Supermodel Bella Hadid talks about sister Gigi, their divergent fashion choices, and her new role with Bulgari

Twenty-year-old with the power to sell fashion right off the catwalk, according to Tommy Hilfiger, professes ignorance as to why Italian luxury brand signed her for accessories campaign

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 March, 2017, 8:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 March, 2017, 5:42pm

There is barely a magazine or catwalk these days that doesn’t feature Gigi Hadid and her younger sister Bella. With a shared following of 41 million on Instagram, the Los Angeles-born siblings are fashion’s new supermodels.

Tommy Hilfiger, after his recent Los Angeles show, explained how Gigi and Bella Hadid and Joan Smalls are the women with the power, glamour and charisma to persuade fickle customers to buy clothes right off the catwalk. The pieces that sell out are “whatever Gigi wears, and Bella and Joan”.

Now Bulgari is looking for a little of that magic by signing Bella Hadid as the face of its accessories advertising and marketing campaigns. In an interview at the Bulgari hotel in Milan, where the announcement was made, Hadid says she is “honoured and excited” to be asked by such an “iconic name”. Schooled by her mother Yolanda, former model and reality star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Hadid is as sweet and polite as her sister.

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“It is hard to say if I bring anything to Bulgari other than my youth, and with social media to a certain extent I can bring more viewers to the brand,” Bella says. “Perhaps having someone young on the team is cool.”

Dressed in a black and white off-the-shoulder one-sleeve dress, Hadid has the same high cheekbones as her sister but her sleek black hair gives her a more feline look. She describes her sister’s dress sense as more LA, while her own is darker. Wedded to her Levi’s, sneakers and biker jacket, the 20-year-old says: “I might just one day in the summer wear colour, but usually I am very dark and wear a lot of black and red, which looks dramatic.”

She has modelled several Bulgari bags, including the Viper, Diva and Forever, and the mini Viper, just right for partying, is her favourite. “It’s so cute and tiny, I am going to steal it,” she says. “Gigi can have the Diva bag.”

This has been the younger Hadid’s busiest season on the catwalk. After New York, she has featured in shows in Milan for Fendi, Moschino and Alberta Ferretti and posted a photo on Instagram of herself lying in bed suffering from jet lag.

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Hadid was a nationally ranked showjumper before her equestrian career was cut short when she contracted Lyme disease.

“Gigi and I were talking about it earlier and if I’m not feeling well I can go and see her in hair and make-up [backstage] and if I need advice I can talk to her whenever I want,” says Hadid. “It is nice to have a support system with me, especially being in Milan as I am by myself a lot. This is the first time we are here together and, although we have separate rooms next to each other we somehow always have sleepovers.”

At the launch party Hadid showed off the Serpente necklace, with nearly 81 carats of diamonds, that she wore back to front with her slinky silver strass dress by Alexandre Vauthier and Bulgari bag. She explained how she recently learned from her mother that her connection with Bulgari goes back to her birth.

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“When I was born my father gave her a full Bulgari bracelet, watch and necklace set. It is funny how things come full circle.” It is her mother’s birthday in a few days, and eyeing up the Bulgari bags Hadid says: “I know which one I would like to give her.” We can’t ruin the surprise.