Gigi Hadid recreates Vogue’s Israeli model cover

American-Palestinian model reincarnated the 1988 November issue that featured Israeli model Michaela Bercu

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American-Palestinian model Gigi Hadid has been chosen to recreate a 1988 Vogue magazine cover that featured then 18-year-old Israeli model Michaela Bercu.

Hadid reincarnated the 1988 November issue that featured Bercu and marked current Fashion mogul Anna Wintour’s first cover as editor of American Vogue.

Hadid, 19, is scheduled to walk several runways in the imminent string of fashion weeks. She has already made a name for herself in fashion circles, and Vogue editors have called her “an It-girl in waiting, the model-of-the-moment to-be” on their website.

Hadia Sinno, a fashion expert based in Lebanon, said that casting of the Palestinian-American model was a sign of a "hopefully" more unified world.

“Everything that happens around the world from revolutions, is reflected in fashion, it’s a way of expressing ourselves and a way through which designers express themselves,” Sinno, told Al Arabiya News.

However, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that while casting a woman of Palestinian descent to recreate an iconic photo-shoot of an Israeli model would stir a PR frenzy convenient to the re-launch of the website, the Israeli newspaper cited Hadid’s credentials as the main reasons behind Vogue’s decision.

While Sinno agreed that Vogue’s choice might have been based on making “an indirect statement” that we can all live as one, she said the editors had the genuine belief that Hadid is the girl for the job.

Noor al-Zeer, a Palestinian fashion enthusiast based in Dubai, said that while the photo shoot did not make Hadid “look good,” she believes the 19-year old model just happened to stumble upon a great opportunity.

“She's in the fashion industry and the opportunity was one of a kind and she took it,” she told Al Arabiya News.

“For her [Hadid], it's totally normal, it's just a magazine cover copying a model who happens to be Israeli,” al-Zeer explained.

The resemblance between the two is uncanny. Hadid wears a black blouse bedazzled with statement-colored rocks and a pair of washed jeans reminiscent of the ensemble worn by Bercu in the 1988 issue that Hadid holds as she smiles to the camera.

Photographed by Sean Thomas, Gigi’s effortlessly wavy golden locks pose as a final reminder of the Israeli model’s photos snapped all the way back in 1988.

Gigi Hadid for Vogue
Gigi Hadid for Vogue

The 1988 issue abandoned the generic close-ups and the tons of make-up and jewelry.

“This one broke all the rules,” Wintour wrote about the cover, adding that the magazine printers at the time called and asked if there had been a mistake.

Michaela Bercu in 1988 on the first cover curated bu Anna Wintour for American Vogue. (Photo courtesy:
Michaela Bercu in 1988 on the first cover curated bu Anna Wintour for American Vogue. (Photo courtesy:

“Michaela wasn’t looking at you, and worse, she had her eyes almost closed. Her hair was blowing across her face. It looked easy, casual, a moment that had been snapped on the street, which it had been, and which was the whole point,” the fashion power-woman explained.

“I had just looked at that picture and sensed the winds of change. And you can’t ask for more from a cover image than that,” she said.

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