Alana Hadid feels ‘much more confident’ making runway debut at 40 – and was 'honored' she was picked to wear sheer dress | The Sun09/13/2023
IN the youth-obsessed fashion world, most models get their start in their teens — and try to break into the biz over 25? Forget about it.
But on September 12, Alana Hadid — yes, that Hadid — made her New York Fashion Week runway debut at 40, and she tells The U.S. Sun she wouldn't have it any other way.
While her half-sisters Gigi, 28, and Bella, 26, started modeling as kids — Gigi did a Baby Guess campaign at age two — Alana took another route carving out a name for herself in fashion.
She's a fashion designer and the co-founder of La Detresse, which counts Winnie Harlow, Pink, Vanessa Bryant, Charli D'Amelio, and her sisters as fans.
She's dabbled in modeling campaigns, working with Lou & Grey and jewelry brand Colette.
But this season, she's jumped into runway modeling for the first time.
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She made her debut at Copenhagen Fashion Week, walking for Saks Potts and Munthe.
That was "a total fluke accident," she said; she'd reached out to brands to attend and was invited to model instead.
And this week, she took to an NYFW runway for the first time at Elena Velez, where she walked through a mud pit in a Brooklyn warehouse.
While some women might feel self-conscious about joining a bunch of early-20-somethings on the catwalk, Alana said being 40 offered a serious advantage.
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"I feel so much more confident," she told The U.S. Sun.
"I do think that if I was doing this even 10 years ago, I wouldn't have felt as good about doing it.
"I would have probably had a bit more of a comparison mindset. But right now I feel very good."
That's true on and off the runway.
"I feel more self-possessed and more comfortable in my clothes as I've gotten older. I feel more comfortable in my body," she said.
"I think that's one of the most beautiful parts about getting older.
"Hopefully it means that you feel more confident and comfortable in what you're doing, what you're feeling, your body, and what you wear."
Alana certainly didn't go into this timidly.
At Munthe's show in Copenhagen, she rocked a totally sheer nude dress layered over a matching bikini.
Originally, the designer had shown it to her with a slip, but swapped it out for the more revealing option later — and Alana didn't see the final look until the day of the show.
"I was honored that of all the models, she put a 40-year-old model in that dress. Because there were some beautiful 20-something ladies on that runway," she said.
"I felt kind of like a Botticelli chick in that dress. It was very ethereal and exciting to wear.
"I was very nervous, for sure, but I felt really comfortable in her clothes and I felt really happy to get to wear that dress."
Though she was a first-timer, Alana felt no need to ask her sisters for advice.
"I mean, I'm 40. I know that they're cheering me on. I got a lot of FaceTimes and text messages before and after.
"As far as advice, no — I think that they knew that I had it. They were excited for me to kill it."
Alana was confident, excited, and a bit nervous — but thought it was "cool" to dive into something that made her feel that way at 40.
Ultimately, she said, it came down to confidence and not chasing after impossible perfection.
"The key is owning it and loving it. I always say: ‘If you want a bikini body, put a bikini on. Now you have a bikini body.'
"I stay healthy and I work out, but I have imperfections.
"I don't think that I have the same body I had when I was 20, and I like that."
Alana, whose dad is Mohamed Hadid, stressed the importance of seeing different types of women modeling clothes.
"The people who are buying these clothes want to see people that look like them on the runway," she said.
"Representation is important, and I think it's in the brand's best interest, but it's also just shifting fashion in general to be inclusive and reflective."
Fortunately, Alana thinks there's been a "big shift" in the way society talks about women as they get older.
"I think social media has had a lot to do with it. You see these really amazing, stylish, awesome, self-possessed women at 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80 on social media just owning it, loving it.
"[They're] not trying to act like a 20-year-old but dressing and feeling however they feel."
She added: "I think that starting this career at 40, for me, was kind of a call out that 40 isn't the end.
"In my generation, you were maybe subconsciously bred to feel that for a woman, life ends at 40 or that you can't really go up.
"And I think it can be beautiful, and it's been amazing to see the shift that's happened in society and in fashion."
To that end, Alana definitely doesn't believe in dictating "age-appropriate" dressing.
"There are some people who, as they get older, wouldn't want to show as much skin, and I think that that's great for them.
"There are some people who, as they get older, want to show more, and I think that that's also acceptable.
"But I don't think anyone gets to decide what's appropriate for anyone's body or how they decide to express themselves.
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"And people style things differently — they can make a piece of clothing look cool at 20 and also at 60.
"And I love that that's the shift that fashion is taking it's really about personal style."
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Alana told The U.S. Sun she's into brands like Ganni, Munthe, Saks Potts, and Acne.
Though she doesn't like fast fashion — saying it's not good for the environment — she insists what she wears "doesn't need to have a label" and calls herself a “vintage queen.”
"I've always had kind of an eclectic, every-day-is-a-different-person style," she said.
"One day I might kind of dress a little bit more modestly.
"Sometimes I look like a hippie.
"Sometimes I look like a fashionista.
"It just depends on how I'm feeling on that day. Some days it's yoga wear."
What she's not crazy about are some of the early '00s trends making a comeback, including "ugly owl necklaces" and "low-rise jeans."
But, she added: “I'm not 100 percent hating it,” citing cargo pants and JNCO-style jeans.
"It's been fun to see those trends coming back.
"I laugh a lot watching people wear them like they're new, but I think that it's been kind of cool to be old enough to see the trends come back."
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