Along with her sister Gigi, Bella Hadid has pretty much ruled the street style universe for the past few years. The two top models are snapped almost daily in eye-catching ensembles that not only push forward major trends, but also set them, too.
Most recently, Bella has favored a streetwise approach to dressing, combining her love for athleisure and sportswear with more fashion-forward collectibles—including square-toe boots, ’90s shoulder bags, and vintage Jean Paul Gaultier. But that hasn’t always been the case. Trace her street style back a few years to when she burst on the scene, and it’s apparent there’s been a metamorphosis.
In her early days of modeling—think, 2015 and 2016—the fledging supermodel had a familiar SoCal aesthetic. There was a clear love of denim, evident in lovingly broken-in blue jeans that were paired with chunky knits and simple white tank tops. In 2017, there was a notable shift: Bella began looking beyond the tried-and-true parameters in her wardrobe, towards sleeker, darker fashion territory. Perhaps her move to New York City ignited her obsession with tiny Matrix-style sunglasses, a look that quickly caught on with the rest of the world. It was on the streets of Manhattan, too, that Bella dared to experiment with risky fashion ideas, including trendy bike shorts and the tricky-to-pull-off paper-bag pants by Sankuanz, the Chinese menswear label out of Xiamen. In her hands, even the most everyday basics are transformed: Who else could make a preppy woolen cardigan look this fun or this sexy?
Those playful, no-holds-barred impulses are now finely tuned. With the help of stylists Elizabeth Sulcer and Mimi Cuttrell, Bella has truly hit her stride, though these days she styles herself. And now that designers across the globe are clamoring to dress her, she’s often cherry-picking from the world’s most sought-after collections. Though that hasn’t dampened her curiosity in the least; she’s been known to flaunt emerging designers from far-flung corners of the globe on the street. In fact it’s partly thanks to her that labels such as Bessarion, from Georgia, and Ruslan Baginskiy, of Ukraine, are on our radar. And that makes her ongoing style evolution all the more thrilling to watch.