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What is the Bella Hadid effect that fashion loves so much?



Her street style is perhaps even more prominent. Lyst named Hadid ‘Power Dresser of the Year’ in its Fashion 2022 roundup report, with her outfits sparking a 1,900 per cent increase in searches for for Y2K pieces such as corsets (+70 per cent), cargo pants (+56 per cent) and the ultra-mini platform Ugg boots (+152 per cent), which sold out after her viral street style moment.

“Bella Hadid has become a front runner of the ‘weird girl’ aesthetic in fashion. Unafraid to embrace bold and unconventional looks, she inspires fans to experiment with their own styles,” says Lefty head of marketing Lea Mao. “She is more than a reference for Gen Z fashion; her willingness to push boundaries and embrace individuality makes her a relatable and influential style icon.”

Authenticity resonates particularly well among younger crowds — according to Lefty, 88 per cent of Hadid followers are between 18 and 34. “Most top-impactful talents are actually very relatable, whether it’s in the ways interviews are conducted, in their relationship to the public eye or the way they interact on social media,” adds fashion commentator Osama Chabbi. “[Bella] seems quite close to her community — that’s the secret recipe, being humanised as much as possible.”

Hadid, who has been open about her struggles with Lyme disease, is also vocal about philanthropy — more specifically working with food banks, or supporting the Black Lives Matter and Palestinian movements (the model is of Palestinian heritage on her father’s side). In an age of oversaturation, standing for something can make a talent stand out, Chabbi says. “Having devotion and fighting for a cause is also essential,” he adds. “I believe she has shown bravery and strength being vocal about the Palestinian struggle without being scared of compromising her livelihood or career.”

What it means for brands

Particularly after her time out, the furore around Hadid is beneficial to luxury labels wanting to start trends. “Virality is definitely talent sensitive,” says Chabbi. “Talents are much faster trend vectors than clothing being showcased on runways. That’s the core of celebrity culture: see, watch, duplicate.”

Her appearances at Cannes this year have already generated $8.5 million in earned media value (EMV, defined as the equivalent ad spend of the impressions gained) for the brands Hadid is wearing, per Lefty. Data analytics account @databutmakeitfashion found that 18 per cent of all top articles in the media for Saint Laurent and 13 per cent of top articles about Gucci concern Hadid’s Cannes looks.

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