Is Gigi Hadid Developing a Signature Style?

Every week, seemingly like clockwork, I search Getty Images to see what Gigi and Bella Hadid have been wearing recently. It’s a new obsession, one I don’t entirely understand but am attempting to psychoanalyze.

When I comb through photos of Gigi and Bella, it’s not typically for outfit ideas, but rather, I’m interested in the way this particular supermodel sibling duo metabolizes fashion. Their looks are always very…deliberate. This might be because they have stylists who are literally deliberating about what they should wear, but I also think it’s because they know how celebrity media coverage tends to work: paparazzi takes photos as they’re exiting a building and entering a car, or vice versa, and those photos subsequently surface all over the internet soon after.

Given this cycle, it makes sense that they would form the habit of wearing full “looks” — never a haphazardly spliced-together ensemble, always a carefully workshopped symphony of garments. Historically, though, despite this evident pre-planning, I found that their looks didn’t adhere to any particular formula. The individual items of clothing are always cool, but the *combinations* are rarely distinctive. It would be hard, maybe even impossible, to look through a sea of outfits and identify the ones that belonged to them. I’ve never heard anyone say, “Oh that outfit is so [insert name]” in reference to Gigi or Bella, whereas you might easily say that about someone with a more obvious personal aesthetic.

Over the past month, though, Gigi has thrown me for a loop. Based on my (very) close observations, I’m pretty sure she is developing the formulaic underpinnings of a distinctive personal style ethos. I noticed evidence of a budding personal style calling card for the first time when clicking through Getty yesterday morning. The calling card in question? Matching.

Yes! Matching. Gigi Hadid has started matching her footwear to her outfits with the exactitude of a 73-year-old woman who wears tweed jackets and drinks her tea at precisely 3:52 p.m. every day, except Gigi Hadid is is a 22-year-old supermodel with the same degree of irrefutable sex appeal as a perfectly ripe avocado sprinkled with Maldon sea salt. In other words, her matchy-matchy aesthetic stands out.

Not only does she match the color of her shoes to her outfits, but sometimes she even matches the hardware — like when the silver studs on her pink platform sandals corresponded with the silver grommets on her pink cropped motorcycle jacket. Another time, she matched bright yellow Doc Martens to sunglasses with bright yellow lenses to a mini Fendi purse with bright yellow eyes. It was impressive.

So what does this all MEAN? Well, I’m not sure. I find it interesting for two reasons, though. First of all, matching — whether perpetuating by Gigi Hadid or not — is a fascinating style choice in and of itself. I’ve always been a bit scared of it, because there’s a stigmatized pitfall attached. “Matchy” is often equated with “forced.” I have, however, witnessed examples of matching — in street-style slideshows, on runways, in fashion editorials, etc. — that didn’t look forced at all.

There’s a certain art to it, which makes me curious to see how Gigi’s dabbling will evolve and also brings me to the second reason I find her matching interesting. I always enjoy witnessing what appears to be the dawn of an individual’s signature personal style stamp, even if it is facilitated by a stylist, because there is something so satisfying about watching it germinate. I think the process of honing your personal style is a lot like eating your way through Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates: once you bite into one you love — like, really, really love — you keep eating that one until you get sick of it and start tasting the next row. Or maybe you never get sick of it! Regardless, I’m kind of tempted to sample a matchy-matchy chocolate of my own. Because why not? It’s all chocolate, and it’s all delicious.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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