Gigi Hadid is the official-unofficial face of the athleisure movement, thanks to her seemingly endless rotation of “going to the gym” getups. Last week, the boxing aficionado reminded us all that those leggings are not just for show when she fended off celebrity man-handler Vitalii Sediuk with an expertly aimed jab. Now, the fitness fiend and Tommy Hilfiger collaborator is finally taking her rightful place among sports brand spokesmodels like Cara Delevingne (Puma) and Karlie Kloss (Adidas, formerly Nike).
Today, Adidas-owned 80s darling Reebok (outfitter of aerobic enthusiasts and Patrick Ewing) announced Hadid as the newest face of its #PerfectNever campaign. The body-positive initiative is “an inspirational call to action that asks women around the world to celebrate the beauty of imperfection,” said the brand. Gigi, like UFC legend Ronda Rousey before her, will encourage women to use physical fitness as “an escape to drown out all of the negativity that surrounds them” and embrace the social, mental and physical benefits of exercise.
In many ways, Hadid embodies the campaign’s ethos. “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,” Gigi stated in a press release. “When I was a competitive athlete, I used to be so focused on being perfect that my coaches would take me out of competing altogether. 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.”
Since her attack, Hadid has stressed the fact that all women should be their own white knights — one of the many social benefits of working out. “I just want to use what happened to me to show that it’s everyone’s right, and it can be empowering, to be able to defend yourself,” the model wrote in Lena Dunham’s bi-weekly Lenny Letter.
“Perfect” never exceeds expectation. It doesn’t allow us to reach our full potential. May we be confident and have love for who we are, but, in all that we are passionate about, may we always remember that Good is the enemy of GREAT. Don’t settle. I’m so honored to join a campaign that’s committed to pushing these boundaries for women. Thank you @reebokwomen for creating such an inspiring message of female empowerment – I’m so excited to be a part of it! #PerfectNever #BeMoreHuman #TeamReebok @reebok #ad
In an interview with Refinery29, Hadid emphasized the fact that people’s struggles with perfection extend far beyond the gym. “Everyone thinks that celebrities, because they’re in that position, are perfect. But they don’t realize that, by doing that, they place that need to feel perfect on the celebrity, who isn’t that way naturally — like everyone else,” she shared, continuing, “If I couldn’t fall back on the fact that I’m human, then it would be the worst thing ever. That’s what’s so great: If I do make a mistake, I’m always the one to laugh at it. People can put down my runway walk or the way I handle situations — then I’m always the first person to look back and ask myself if that was the right thing and learn from that to try and be better. But the only way that I could grow is because I’m not perfect in the first place.”
Check out the promo video above, the Fall 2016 campaign imagery below, and keep a wary eye out for the glowy jacket and gray sneaks, which Gigi recommends snatching up when they drop this November.