Bella Hadid was fresh off the Oscar de la Renta runway Monday night when she arrived at Equinox on Bond Street to be introduced as TAG Heuer's latest ambassador. The 20-year-old supermodel has been working 13-hour days during New York Fashion Week while also fitting a quick trip to L.A. into her frenzied schedule. "It's been intense; sometimes I feel so exhausted I can barely speak," she said. "You have to tell yourself at the end of the day that it's all worth it. It's going to be a very good season."
In addition to closing the de la Renta show, which she called "a highlight of my year," Hadid also has walked for Alexander Wang, Carolina Herrera and Prabal Gurung this week. TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver discussed Hadid's appeal with Leona Lewis, who flew in from London to handle the event's hosting duties before attending Philipp Plein's Monday night show.
"Having Bella on the team enables me to reconnect TAG Heuer with the millennials and young generations, and also with the brand's avant-garde spirit, the spirit which drives us to do things differently, to innovate and to dare," Biver said. With a current Instagram following of 10.6 million, Hadid's status as a social-media influencer definitely played a role in the partnership: "We have chosen the right person," he added with a smile.
In 2016 Hadid scored endorsement deals with Dior Makeup and Nike; the latter is key to the reason you saw her in the NikeLab presentation at Bergdorf Goodman on Thursday, just 24 hours after that L.A. trip to walk in Tommy Hilfiger's Venice Beach show. This is her first partnership with a watch brand, and she finds herself in good company: Hadid's fellow TAG Heuer ambassadors include Tom Brady, Cristiano Ronaldo, Chris Hemsworth and Cara Delevingne. "I always look at how the brand is being portrayed and who has been a supporter of the brand, and how that brand works," Hadid explained. "The most amazing thing about TAG Heuer is that it's a very strong, iconic brand in general. But it's also a brand that believes in portraying strong, powerful women, and I wanted to be a part of that. That feeling definitely comes across in the campaign."
Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for TAG Heuer
Hadid's images were shot by New York-based Cass Bird, who's also lensed campaigns for Jimmy Choo, Max Mara, Maiyet and Gap, among others. A few photos depict Hadid with a camera - she studied photography at Parsons School of Design before transitioning into modeling full-time - while others show her wearing boxing gloves. She and Biver recreated that moment Monday evening, playfully sparring for the cameras. "This is the first night I've seen him sort of step out of his shell for me," Hadid said. "He's a very lively, creative person. I feel very lucky to know him."
Of course, she's also hoping Biver might be into the idea of another passion that plays into her athletic side: Hadid has been a competitive equestrian since the age of 3. "People don't realize how intense horseback riding really is," she said. "But it was always very serious for me, and taught me a lot of responsibility." Hadid thinks for a moment. "Maybe the next campaign we shoot will be with my horses. I'm definitely going to talk to somebody about that."