Yolanda Hadid: biography and latest news!

Her life is a novel… or rather a reality show. Yolanda Hadid, mother of Gigi and Bella, the two global supermodels with tens of mıllions of followers, and former model herself, lives and plays with the codes of the fashion sphere without being fooled by them. Conquering but lucid. Story of a success story as only the United States, and social networks, know how to stage them.

Physically, 54 years nickel, sharp silhouette and blond with blue eyes, she has something of Robin Wright. A cold beauty, even chilling, as it exudes success and control, the zero defect worked with an iron hand. Add to that the fact that the former model is the mother of the two top models of the moment, Gigi Hadid the blonde and Bella Hadid the brunette, that she emerged in the media through a successful reality show (“Real Housewives: Beverly Hills”, about rich Californian women), that she confirmed since January with “Making a Model” (about aspiring models), the mass is said: our cortex starts to see in Yolanda Hadid a fashion avatar of the formidable Claire Underwood – the political animal played by Robin Wright in House of Cards. Glamorous eminence of an inframund governed by the cult of appearances, money, and followers. Life objective: power. It supposes a minimum of intelligence, and ferocity. In short, it is more or less a monster that we consider. Between fascinating and scary.

Surprise: the voice on the phone is charming. A clear voice, nothing authoritarian, with a youthful echo rather than experienced. And right away, Yolanda Hadid fulfills all the canons of urbanity. “But I’m the one who thanks you for doing this interview.” The seconds gap with New York sometimes makes her cut off, she doesn’t mind, segues into courtesy. That said, suavity is one of the weapons of the communication aces she belongs to and none of them are unaware that softness is a massive seduction weapon. We imagine her answering us quietly posed on a chaise longue, legs folded in the aesthetic perfection that glossy magazines assume, sipping an obviously “healthy” juice. For how can we not associate it with a fiction, with a stratospheric lifestyle, irrigated by the lightness of being? At the same time, the reality is there, quantified: the Hadid clan loves, intrigues, makes millions of people dream around the world, the number of subscribers to his Instagram account or those of his children attests. Yolanda: 2 million. Gigi: 39.4 million. Bella: 17.5 million. Anwar: 1.8 million.

The “mother of

This is precisely where Yolanda Hadid proves interesting. About this fantasy that she and her children embody, convey, sell. The one of the beauty that opens the way to immediate and planetary fame, this Grail of the 21st century. The Hadids have everything of a small glamorous-media company, which cleverly surfs on the time made of bling and “likes”. With Yolanda as the challenger of the “momager” (mix of “mom” and “manager”) in chief Kris Jenner (boss of the Kardashian/Jenner clan). Yolanda Hadid: “The truth is, it all happened by accident. If Gigi wanted to be a model very early, since childhood, Bella came late, after a long time dreaming of becoming a professional horsewoman. And my son wants to be a fashion designer, he never stops creating clothes, sewing. But being a model also allows you to see how this business works… You know, I’m a big believer in the idea of destiny, that everyone has their own path in life, and so things turned out that way.” At the same time, in the show “Making a Model,” you can clearly sense the seasoned, caring but relentless professional. A mother flinches at the prospect of her daughter’s Instagram account becoming public and nominative? “Social networks are today’s book, the way to get known!”, Yolanda rectifies immediately. On Instagram, Gigi and Bella regularly praise her, childhood snapshots in support, she emerges ideal, half pillar half refuge, salty-sweet, loving-caring, a model of balance.

Mother of: the image is necessarily reductive. Yolanda assumes it, resolutely. She tells us, as she tells all the media, “I love being a mother, and having given life and raised three children alone is what I am most proud of.” Even today, she is part of her children’s daily lives, “I’m there for emotional support, and that’s really necessary given the pressure they have to endure, being constantly exposed and judged. I’m the anchor of the family, the one who keeps everyone in line. When they travel, we stay in touch via Facetime almost every day, it’s really a chance: in my time, I called my mom once a week, from a phone booth, I barely had time to tell her “Everything’s fine, I love you” You have to remember that modeling life is very lonely, and at the end of the day, when you’re alone in the hotel, who do you call? Mom!”.

Tenderized laughter at the end of the phone. Eight months ago, for “Making a Model,” she left California for New York and a farm an hour from the Big Apple. “We have horses, cows, goats, chickens, a vegetable garden… This is the life where I’m really me and I think it’s very good for my kids to be back in a place similar to where they grew up, where they ride horses, put away stalls, where they’re cut off from the world they work in.” Praise for a very Little House on the Prairie life by a real housewife: we can pinch ourselves. Knowing that Yolanda Hadid’s previous home sweet home was featured in many reports in the glory of decoration, with systematic (and understandable) amazement of the visitor.

