Gigi Hadid just made history as the cover star for Vogue Arabia's first-ever print issue. Starting with this debut issue, the magazine will highlight style and cultural trends pertaining to the Middle East.
For the 23-year-old supermodel, this exciting opportunity is also tied to her own family background, as her father is Palestinian-American. Shortly after the cover was announced, Gigi took to Instagram to share her thoughts. She wrote, "Being half-Palestinian, it means the world to me to be on the first-ever cover(s) of Vogue Arabia." Adding, "I hope that this magazine will show another layer of the fashion industry's desire to continue to accept, celebrate, and incorporate all people and customs."
In a statement, the magazine's editor-in-chief, Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, spoke about her decision to cast Gigi. "The collage of countries across the Arab world are long-deserving of a place in fashion history and there's no better first 'face' to lead the charge for Vogue Arabia than Gigi — a model who defines tomorrow's entrepreneurial and dynamic generation."
Since news broke, the shoot has stirred up some controversy. For starters, many people felt as though the stylists used the hijab simply to make a fashion statement, even though many women are ostracised for wearing it. Additionally, others felt as though the model has not been outspoken enough about her background, and thus didn't deserve to grace the cover of such a historic issue. At press time, Gigi nor Vogue Arabia have addressed the negative feedback.
Look ahead to see pictures from the inaugural issue.