Hadid was born on October 9, 1996 in Washington, D.C.to real-estate developer Mohamed Hadid and former model Yolanda Hadid (née van den Herik), and was raised in Los Angeles, California. Her mother is Dutch, and her father is Palestinian.
Through her father she claims descent from Daher Al Omer, Prince of Nazareth and the Sheik of Galilee. Hadid has two siblings, an older sister named Gigi, who is also a model, and a younger brother, Anwar. She has two older half-sisters, Marielle and Alana, from her father’s side.
Hadid and her siblings were originally raised on a ranch in Santa Barbara, California for ten years. As a teenager, Hadid was an equestrian and dreamed of competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics,although she competed in equitation, which is not an Olympic discipline. She was diagnosed, along with her mother and brother, with chronic Lyme disease in 2012.
In fall 2014, Hadid moved to New York City and began studying photography at the Parsons School of Design, signing to IMG shortly before. She has since dropped out of school due to the success of her modeling career, but has expressed interest in returning to school to take on fashion photography as a career once she is done modeling. Hadid has also expressed interest in acting.
2012–2014: Early work
Hadid began modeling at age 16 with a Flynn Skye commercial project. Hadid also starred in the “Swan Sittings” by Lesa Amoore, alongside actor Ben Barnes, before appearing in “Smoking Hot” by Holly Copeland. Hadid also modeled for Hanna Hayes’ F/W 2013 collection, alongside various other commercial projects, including campaign work for Chrome Hearts during 2013 and 2014
2014–2015: Rise to prominence
She made her New York Fashion Week debut in the fall of 2014, walking for Desigual.