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Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster knows how hard it can be to have a career in fashion. As a former supermodel herself, she wanted to make sure that when her daughters, Gigi and Bella Hadid, pursued their own catwalk dreams, they had the right foundation to not get sucked up into the industry craziness.
"They were not allowed to work until they were 17, until you knew who they are," she tells Allure. "I was 16 when I got started, but I needed to work. It is a different situation for them. I took each of them on their 17th birthday and found them an agency that was right for them. It ended up being the same agent for both, IMG. And I told them to work hard."
As Yolanda noted, it's an industry where only looks matter, which can make it even harder on a young woman. "It can be tough being judged about how you look for your whole life," says Yolanda, who had her daughters with ex-husband Mohammed Hadid.
Bella, 18, dished on some of the key advice her mom gave her prior to signing her contract and moving to NYC. "Especially moving to the city for the first time on my own, it was a lot of just, make sure you don't let people bring you down," says Bella. "There is a lot of negativity in the industry, but you can turn it to positive—take it as constructive criticism. She wanted us to develop as human beings, rather than to be afraid of being judged only by the exterior."
Bella is newer to the modeling game, having signed her contract back in August. But Gigi, 19, has been heating up the industry quicker than her mom could have ever anticipated, including A-list gigs during Paris Fashion Week and serving as the face for Tom Ford's new campaign.
"Yes, I was shocked," Yolanda says of her quick success. "That was my five-year plan for her, it wasn't my first 12-month plan. Personally, I was also lucky. It was just being in the right place at the right time. And that's what I always tell my girls. They might be looking for a blonde all-American—well, Belle, that's not the time for you. But if this is what they are looking for right now, you'll hit it out of the park. And so she is."
With her big sister's footsteps to follow in, Bella is looking forward to all the perks that come with being a professional supermodel.
"Geeze, it has been a lot of fun, a really intense last couple of months," says Bella. "But I just shot for Teen Vogue. There was a great crew, a lot of fun people. I've been able to shoot with some awesome photographers. I'm majoring in photography in school right now, So, learning by just getting to shoot with them is amazing."
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•Gigi Hadid: How My Mom Shaped My Career
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