Gigi Hadid seems to have it all: more magazine covers than any other model this year, every major catwalk under her belt, a standing invitation to walk the Victoria’s Secret runway and pose for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, a killer squad of fellow models, a cute boyfriend who lets her wear his shoes … we could go on. She’s even moved into the role of muse for Tommy Hilfilger, collaborating with him on a clothing line and serving as the face of his fragrance. But things weren’t always so golden for the model and the designer.
For Hadid’s first turn down the runway for Hilfiger in February 2015, Hilfiger recalls a casting dilemma. “Our casting director said, ‘She doesn’t really fit because you know she’s not quite as tall as the other girls, she’s not quite as thin. So they put a red, white and blue poncho on her. It covered a lot of her body, unfortunately, but it received millions of hits,” he told Yahoo Style’s Joe Zee. “So I said, you know, why don’t we ask her to design a line with us — Gigi, come design this with me, we’ll do a Gigi x Tommy couture line.” (The poncho in question is below.)
It’s worth noting that, though Hadid was deemed “not quite thin” enough for any non-poncho apparel in February, by September, Hilfiger had her in a crochet bikini leading a cabal of models down a beach-inspired runway. And a few months after that, their clothing collaboration was announced. And though it may serve as small comfort for being publicly poncho-shamed by your design partner, Hilfiger did deliver her a compliment, saying she’s an “All-American girl next door with an exotic twist to her look.”
He also released a statement after his quote caught fire, saying: “Gigi is truly the definition of a ‘Tommy Girl’ – her magnetic personality is bright, confident and always optimistic. I’ve known her for many years, and am extremely proud to have her as the ambassador of my brand and as a collaborator of our collections. Any statement to the contrary is completely false. The headline from the interview with Yahoo was misleading and has since been corrected.”
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