The “warrior”

There is however something fresh, direct, without fuss, with Yolanda Hadid. For example about money. We were told to avoid the subject. She comes to it on her own and in cash. She answers, when we are surprised that this strong head that hammers independence could be a model, obedient therefore: “When I realized what I could earn, it made me very disciplined. I never went out, I was very serious, because earning a living has always been important to me. Starting from nothing gives you the desire to get out there, to succeed, and to fight every day to get there.” To her daughters, she always described a “tough job and business but one that can make for an incredible life,” intimated them to be “authentic, kind, respectful, conscientious, because the world is full of beautiful girls who deserve success as much as they do, and at the end of a day’s shooting, people don’t remember how you look but how you act and the personality they perceived.” A sort of tactical manual for survival in a hostile environment. The Hadid girls are known for their unfailing professionalism.

Where does this “warrior” niaque come from, in a golden socialite on edge? By geographical capillarity: because the American Yolanda Hadid was originally Dutch, born on June 11, 1964 in Papendrecht, one thinks of the Little Match Girl from the Danish storyteller Andersen. The reality is not so tragic. The biotope she describes nevertheless requires gritting one’s teeth. “A very simple environment, in the countryside, without many means. My father died (in a car accident, ed. note) when I was 7 years old and my mother raised my brother and me alone. By the time I was 16, I was on my own and when I arrived in New York, I had $50 in my pocket. Fortunately, my mother had instilled in me very strong values that allowed me to face the world.” Even today, one of her pleasures is to return, regularly, to Papendrecht: “I’ve had American citizenship for five years and I’m very grateful for America, which has given me so many opportunities, but I’ve always felt different there, very European, and in the Netherlands I really feel at home. I love speaking Dutch, for example. In the United States, I still miss things, especially the humor. When I’m in the Netherlands, I laugh all the time!”

It was again chance and its ricochets that made her leave Papendrecht: a hairdresser friend asked her to model for a hair show, where a local designer spotted Yolanda and booted her at the drop of a hat for a fashion show, where she caught the eye of an agent from the famous Eileen Ford agency. The beginning of a successful career that will last fifteen years. In 1994, Yolanda van den Herik married the flamboyant American-Jordanian real estate developer of Palestinian origin, Mohamed Hadid, and settled in the United States for good. They divorced in 2000, she will remarry in 2011 with music producer David Foster.

A wrong mind would speak of an ideal “story telling”: what better, indeed, than a major ordeal to spice up the story of a successful life? Yolanda Hadid has in fact amply publicized the disaster that fell upon her in 2012, forcing her to leave “Real Housewives”: Lyme disease, a bacterial infection transmitted by tick bites. She would have contracted it in contact with horses. Fatigue, depression, physical pain all around, insomnia, she made a book of her ordeal, Believe Me: My Battle Against the Invisible Lyme Disease published in September 2017. With the acme of this temptation of suicide, one day in Florida. “I took off my clothes and slipped into the dark blue ocean, soft and comforting. The waves gently caressed my naked body, and I could feel the current carrying me away.” The “mom” warrior caught up with the wavering sufferer, “My afterthought was a clear picture of my three children, it changed my dark thoughts immediately and was the only thing that kept me from drifting off and drowning.”

It has since been learned that Bella would also be a victim of Lyme disease, which would have forced her to postpone her equestrian ambitions (she wanted to participate in the Olympics, like her father who represented Jordan in 1992, at age 44, in speed skiing…), as well as Anwar. Gigi suffers from Hashimoto’s disease, a thyroid condition that would explain her weight variations. And, in 2017, Yolanda Hadid and David Foster got divorced… So what? Yolanda relaunched her career, with “Making a Model.” And she says, phoenix-like: “Lyme disease is a real nightmare, and it’s incurable. If there is one thing I hope to leave behind, it is to have contributed to finding a cure for this scourge that millions of people suffer from… It took me six years to go into remission, and staying in remission is a daily struggle, involving a very specific, very healthy lifestyle in a very toxic world. But this disease has taken me through so many stages that I am now reconciled to my age. In the U.S., everyone gets boob jobs, botox injections, fillers all over the place, here I find myself living away from all that, I’m living my age without outside intervention and it’s great, I’m totally connected to myself.” A TV show project that would “educate people on wellness” is obviously on the cards, as well as a second book. The Hadid locomotive is firing on all cylinders.