Photographed in a number of locations around New York City’s Plaza Hotel, 20-year-old Gigi Hadid is making the most of her Vanity Fair spread.
She appears with a strategically placed pillow in several photos, while in others she wears a floor-length Donna Karan gown, and in another a bejeweled mini-dress with hashtag and @ symbols -- fitting for a modeling sensation who owes some of her success in part to a 5.2 million-strong Instagram following.
The shoot accompanies a profile written by fashion-industry insider Derek Blasburg, who gets the 20-year-old rising star to talk about the early years of her career (with campaigns for Guess Kids) and her family connection to bestie Kendall Jenner.
See if you can follow along: Gigi’s mother and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Yolanda Foster is married to David Foster, who’s ex-wife Linda preceded Kris Jenner as wife to Caitlyn (then Bruce) Jenner. Does that make Kendall and Gigi “ex-step-siblings-in-law”, Blasburg asks? “Yes. Wait. I don’t know,” says Gigi. “We’re just best friends.”
It hasn’t been completely plain sailing into modeling for the ex-volleyball player. The athletic physique that goes along with competitive volleyball -- Gigi qualified to represent America at the Junior Olympics -- meant agencies didn’t immediately see her potential.
“My thighs were huge, they were like rock!” she told Daily Mail Australia. “I had like crazy muscles and I [ate] like a man… and it was crazy but at the time I didn’t care what my body looked like, I just wanted to be the best volleyball player I could be so it didn’t really matter to me.”
But Gigi and her mother pressed on and eventually the beauty found representation with IMG models, where she’s gone on to represent a welcome and healthy alternative to waif-like thinness in high fashion campaigns for Tom Ford, Moschino and others.
She hasn’t let fame and high fashion change her too much. In an interview with Australian radio station Nova969, Gigiadmits to loving cheeseburgers -- a couple times a week if she can.
“I mean, obviously, there are jobs I have to plan for that sometimes I'll have to take a month in advance to just kind of focus on eating healthy and working out more, but regularly -- as long as I'm working out -- I love a couple cheeseburgers a week,” she says. Her current favorite is from New York's J.G. Melon restaurant.
Between the cheeseburgers and her boxing workouts, whatever she’s doing is clearly working for her.
Check out Gigi’s unretouched photos from an Australian swimsuit shoot in the video below: