Gigi Hadid has landed major spreads in Vogue throughout her sky-rocketing career, mostly with her bestie Kendall Jenner (we’ve rounded up every time, if you’d like to see), and most recently with her boyfriend Zayn Malik. But August finally marks her first American Vogue cover. She fronts the Olympic-themed issue with gold medal decathlete Ashton Eaton in an action-packed editorial.
She dons sporty high fashion clothing throughout (including a stretchy Versace dress and Jennifer Fisher earring on the cover) while mimicking Eaton’s form in the different events he competes in during the decathlon. When Eaton saw her grab the javelin, he approved: “She has a natural ability.”
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While Eaton gave her a few pointers for their dynamic shoot, she grilled him on his diet and they bonded over their mutual love for the healthy meals at Santa Barbara-based restaurant Blenders. And it’s not just food cravings they have in common; Hadid says she feels very comfortable around sports stars after playing competitive volleyball in high school. “I mean, I trained like a professional athlete,” she tells the magazine. “…and that’s why I think I get along so well with athletes, although people cannot imagine me as a volleyball player. I’m just a lot more intense than you assume. I’m very competitive.”
She’s also so comfortable because she grew up around an Olympic athlete — her father Mohamed Hadid! “My dad was an Olympic skier,” Hadid shares. “He went when he was, like, 43.” (He competed in the 1992 Winter Olympics.)
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One other thing she has in common with high-level athletes? She maintains an incredibly regimented schedule that has her jetsetting all over the globe. “I pretty much just go day by day,” she explains. “It keeps me a lot more focused and less stressed out. A calm mind-set — you know, refreshing your brain after every play.”
Once news was out about her big cover coup, Hadid hit up Instagram to share news of her ultimate dream come true … I couldn’t think of a cover I’d rather be on than the one celebrating athletes. Being an athlete has brought so much pride and joy to my life and has instilled the work ethic that still drives me every day.”
She went on to thank her family, coaches, modeling agency and of course Team Vogue, writing “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me, teaching me, showing me the world, and being such a pleasure to work with”
An ultimate dream come true, I am beyond humbled. Shooting my first American @voguemagazine cover, in my hometown, was so surreal. And to be able to share it with Olympic Gold Medalist and my new friend #AshtonEaton is such an honor. I couldn't think of a cover I'd rather be on than the one celebrating athletics. Being an athlete has brought so much pride and joy to my life and has instilled the work ethic that still drives me every day. To Anna, @mariotestino, @tonnegood & everyone at Vogue- thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me, teaching me, showing me the world, and being such a pleasure to work with. ❤️ To @luizmattos1906 and my @imgmodels family, I don't thank you guys enough- I appreciate you so much. We did it!!!!!!! This one's dedicated to my biggest inspirations to work hard, my family, to all my coaches throughout my life 🏐🐎 and of course to the fans that have stuck by me from the start!!! Feeling extremely blessed. x
To see more from their shoot, check out the behind-the-scenes video of the duo on set that shows off their athletic modeling moves, plus there’s a surprise cameo from Hadid’s mom, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills‘ Yolanda Hadid.
The August issue of Vogue hits newsstands July 26th.
What do you think of her cover?
— Colleen Kratofil