Being the Guess Jeans Girl is like joining an exclusive club of mega-models. Everyone from Claudia Schiffer to Alessanda Ambrosio has posed for the brand, and appearing in its ads is generally a signifier that a model's career is about to take off.
The newest girl to wear the Guess crown is 17 year-old Californian Gigi Hadid, who has been modeling for the brand since she was just a child and now appears in their fall '13 campaign. Born to Dutch mega-model Yolanda Foster (who now appears on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, FYI), Hadid splits her time off set between horseback riding, getting ready for college this fall, and managing her Tumblr with traveling the world on Guess shoots.
Even if you can see her life-sized on a billboard, she's still a regular American teen. We chatted with her over email about her newest Guess campaign and following in her model mom's footsteps.
What was it like being in high school and seeing your face on Guess billboards? Scary? Exciting?
Even after Baby Guess, Guess Kids, and Guess campaigns, I would be lying if I told you I'm used to seeing the ads by now. It's endlessly surreal. I get nervous every time I see a billboard or store window that I'm on. Being in high school throughout the launching of the Guess campaigns did nothing but keep me grounded, and I would never give up my high school experiences for anything. I was extremely fortunate to have supportive teachers and peers, but what I appreciate the most is that no one treated me differently once I became more successful. Everyone at school has seen me in my sweats with no makeup on, and I hope that's the girl they remember even if they see me on a billboard or in a magazine in the future.
You've been a Guess girl for pretty much your entire life–what does it feel like to have grown up with a brand?
Everyone at Guess has become like family to me. Words would never be able to describe how grateful I am for every experience that Guess has let me be a part of. I will always cherish the memories and relationships that I've made through working with this legendary brand, and I am forever honored to have been a Guess Girl.
Did you get any modeling tips from your mom?
My mom is one of the most inspiring and helpful people in my life. There is nothing that I would need advice or tips for that my mom wouldn't have an answer to. She constantly motivates me to work harder and be the best that I can. I really could go on forever about how amazing she is.
Who is your favorite Guess girl of all time?
There are different things about every past Guess Girl that inspire me. Each of them has a different "it" factor, which makes Guess images so classic and memorable. Vanessa Hessler's campaign shot by Raphael Mazzucco are the shots that I remember seeing as a little girl and thinking "I want to be a Guess Girl." Ironically enough, I got to work with Raphael Mazzucco for the Guess fall '13 campaign which was incredible.
Is there a model that you look up to?
Candice Swanepoel is a model that I look up to a lot because her ability to be so diverse with her look and move so effortlessly between the high-fashion and commercial worlds is something I hope to be able to do one day.
What has been the best location you've gone to for a shoot?
Shooting the Guess spring '13 campaign in Tahiti is the best location I've ever shot at. The fact that taking pictures in paradise for five days is what I call work is truly incredible.
What are you looking forward to most about starting college this fall?
My education has always been very important to me. Although my career doesn't directly involve getting a degree in anything, I think that being able to say that you've completed high school and college can give you a one-up in any industry. I'd say I'm most looking forward to the unusual classes that I'll be taking and to gaining interest in subjects that I wasn't necessarily interested in before.
On a scale of one to ten, how addicted are you to Tumblr?
I'd say I'm a good 9.453 on the Tumblr addiction scale. It's a great place to find and share style and images that I'm inspired by, and it's become a place where I can connect with fans which I enjoy.
Favorite band to jam out to when no one is around?
When I'm alone I'm usually listening to country music: Hunter Hayes and Darius Rucker to name a couple of artists...
What's your favorite thing to do in your free time?
My job keeps me away from home a lot so in my free time I enjoy just being with the people I love. Going to the beach, talking about boys, movie nights, shopping--normal teenage girl stuff.
Got any secret beauty tricks you've picked up on set?
I have a bunch of random beauty secrets that I've picked up over the years. You learn something new everyday. My favorite one, that I do before every photoshoot, is rub a wet towel on my lips to take all the dead skin off so that they're soft and plump.