As the face of the brand’s initiative, the 21-year-old spirited IMG model will encourage women to use exercise and physical fitness “as an escape to drown out all of the negativity that surrounds them,” by zeroing in on the social, physical and mental benefits.
The Boston-based athletic company refers to the initiative as “an inspirational call to action that asks women around the world to celebrate the beauty of imperfection and champions Reebok’s intrinsic message of self-betterment.
Some might consider the California native, who has been busy walking runways for European designers to be an unlikely authority on imperfection. But Reebok claims that Hadid is “no stranger to the pressures of perfection placed on women, living under the constant scrutiny of a global audience of critics.”
Apparently, fitness is her gateway to tranquility. Before taking modeling more seriously, she was a competitive horseback rider and volleyball player, even vying in the Junior Olympic qualifiers.
“Working out isn’t only physical for me. It’s mental. It helps me escape the noise in my head. It’s the only time my mind goes quiet,” Hadid said. “When I was a competitive athlete, I used to be so focused on being perfect that my coaches would take me out of competing all together. I’d focus on my mistakes which would breed more missteps — a domino effect. Until I learned to change the channel, to refocus, reset. It was my mistakes, my imperfections that motivated me most.”
After striking back against body-shaming critics on Instagram recently, Hadid’s post received 300,000 likes. Learning to “change the channel” and take control, Hadid realized these failures and setbacks helped her improve – and by accepting them she used them as motivation to better herself. As part of the ongoing deal, she was photographed by Cathrine Wessel for the new Reebok campaign that breaks today. Hadid will work with Reebok to motivate women to accept their own setbacks and imperfections by embracing their inner strength, grit and determination, according to Reebok’s press material.
Hadid has been unabashed about her athletic tendencies. Tommy Hilfiger, who has a cobranded collection with her, made her the spotlight of his South Street Seaport carnival-inspired runways show in New York last month. And the designer made sure to have “Gigi’s Boxing Club” as an attraction for carnival-goers.
By leading the second phase of #PerfectNever, Hadid follows in the footsteps of an internationally known UFC fighter and fellow Reebok endorser — Ronda Rousey, who launched the initiative in July. With 23.6 million Instagram followers, Hadid packs even more of a punch for Reebok compared to Rousey, who has 8.5 million.
But Reebok has recruited Hadid to promote more routine forms of exercise. Corinna Werkle, general manager of the training business unit at Reebok, said she “constantly pushes the boundaries by not being afraid to take risks and be different.”
“Gigi is setting the standards of modern style across the world; her ability to fuse fashion and fitness together inspires people globally,” Werkle said. “Working with Reebok, Gigi will empower women by challenging them to express themselves to the fullest through bold, fearless style and to be confident enough to embrace their uniqueness.”
Hadid is the latest notable name to be drafted by Reebok, which currently works with music producer Swizz Beatz, seven-time Grammy winner Kendrick Lamar and Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.