At just 21, Gigi Hadid has seen her fair share of Vogue photoshoots over the years. She’s posed naked for Vogue Paris, modeled alongside her brother for BritishVogue and has become a staple of Vogue US’s pages (most recently landing a cover alongside a bevy of fellow high-profile models for the March issue). But even with all those major moments on her résumé, this latest Vogue get might be her most momentous yet: She just landed the cover of the very first issue of Vogue Arabia — and the photos will blow you away.
One cover image (photographed by Inez and Vinoodh) features a close-up shot, showing off her dark smokey eye and elaborately beaded head scarf (styled by designer Brandon Maxwell), while the second features more of the scarf, now covering her entire face. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, says, “In one poised photograph, she communicates a thousand words to a region that’s been waiting far too long for its Vogue voice to speak.”
For Abdulaziz, Hadid was the quintessential choice for the coveted cover. “The collage of countries across the Arab world are long-deserving of a place in fashion history,” she says. “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.”
In addition to being the biggest model of the moment, Hadid has also written on Instagram that she’s “half-Palestinian and proud of it,” and has talked proudly of boyfriend Zayn Malik’s Pakistani heritage, frequently wearing merchandise that bears his name in Arabic. She previously worked with Vogue Arabia in December for an online video, in which she spoke a bit of the language, discussed her latest design collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger and did a quick-fire round of her favorite style must-haves.
The 22nd edition of the legendary fashion magazine is unprecedented in a few ways. It’s not only the first publication of the brand to represent an entire region, it’s the first edition to launch with a digital presence before print and is the first fashion magazine in the Middle East to feature two languages.
The first issue of Vogue Arabia hits newsstands across the Middle East/North Africa region on March 5 and will be also available in London, Paris and Milan.