Powerful, memorable, and unforgettable. That pretty much sums up Bella Hadid's debut campaign for Marc Jacobs but it actually has nothing to do with her specifically. Yes, Gigi Hadid's little sister strikes a fierce pose and confident stare in an embellished red and blue two-piece shorts set and a cropped, sky blue military jacket. The model is also rocking her familiar, center-parted chocolate locks. So why is this particular ad from a high profile fashion campaign so powerful and important?
Yes, Jacobs has recruited a wealth of unexpected and stunning models for his Spring/Summer 2016 campaign, from trans director Lana Wachowski to supreme diva Bette Midler to actress Juliette Lewis.
But for Hadid's ad, she is situated next to a same-sex duo sharing a passionate kiss while wearing stars and stripes outfits.
It's a beautiful and enduring image and not just because of Hadid's stunning face and eyes. The men are kissing while wearing prints that are emblematic of America. The stars and stripes are not only the physical patterns of the American flag but they represent so much more. The flag pattern means many different things to many different people. In this case, they remind us of the fact that America should accept everyone, regardless of their differences. At least that is how I interpreted it.
It really is that simple.
Hadid is the sole model in the ad looking directly at the camera. Another model is giving a bit of side eye. But other than that, Hadid is the only one to make eye contact. That's another powerful element of this ad, which has a lot going on and makes such a meteoric impact.
Scoring a Marc Jacobs campaign is a huge deal, especially for an up and coming model like Hadid. She's not at her sister's level yet, so her celebrity doesn't distract from the overarching, larger message. But an ad like this can help push the younger Hadid up that career ladder. That said, the fact that she shares the spotlight with several important visual messages makes me dig Hadid even more.
Hadid is a part of something really groundbreaking here, as the designer has recruited models from all races, creeds, sexual orientations, and identities and has used familiar American iconography in his designs while doing so. Perhaps B. Hadid will be nipping at her big sister's heels a lot sooner than we thought.
Once again, kudos to Jacobs for shaking up the fashion world with this campaign.