On Thursday, Gigi Hadid disappointed fans when she announced that she would no longer be walking in the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China. The 22-year-old model, who was set to walk in the fan-favorite televised event next week, expressed on Twitter that she was “bummed” to miss out on the show, but assured fans that she’ll return to the catwalk next year.
Considering Hadid’s lifelong dream to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (as seen by her teary reaction when she was announced for the show in 2015), the model’s sudden departure raised eyebrows among fans and industry folk who were shocked to see Hadid drop out. And though we might never learn why Hadid couldn’t make it to China, we can also participate in the theorizing. Check out some of our theories, below.
She Didn’t Want to Deal with the Chinese Press
In February, Hadid faced a lot of heat after she posted a video in which she appeared to be making fun of Asian traits by slanting her eyes to mimic a Buddha doll. Fast-forward to September and Hadid was confronted with the video again when it was announced that she would be walking for Victoria’s Secret in China.
Given the firestorm surrounding the video, which prompted Chinese people to call for the government to block Hadid’s entry, it’s likely that Hadid dropped out of the show simply to avoid the negative and uncomfortable press she would’ve had to do once she touched down. Given Hadid’s skirting of the issue—aside from a relatively secret apology on the Chinese social media site, Weibo—it’s likely that the model isn’t comfortable with the questions that might ensue if she was to go on with the show.
She Couldn’t Obtain a Chinese Visa
Now, it might sound unbelievable that Hadid, a frequent jet-setting model, wouldn’t be able to obtain a travel visa, but given her history and China’s strict government, Hadid being turned for a visa might seem like a more clear possibility. Already, four models have been turned down for visas with the Chinese government, so it’s not too out-there for Hadid to also be lumped in that group, even if she is one of the biggest faces out there.
She Signed Another Lingerie Deal and Has a Non-Compete Clause
It’s reported that Hadid’s friend, Kendall Jenner, was unable to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show this year because she signed a brand deal with high-end lingerie brand, La Perla. Given Hadid’s top-model status, she could’ve struck a similar deal right before the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, preventing her from walking. Likewise, brand deals can be strict (even if the brand isn’t directly competing with another company), so Hadid’s just-inked Maybelline contract could also be a preventer. However, considering that Hadid suggested she was going to walk in 2018’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, a fashion deal might not be the most plausible explanation.