Gigi Hadid on Finding Her Work-Life Balance

The model turned designer talks launching her own fashion line and how motherhood has changed her perspective.

Photographs by Mert Alas
Styled by Marie-Amélie Sauvé
Originally Published: 

Hadid wears a Burberry sweater, kilt, and hat.
Gigi Hadid wears a Burberry sweater, kilt, and hat.

Ten years after moving to New York to pursue modeling full-time, Gigi Hadid has arguably rewritten the supermodel playbook. She came on to the scene at a time when some of the biggest fashion houses didn’t even have an Instagram presence and models maintained an “if you know, you know” mystique, setting herself apart as a social media phenomenon who was as relatable as she was aspirational. The industry transformed itself in her wake, and in due time she ticked off all the major milestones: campaigns, covers, couture runways. But in early 2020, she began imagining a life for herself on her own terms. And that’s when she decided to get an office job.

“I started thinking about a more stabilized work schedule, where I wasn’t having to fly to a different country every week,” says Hadid. She was pregnant for the first time, which shifted her perspective. “I wanted something where I could go to the same office every day. I’d never had that. I could have a schedule with a child, and then be able to base my work life around that.”

Luckily, Hadid didn’t have to update her LinkedIn and start sending résumés around town. The model had previously turned down numerous offers to do the sort of fast-fashion collaborations that often inspire binge shopping. “I’m not going to produce just to produce,” she says. Instead, she envisioned a more sustainably minded brand, where the ideal customer bought just a few things at a time, but returned year after year. Guest in Residence, a line of versatile cashmere basics, was born. Think of it as an attainable take on quiet luxury for those who don’t mind their color palette occasionally speaking up.

Bottega Veneta dress.


Louis Vuitton sweater, boxer shorts, and scarf.

Hadid thought, What is my wardrobe when I’m not going to an event or borrowing these amazing, fun things? “It really came down to these two sweaters that my parents gave me when I moved to New York,” she says. “That kind of felt like this theme of having something for a long time, and taking care of it.”

Around the same time, Netflix was on the hunt for a new cohost to join Queer Eye’s Tan France on their design competition show Next in Fashion. “I was a musical theater kid, and I think that part of me loves to come out,” Hadid says of appearing on camera. Scoring the job meant another stable gig that allowed her to focus the rest of her time on raising Khai, her daughter with former partner Zayn Malik.

“We get ready together. She watches me do my thing,” says Hadid. “She’ll brush her teeth with me, and now she’s wanting to put moisturizer on, which is so cute.” She likes to fill her daughter’s days with play dates, park time, and occasional visits to New York’s slime museum. “She really makes me laugh. We crack up and dance all day and talk a lot. She’s almost 3, and she is a genius, if I do say so myself.”

Obviously, Hadid isn’t giving up modeling completely. She’s on this cover, after all, and she returned to the runway six months after giving birth to both open and close Versace’s fall/winter 2021 show. But right now, she just wants to surround herself with people she loves and trusts, and see where the world might take her next. “Most of the craziest things in my life, they weren’t goals or dreams because I didn’t really think they were possible,” she says. “If and when I make really specific goals, I can get quite tunnel-visioned. I’ve learned over the years that I enjoy the process more when I focus on being in the moment.”

Miu Miu jacket, sweater, T-shirt, briefs, and leggings.

The Row tank top and pants; Miu Miu briefs.

Loewe top; Fendi tank top and skirt; Miu Miu briefs.

What’s your comfort-watch TV show?

If I don’t really want to overthink anything, I watch QVC. It’s a genius marketing tool. They can sell anything. I think it’s interesting to see what the majority of America will buy and what they’re interested in.

Favorite form of self-care?

Alone time.

Is there a beauty trend you tried when you were younger that you regret?

I don’t know if I regret it, but I definitely did the blue waterline eyeliner in high school for a while. Oh, also nude lipstick was in, and I would mix Neosporin and concealer and use it as a nude lip stain.

What’s your favorite vacation destination?

I love Tahiti. And I love Disney World or Disneyland anywhere: France, Tokyo, Orlando, L.A. I love all of them.

Do you have a favorite early pop culture fashion moment?

I don’t know why, but what’s coming to my mind is Tyra Banks in Life-Size.

Hermès sweater.

Hair by Stéphane Lancien for L’Oréal Paris at Callisté Agency; makeup by Hiromi Ueda at Art + Commerce; manicure by Elsa Deslandes at Majeure Prod. Model: Gigi Hadid at IMG Models. Casting by Piergiorgio Del Moro and Samuel Ellis Scheinman at DM Casting. Set design by Nicola Scarlino at Blaze Paris.

Produced by January Productions; executive producer: Leonard Cuinet; local producer: Afif Baroudi; production coordinator: Barbara Eyt; photo assistants: Kai Cem Narin, John Neate, Thomas Pigeon; digital operator: Niccolo Pacilli; digital assistant: Cassian Gray; lab: Dreamer; fashion assistants: Xenia Settel, Tess Pisani, Teagan Cardenas, Camryn Pessin; production assistants: Jules Guibourg, Anthony Abikhzer, Sofiane Baziz; hair assistants: Julian Sapin, Sonia Messaoudi; makeup assistants: Qin Huo, Victoria Reuter.

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