Supermodel Bella Hadid is a force to be reckoned with in the fashion world, but she says it wasn’t until Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty show that she truly felt “powerful.”
Hadid – who has graced countless magazine covers and runways over her career, including Victoria Secret’s once famed fashion show – revealed that she previously lacked confidence modeling lingerie.
“I felt confident in a suit or a beautiful gown on a runway. To be in my underwear wasn’t something that made me feel, like, ‘Yea, I’m going to rock that runway,'” she said at the 2019 Vogue Fashion Festival in Paris Friday.
That was until she walked in Savage X Fenty’s first-ever show in 2018. Hadid returned to participate in the brand’s star-studded second annual show in September.
New York Fashion Week: Inside Rihanna’s star-studded Savage X Fenty show, now streaming on Amazon
“Rihanna’s amazing. For me, that was the first time on a runway that I felt really sexy,” Hadid added. “When I first did Fenty, I was doing other lingerie shows and I never felt powerful on a runway, like, in underwear.”
The younger sister of supermodel sister Gigi Hadid modeled in Victoria Secret’s fashion show three times, most recently in November 2018, where she donned multiple looks.
The difference? “With Rihanna’s show, she was like, ‘Walk whatever way you want to walk,” Hadid said.
Rihanna “gave me an idea of what she wanted. I was just able to walk the way I wanted and be me,” she added. “I like being another character… I think at this point I don’t necessarily love being myself sometimes.”
The singer’s lingerie brand has been applauded for its size exclusivity and diversity, a weakness for Victoria’s Secret, which has faced criticism for their unwillingness to include models that represent a wider variety of people. As a result, the struggling lingerie giant continues to shutter stores and opted to “rethink” its own annual show.