Soon-to-Be Bieber! A Closer Look at Hailey Baldwin's Inner Circle and Modeling Career
See inside Hailey Baldwin's tight-knit squad of model BFFs, including Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and more
And while the news may come as a surprise for some diehard Beliebers, Baldwin’s inner circle of A-list celebrity friends and blossoming modeling career has had her crossing paths with the singer for nearly 10 years.
“It’s kind of a surprise, but kind of not. Justin has been extremely happy these past few weeks,” a source told PEOPLE. “He has known Hailey for a long time. This might seem sudden, but they know each other very well.”
As you digest the news of Baldwin and Bieber’s whirlwind romance, take an inside look at the soon-to-be Mrs. Bieber’s life, from everyone in her squad to her top modeling moments and career highlights.
Her Inner Circle
Most notably, Baldwin, the 21-year-old daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin, has been a staple member of the KarJenner family’s squad of BFFs for years and fostered an especially close relationship with Kendall Jenner after working together in the fashion industry. Off the catwalk, the duo has become closer than ever, enjoying girls’ nights together sipping wine and posing topless for Instagram, partying on a yacht in the Bahamas, taking on Coachella and even designing tattoos for one another.
In June 2016, Baldwin unveiled the newest addition to her tattoo collection, which was actually designed by Jenner herself: The letters “PR” are on her left hand and “AY” are on her right that read, “PRAY” when the model’s hands are in a prayer position.
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“I knew I wanted something on these fingers to go together when I put my hands together,” Baldwin told PEOPLE in 2016 not long after getting her new ink. “[Jenner] was like, ‘Why don’t you get ‘PRAY’ since you go to church and it’s a big part of your life?’ She’s a clever cookie, that one.”
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And that’s not even the first time Baldwin and Jenner experimented with tattoos together. In June 2015, the stars visited a N.Y.C. parlor to get friendship tattoos, which they documented on social media. While Jenner went for a tiny white dot on the inside of her middle finger facing her index finger, Baldwin got a tiny lowercase g behind her ear, which stands for “Georgia.”
Most recently when Jenner opened up about her tight-knit friendship with Baldwin, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star admitted younger sister Kylie Jenner‘s actually the reason she became so close with Bieber’s fiancé.
“She was actually best friends with Kylie, and I was good friends with her cousin Ireland [Alec Baldwin‘s daughter],” Kendall said. “Hailey lived in New York, and whenever we were there, we would hang out with her.”
During Kendall’s first New York Fashion Week, the model “stole Hailey from Kylie,” she told Elle.
“From then on, she was my homie,” she said. “At first, Kylie was mad; I had to bring them back together and be like, ‘No, it’s okay, guys.’ But it’s all good; that’s our love story.”
Besides the KarJenners, Baldwin’s also built close relationships with every other major model hitting the runways right now, including Gigi and Bella Hadid, Joan Smalls, Karlie Kloss and Emily Ratajkowski.
But between all the girls’ crazy busy work schedules, Baldwin has said it’s hard for her and her BFFs to always find the time to meet up. “We don’t hang out that often!” she previously told PEOPLE, noting that it’s because their “schedules are so crazy.” “We’re all friends. We all have the same job, but we aren’t together that often, especially as a trio.”
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“I see Kendall more often than anybody, but it just so happened the three of us were in town at the same time,” Baldwin said.
Her Modeling Moments
Lately, Baldwin’s kept busy with a slew of modeling gigs, including landing the cover of ELLE Italia, starring in Rag & Bone’s campaign totally free of makeup or hair styling and walking in major shows during fashion month for Off-White, Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, Zadig & Voltaire, Missoni and Bottega Veneta.
However, despite her impressive modeling resumé, Baldwin told PEOPLE in 2016 at the time that she would not consider herself a true “supermodel” just yet.
“I’m not on the same level as Gigi and Kendall,” she told us. “We’re not in the same place in our careers.”
Her TV Career
Besides modeling, Baldwin has also embarked on a television and film career. Just this year, the star made a cameo in Ocean’s 8 starring A-list actresses Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, Mindy Kaling, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson and Rihanna. The movie centers around a jewelry heist at the Met Gala.
Baldwin also cohosts celebrity rap battle series Drop the Mic with hip-hop artist Method Man, which premiered last fall and was recently renewed for a second second.
“This was stepping outside of my comfort zone,” told WWD of the project. “To be very honest, I was really, really nervous when we first started. I didn’t want to disappoint the team. I was like [to creator], ‘James [Corden], am I doing this right?’”
She also brought her hosting skills to the table at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards in March. “I’m nervous about how calm I am,” Baldwin told PEOPLE the night of the show. “I’ve been watching past iHearts and trying to get spiffy with the prompter reading.”
To make sure she felt extra prepared, she spoke to some friends who are artists to get their advice. “It’s always kind of been the same thing — try to take it easy and don’t overdue it,” she said. “I think people gravitate more towards someone being genuine. They can call when you’re forcing it.”