Business: Gigi Hadid "Social Supermodel"



In the last year Gigi Hadid has scored contracts with Tom Ford, Victoria's Secret Pink, and Maybelline.

And the 19-year-old, dubbed one of the 'Instagirls,' by Vogue, can credit part of that to her massive internet following, with the star boasting 2.5 million followers on Instagram.

The model is seen showing off her stunning figure in just a towel in one of a series of stunning photos she shot for the latest issue of Adweek, wherein she discussed her dedication to social media, and the wave of models like her who are changing the game.

She may be an "Instagirl" but Gigi Hadid remains at the top of the style totem pole, taking over Paris Fashion Week, snagging the covers of Teen Vogue (with Binx Walton) and AdWeek, and appearing in a Vogue spread with bestie Kendall Jenner.

Following her first two Guess campaigns and appearances on her mother's (Yolanda Foster) reality show - The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills - she began hosting Q&A sessions called ' Ask Gigi' on her Twitter account.  

After high school Gigi relocated to New York to study criminal psychology at The New School - though she later took a leave of absence to focus on modeling full-time. 

By the end of the model's freshman year she had debuted at New York Fashion Week and booked a gig with Tom Ford, later adding runway jobs with Marc Jacobs, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Chanel.

She continued to grow her following - bringing it to over 1.5 million by sharing selfies, behind-the-scenes shots from photo shoots and runways, and a look at her daily life, family, and friends (including stars such as Kendall Jenner and boyfriend Cody Simpson). 

For example, Gigi shared a photo from her AdWeek photo shoot on Wednesday, thanking the make-up artist for her look.



yesterday on set: eyebrows on fleeeeek bc @makeupvincent kills the game. also pinky up for da cutest mini coffee cup' she captioned the photo.

Experts such as editors at fashion magazines Teen Vogue and Harper's Bazaar say that having a large social media following can now have a major impact on whether or not you land important beauty and fashion contracts. 

'If a model happens to come with a few thousand or a few million followers, that's amazing for brands,' Harper's Bazaar Executive Editor Laura Brown said.

'Especially if you're a brand that wants to target a new, younger demographic, you'd have to consider [hiring] those girls in a second.'

'Social media has allowed these girls to have a voice and a platform and not just be some random, anonymous model,' Teen Vogue Editor in Chief Amy Astley added.  

'It's becoming something more and more that the ad clients are looking for - and all the girls know it. The game is definitely changing.'



In January, Gigi snagged her biggest gig yet - a contract with Maybelline - and it was due in no small part to her massive social media presence.

'Gigi is extremely connected, and beyond being connected, she is fantastically engaged with women around the world,' said Leonardo Chavez, Maybelline's global brand president.  

The massive media presence of 'Instagirls' is also about building a personal brand in order to branch out following their modeling careers. 

'What people want to know is, OK, what's after modeling? And that's forcing us to think about those things [even earlier],' Gigi said. 

'It's not just OK anymore to model until you're 25 and then stop and be a housewife,' she continued, before sharing that she'd like to return to college to finish her degree.

However, Gigi admitted she'd like to stay in the spotlight, hosting a cooking or talk show, adding: 'I'm an entertainer, and I think that I'll always be in that business.'

The star also suggested she could put her criminal psychology degree to use in the entertainment world: 'Who knows? I could always be a fact checker on CSI.'