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The Hadid Sisters, Gigi, and Bella: Fashion Icons Embrace their Arab Roots

posted on: Dec 4, 2019


Arabian Nights-themed Marc Jacobs Show that took place in the New York Fashion Week

By: Ala Abed-Rabbo/Arab America Contributing Writer

The supermodels, Gigi, and Bella Hadid sisters were born to a Palestinian-American father, and both have spoken of their roots in the Arab World. They were the best choice for the Arabian Nights-themed Marc Jacobs show that took place in the New York Fashion Week. The models walked the runway in turbans, sandals, harem-style pants during the event, which also featured the Armenian-American model Kendall Jenner. The Hadid sisters stole the show, and all eyes were on them. Gigi wore a prominent an over-sized blue plaid suit and an orange turban while Bella wore a monochrome jumpsuit and a head wrap.

Gigi, who is 24 years of age, and Bella, 23, have been for a while vocal supporters of Palestine and have embraced it both on social media and during several demonstrations which included the one that took place in the year of 2017 in response to President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. Bella had previously spoken up about her decision to take part in the protest and explaining to Elle that because of her diverse background, it has taught her that every human deserves respect and kindheartedness. Bella says, “We shouldn’t treat people as if they don’t deserve kindness just because of their ethnicities.”

The Father’s Success, Mohamed Hadid

On Sunday, April 7, 2019, at Harvard 2019, the Hadid family attended the Arab Conference, which is one of the most prominent Arab conferences in North America. Journalist Jessica Azar interviewed Mohamad Hadid as he spoke about growing up in Syrian refugee camps, his family’s Palestinian backgrounds, and how vital it is for him to keep their Palestinian self-alive. “He was always religious, and he always prayed with us. I am proud to be a Muslim,” Bella told Porter magazine.” His children joined him on stage as he received the award for his Vogue man Arabia cover Line.

Models Gigi, Bella have spoken in several interviews of their father, Mohamed Hadid, a real estate mogul, and about his Palestinian roots. The seventy-year-old was born in Nazareth, Palestine, during the time of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. When he was only 18 months years, his family was forced to flee to Syria and stay in a refugee camp; he lived his childhood in Damascus, Beirut, and Tunis. His father worked for Voice of America until the family flew to America when he was fourteen. He then grew in Washington, DC area and in California to become a successful real-estate developer.

Mohamed Hadid now is known for constructing mansions and luxury hotels, primarily in the Bel-Air neighborhood, located in the city of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California. Now, the unforeseeable bright career of Mohamed Hadid, who once was a homeless refugee and has gone on to build some of the world’s most remarkable homes.

Bella and Gigi Hadid’s Arabia Vogue Journey

Photo by: Karl Lagerfeld

Bella Hadid, chosen for both the Vogue Arabia in the Arabic and English language covers. The decision came after her sister, Gigi, appeared on the cover of the Magazine’s main issue in a custom-made jeweled veil. The designer Karl Lagerfeld photographed her in for the September issue in a series of looks from head-to-toe from the Italian fashion house Fendi. In one shot, her hands’ spread-out, wearing billowing sleeves with a high-neck scarlet silk dress and matching pointed toe leather boots. For another shot, she wore a black jacket with fur-trimmed sleeves and a PVC collar. Sheer polka-dot gloves cover her hands, and a fascinator shields her black pixie crop; her stare came from behind a netted veil.

The outfit in both cover representations is modest, but not overtly Muslim, in keeping with the morals of most of the Magazine’s audience as well as condensing a key trend on the runways of the fashion capitals. She is one of the most famous models of the 21st century, being half-Palestinian and half Dutch but also a Muslim, and according to the Magazine, she is the perfect example for Vogue Arabia.

Also, Gigi Hadid expressed admiration for her Arab Roots and mentioned to the crowd of her March 2017 cover for the Magazine that she shot the cover of Vogue Arabia and that she was not ‘Arab enough’ to be instead of those girls, even though she half-Palestinian. “”I’m as Palestinian as I am Dutch. Just because I have blonde hair, I still carry the value of my ancestors, and I appreciate and respect that.””

The Hadid Sisters 21st Century Fashion Icons

There is no doubt that Bella and Gigi Hadid have become very famous with millions of young and aspiring Arab-Americans, Arabs, and Muslims, who love that they have stars of that stature with whom they can connect, in spite of their more liberal understanding of how to practice the faith. By May of 2015, Gigi had embellished the catwalk for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Chanel, and was once featured in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, viewed as the benchmark of achievement for any model. Bella’s New York Fashion Week presentation came six months after her sister’s in the fall of 2014; she has since walked for Chanel, Balmain, and Diane von Furstenburg. One week in Paris, the sisters appeared in Victoria’s Secret show together, proving to the world how they became the first family of fashion.


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