are the sisters vying to become the world's top supermodel?

Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid pose backstage prior to the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid pose backstage prior to the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
Bella Hadid walks the runway with Swarovski crystals during Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images for Swarovski)
(L-R) Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid attend the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show after party on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
Gigi Hadid walks the runway at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
US models Bella Hadid (L) and Gigi Hadid (R) kiss their mother US-Dutch model Yolanda Hadid while posing during a photocall after the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Grand Palais in Paris
Bella Hadid backstage at the Victoria's Secret fashion show held at The Grand Palais, Paris, France.
(L-R) Gigi Hadid, Anwar Hadid, Yolanda Foster and Bella Hadid attend the Global Lyme Alliance "Uniting for a Lyme-Free World" Inaugural Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on October 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Global Lyme Alliance)
Host Gigi Hadid impersonates Melania Trump at the American Music Awards in LA (AP)
Bella Hadid attends the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show after party on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
Gigi Hadid (L) and Bella Hadid attend the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Patrick Sawer

One is blonde, the other brunette.

While one excelled at volleyball, the other wanted to become a photographer.

But whatever their differences, they have at least two things in common.

They are both going head to head at the Royal Albert Hall tomorrow for the title of world’s greatest model.

(L-R) Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid attend the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show after party on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
(L-R) Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid attend the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show after party on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)

Oh, and they happen to be sisters.

Say hello to Gigi and Bella Hadid, who have both been shortlisted in the International Model category of the British Fashion Awards.

The award is for the female or male model who has “contributed most to the international fashion scene in the past year and has demonstrated influence beyond the catwalk”.

Should either 21-year-old Gigi or Bella, 20, pick up this somewhat grandiose title at the glittering gala evening, it will represent the high point in parallel careers that have seen them come to dominate the catwalks and covers of the world’s glossiest magazines.

Gigi Hadid walks the runway at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
Gigi Hadid walks the runway at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)

Naturally, the sisters are also huge on social media - Gigi has 26 million followers on Instagram alone - lending them an appearance of intimacy with their fans which earlier generations of supermodels could never hope to achieve.

Caroline Rush CBE, the chief executive of the British Fashion Council, which runs the awards, said either one would be a worthy winner.

“Bella and Gigi are two distinctive personalities who seem to have found their feet so young,” she said.

“Both are incredibly talented models but the nominations show that our voting panel also recognises the power of social media. Both young women are brilliant examples of businesswomen who have been able to harness the consumer demand to engage with the personality behind the brand.”

Gigi Hadid (L) and Bella Hadid attend the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Gigi Hadid (L) and Bella Hadid attend the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

The Hadids’ CVs might read like that of countless American models: born in LA, dreamt of becoming athletes at school, gave up their studies after being discovered, won a contract with a big name designer, appeared in the pages of Vogue.

But there is something that sets the sisters apart, and it’s not just the fact they both have blue-green eyes.

The two women are of Palestinian-Dutch extraction, making them something of a rarity on the runway.

Their father Mohammed Hadid is a wealthy property developer, said to be worth between $100 and $200 million, who is reputedly descended from the Bedouin princes of pre-war Palestine.

Bella Hadid walks the runway with Swarovski crystals during Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images for Swarovski)
Bella Hadid walks the runway with Swarovski crystals during Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images for Swarovski)

He grew up in Damascus and Beirut, where his own father - a former literature professor - worked for Voice of America radio.

Hadid made his fortune developing luxury homes in Los Angeles, along with other high-end projects, including Ritz Carlton Hotels in Washington, New York and Aspen.

Gigi and Bella’s mother Yolanda van den Herik is a former model, who is herself said to be worth $54 million and is best known as a star of the American reality-television show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

(L-R) Gigi Hadid, Anwar Hadid, Yolanda Foster and Bella Hadid attend the Global Lyme Alliance
(L-R) Gigi Hadid, Anwar Hadid, Yolanda Foster and Bella Hadid attend the Global Lyme Alliance "Uniting for a Lyme-Free World" Inaugural Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on October 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Global Lyme Alliance)

The sisters were brought up on a ranch in Santa Barbara before the family moved down the coast to Malibu.

In 2014, Bella moved to New York and began studying photography before dropping out to begin her modelling career.

She had wanted to compete in the equestrian events at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but was forced to abandon riding after contracting Lyme disease, along with her mother and brother Anwar, who is also a model.

Gigi also moved to New York after leaving high school, where, like her sister, she signed with the agency IMG Models in 2013.

Two years later, she appeared in the Pirelli calendar and was named Maybelline brand ambassador.

Meanwhile, Bella worked with the likes of Victoria’s Secret younger line PINK, Ralph Lauren and Botkier Bags.

But the meteoric rise of the Hadid girls has not been without its moments of controversy.

In July 2014, Bella, then aged 17, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol on LA’s Pacific Coast Highway.

She was sentenced to 25 hours' community service and required to attend 20 hours of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Host Gigi Hadid impersonates Melania Trump at the American Music Awards in LA (AP)
Host Gigi Hadid impersonates Melania Trump at the American Music Awards in LA (AP)

On US election night, as the results in favour of Donald Trump rolled in, Bella wrote on Twitter: “This is so f***** up” and “What the f***”.

Later, Gigi was criticised for performing an impression of future First Lady Melania Trump imitating President Obama’s wife Michelle, while she was co-hosting the American Music Awards.

The model, who is dating the Bradford-born singer Zayn Malik, apologised to Mrs Trump and said she had “only the best wishes for our country”.

Telegraph.co.uk

Promoted Links

Style Newsletter

Stay on top of the latest fashion, beauty and celeb gossip in our Style newsletter.

Promoted Links

Also in this section