Gigi Hadid discusses the importance of immigrants in the U.S. and abroad.
The supermodel is one of the cover stars for Variety‘s “Power of Women” feature. Hadid, 23, is the daughter of immigrant parents — a Dutch mother and Palestinian father — and that has compelled her to take a stand in support of immigration.
“I saw two people that came from nothing and were given the opportunity to come to this country and be great,” she says. “This country was built off immigrants. It’s great because of immigrants. I think that the march [against President Trump’s proposed Muslim ban] was so special to me because New York is such a melting pot of so many worlds in one.”
“That’s what America should be, to me. It should be a place that’s shared with whoever wants to explore and learn and grow.”
Hadid recently travelled to Bangladesh with UNICEF to meet with refugee women and children. “I think the most powerful part of meeting the refugees was their willingness and openness to learn how they could better their situation,” she figures. “They wanted to have conversations. They wanted to share their stories. They wanted the education and tools to better their lives.”
“Within a camp, I’m no one. I’m there to share a smile. I’m there to share a moment with someone. When I would leave and get in a car, all I wanted to do was take everything I soaked in my brain and put it into my phone so I could get that information to the world. I wanted people to experience it with me.”
Variety’s “Power of Women” New York luncheon will take place on Friday, April 5, at the Cipriani Midtown.