As one of the world’s highest earning models and most recognizable faces, Gigi Hadid hasn’t completely avoided the haters in the past.
In September, the 21-year-old walked for American fashion powerhouse Tommy Hilfiger at their Fall 2016 collection in New York. But the model and fashion label haven’t always had a smooth relationship.
In an interview with Yahoo Style, 65-year-old Hilfiger admitted Hadid was fat-shamed by one of his casting directors ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015 runway show.
“Our casting director said, ‘She doesn’t really fit because you know she’s not quite as tall as the other girls, she’s not quite as thin,’” Hilfiger said.
So instead of keeping her out of their show, “they put a red, white, and blue poncho on her” which was so oversized, it completely covered any shape to her body.
“It covered a lot of her body unfortunately, but it received millions of hits,” Hilfiger said.
But after his comments went viral, Hilfiger clarified his comments with Page Six, saying the supermodel is “the epitome of perfection”.
“The casting people put Gigi in the poncho, and I was not happy,” he said.
“I was saying, ‘Don’t hide her body.’ Even though the poncho ended up being the best-selling piece, I was very unhappy. The suggestion that I thought she wasn’t thin enough upsets me to no end. Gigi is the epitome of perfection.”
Despite the poncho completely swimming on Hadid, the outfit received a million clicks online — leading Hilfiger to offer a collaboration on a clothing collection, which was unveiled earlier this year.
“So I said, you know, why don’t we ask her to design a line with us — Gigi, come design this with me, we’ll do a Gigi x tommy couture line,” he said, adding she’s an “all-American girl next door with an exotic twist to her look.
“I am proud to have her as the face of my brand and proud to have her collaborate with me. There’s no other girl like her in the entire fashion world — not only because of her beauty, but because of her style. We worked with her to design a line — designers don’t usually let models design with them — she had a style we thought was incredible.”
Hadid, who is currently dating former One Direction singer Zayn Malik, has been open about being body-shammed in the past, after opening up in September 2015 on Instagram about people commenting on her figure.
“No, I don’t have the same body type as the other models in shows,” she wrote.
“You can make up all the reasons you think I am where I am, but really, I’m a hard worker that’s confident in myself, one that came at a time where the fashion industry was ready for a change … I represent a body image that wasn’t accepted in high-fashion before … Yes, I have boobs, I have abs, I have a butt, I have thighs, but I’m not asking for special treatment. I’m fitting into the sample size.”
In what has been a big 12 months for Hadid, the model announced last week she would be returning to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show this year, posting: “See you in Paris!” on her Instagram page.
There is no feeling in the world like walking down this runway. I'm elated to say I'll be returning to the @VictoriasSecret Fashion Show this year. Thank you @ed_razek for putting on the show that has been one of my greatest motivators since I was a teenage fan of the Angels, and for making this dream come true for me again. It will forever be an honor. Can't wait to join the surreally beautiful and inspiring women that are the #vsfs2016 lineup. See you in Paris ❤️❤️😇👠‼️
This article was originally published on news.com.au