Hailey Baldwin is the new Guess girl.
The 19-year-old model, who has 6.5 million followers on Instagram, is picking up the baton from her friend Gigi Hadid, who has appeared in Guess ads since she was a child.
But, funnily enough, Hadid had nothing to do with Baldwin’s new gig. In fact, it was Baldwin’s chiropractor who connected her with Guess’ creative director Paul Marciano, who works in the same building as the doctor.
“I met Hailey by total, pure accident,” Marciano told WWD. “I didn’t know who she was, but when I met her she was 10 times prettier than what I expected and I wanted to choose her right away.”
While Baldwin, who was shot by photographer Rayan Ayash, has appeared in a few editorials and campaigns — she’s represented by IMG — this is one of her first major gigs.
“I never really know what direction things are going to go for me in my career,” said Baldwin, who cited Claudia Schiffer as her favorite Guess model. “But this is definitely a cool platform and I feel great to be a part of it.”
Marciano is no stranger to partnering up with emerging talent and watching their career trajectories skyrocket. Along with Hadid, who no longer works with Guess because she has an exclusive sportswear contract with Tommy Hilfiger, earlier this year Marciano collaborated with rapper A$AP Rocky on a capsule collection of men’s and women’s clothes inspired by the Guess archives — they are currently working on a new line for spring. The stylish rapper has gone on to work with Jonathan Anderson on an eight-piece collection for J.W. Anderson and was recently named one of the faces for Dior Homme’s fall campaign.
“I didn’t realize he had such an incredible sense of fashion,” said Marciano. “He knew every campaign and every image. We had people in London, New York Beverly Hills, Miami and Tokyo waiting outside of the store at 5 a.m. waiting to pick up his collection. We haven’t had that for years.”
Baldwin is hoping to follow a similar path.
“My focus is modeling right now and kind of taking the platform that I have into a more business direction,” said Baldwin. “I’ve always wanted to have my own thing, like my own skin-care line or clothing line. I’m very passionate about design and I really enjoy the business side of things.”