Gigi Hadid on Beyoncé, ‘Being Weird,’ and the Power of Instagram

Photo: Leandro Justen/

It may seem that Gigi Hadid has been everywhere this Fashion Week — maybe it’s those Guess taxi TV ads — but she only made her first Fashion Week appearance on Friday. As the new face of Maybelline, Hadid co-hosted the Maybelline x MADE Tip-Off party with Cleveland Cavaliers player J.R. Smith. Between palming basketballs, she took time to speak with the Cut about her Fashion Week plans, the importance of her Beyoncé playlist to hype her up before shows, and how social media plays into casting decisions. Read her interview below and click through the slideshow for more photos from the event.

Are you walking in any shows this season?
Maybe. [Laughs.] You’ll have to wait and see, that’s all I will say.

How do you put yourself in the mood for a show?
I have a playlist, it’s mostly Beyoncé. It’s full of songs that I wouldn’t want people necessarily to hear, but that I’ll play in my car. I created it when I used to play volleyball. When I went to Junior Olympic qualifiers, our coach all made us make a playlist that we loved, that calmed us down, and got us pumped up. It’s been the same playlist; I just add and subtract.

Every model has a signature way of walking. How did you develop yours?
I get a lot of inspiration from the show itself. Say, for the Marc Jacobs show last season: Everyone had those headphones and it was playing that weird spoken word, with “Open the door.” That reminded me of a robot, so in my mind, I felt like a machine. That was my mind-set. For a show I might do this season, it’s very much about powerful women to me. So I change into that vibe.

I just recently got comfortable with my runway walk. I never practiced walking with my agent or had a runway coach. I was just thrown into big runway shows where I had to figure it out. And now I think I’m starting to know what to do … although I’m jinxing myself now. It’s cool for everyone [to have] a signature walk. It’s boring when I go to a casting and every girl walks the same way. That’s why I love Karlie, you could cover her head and you know it’s her. Maybe one day I’ll be as cool as Karlie.

Models are in the public eye now more than ever, thanks to social media. What are you conscious of as a public persona?
I’m very conscious about being real. People follow me because they can relate to me because I am kind of weird, that’s the Twitter side of me. I fangirl about the Grammys, say weird things and whatever is on my mind. People like to follow people they can relate to and want to be friends with, but who can show them a different world they don’t necessarily know. I’m conscious of being myself and sharing what’s in my life, whether it’s heartbreak or a new cover.

What kind of role do you think social media plays into casting?
We live in a generation where everyone is like that. It builds into a following. Let’s say a girl is just starting and a casting director sees her Instagram. She doesn’t need to have that many followers. But if she has a great personality and the followers she does have are girls from 15 to 20 years old and the casting director is casting for a brand for that same demographic, they will cast that girl. The girl will get more followers from the brand and another brand will cast her. It builds off of that. Followers get you jobs and jobs get you followers, that’s how it works.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Gigi Hadid Explains How Instagram Helps Models