A New Muse for TAG Heuer

Whereas some prestigious watch brands prefer avoiding direct associations of their products with the world of fashion, others, on the contrary, see in it a great opportunity to partner up with the hottest and most fashionable people, and even break away from the traditional codes of the watchmaking universe. This is definitely the approach chosen by TAG Heuer that has recently added supermodel Bella Hadid to its list of prestigious ambassadors.

In a somewhat tense climate for Swiss watchmakers, TAG Heuer announced some positive financial results, claiming 2016 was even its best year ever. This may precisely be due to the fact that the brand has been capable of listening to an ever-evolving market. As such, TAG Heuer’s continued to remain visible to its existing clients, while — and more importantly — constantly attracting a whole new audience.

By partnering up with Bella Hadid, the brand is undoubtedly targeting millennials. “We aim to reach out to those who have not yet bought a TAG Heuer watch and make them dream,” explains Jean-Claude Biver himself. With over 10.6 million Instagram followers, Bella Hadid has the capacity to touch this ultra-connected young generation, so prone to consuming differently and instantaneously. The point is not anymore to own but rather to experience moments and share them on the Internet. A philosophy of life inspired and dictated by influencers such as Bella, who is also in constant communication with her immense community of followers. Through this partnership, TAG Heuer has gained a new and highly reliable communication platform. A smart strategy that will enable it to stay accessible to the general public, to gain new clients, and above all to drastically increase the brand awareness on the web.

Bella Hadid
Bella Hadid

Jean-Claude Biver admits that it was his 17-year-old son who had first whispered the name of Bella Hadid to him, just as he had previously also suggested Martin Garrix, Alec Monopoly or even Cara Delevingne. It was also his son who convinced him to buy a pair of Yeezy shoes. Who knows…TAG Heuer’s next partnership might be with Kayne West?

Bella Hadid is now a part of the large TAG Heuer family of ambassadors alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Steve McQueen and even David Guetta. Athletes, actors, artists, models and pilots all of whom live highly demanding lives.

#Dontcrackunderpressure! This appropriate and powerful slogan has also been our guide this week as we flew to New York in what was to be an express round trip covered in barely within 24 hours. The journey was specially organized last Monday, the 13th of February, for the announcement of this partnership with Bella Hadid.

Difficult to imagine a trendier setting, since the event was organized in the midst of New York’s fashion week, moreover in an explosive venue: Equinox, Manhattan’s most popular gym. In this fun and relaxed atmosphere animated by singer Leona Lewis, we were able to witness a few boxing moves and a couple of spinach cubes, to top it all off, by way of amuse-bouche. What more could we say? Everything was absolutely “spot on”, nothing exaggerated, and in perfect harmony with our times. A blend of healthy lifestyle and hyper connectivity.

Bella Hadid

We were fortunate enough to be able to interview the star of the night, despite her long and exhausting day on the catwalk. Nominated model of the year, in 2016, this hard-working professional quickly managed to make her way in the ruthless world of modelling; a quite different universe than what she had imagined during her childhood. Back then, her original ambition was to become a horserider.

She, however, had no choice but to quit horse-riding, having been diagnosed with Lyme disease, a kind of auto-immune condition, which kept her from being able to keep up with the intense physical demands of training at a very high level.

It was as a result that she gave up on her Rio 2016 Olympic dreams and instead focused on another one of her passions, photography. From there one thing led to another, and almost as if by magic, Bella was very rapidly propelled into the world of fashion, standing toe to toe with some of the most famous models of this day, coveted by prestigious designers and fashion magazines alike.

Perfectly balanced and stunningly beautiful (which helps overlook some her occasional clumsiness), Bella Hadid can be proud of her already impressive career history, at only twenty years old. She obviously isn’t a watchmaking expert, but our conversation revealed that Bella’s girl of simple taste in watches with a little bling when the occasion calls for it.

Bella Hadid

What can we expect from this partnership with TAG Heuer?

Total exclusivity of course! I will only wear their watches. We have foreseen a lot of activities such as for example an international campaign with a lot of travelling. I will attend some of the brand events and be a strong ambassador on social media. Hopefully, I will also come to Switzerland to design a watch. I would really love to visit, since two of my best friends live there and I have always dreamed of visiting the country!

 

How do you imagine this watch of yours that you’d like to design with TAG Heuer?

Simple, with just a few diamonds and in rose gold. Of course, I would still need to brainstorm a bit…

 

You are a big influencer on the Internet. Could you tell us a bit more about what this means to you?

I manage all my social media channels myself. I believe this is the best way to communicate with my fans and my friends. This enables me to spontaneously share moments of my life and to pass on messages to people within my community. Everybody has crazy jam-packed, occupied lives today so social media provides us a great way to stay connected from all points of view.

Bella Hadid

Who is your greatest inspiration?

My mother, without hesitation! She is the strongest woman I have ever known and we are extremely close. She gave me everything and continues to support me on a daily basis, guiding me in all my choices. She taught me to appreciate simplicity, both in life and in fashion.

(Writer’s Note: Yolanda Hadid is an ex-model of Dutch origin. Nowadays, she is, above all, famous for her awareness campaigns and her fight against Lyme disease, a kind of autoimmune disease of which she herself is a victim. A battle she shares daily with her 2.2 million followers).

 

What brought you into the world of modelling and how did you decide to pursue it as a career?

Modelling has always been in the family. My mother was a model, my sister as well and now my brother too. I knew that maybe one day I would be brought to this world, although, my first passion has always been horse-riding. It was my obsession. I started at the age of two and always wanted to become a professional. But unfortunately, some health issues forced me to quit. I started modelling after school and at the same time put my name down for a photography course at the Parsons School in New York.

Just like the other TAG Heuer ambassadors, the #DontCrackUnderPressure slogan suits you very well. You are an extremely active woman. How do you manage to disconnect and let go?

I recently took up meditation. When I feel the need to stop, I play music on a loop, which helps me get into the right state of mind. This enables me to channel my spirit and my energy to concentrate on the present moment.

Do you have a particular message that you would like to communicate?

Trust yourself! Up until recently, I simply didn’t trust myself and this is something that I really had to work on…and am still working on. The most important thing is to learn to love yourself but, of course, also to love…boys! Men, women, cats and dogs. Actually everybody!

How do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?

I will, of course, still be working. I hope I will have a nice house and, why not, a family. I just want to be happy!

 

What was your first watch?

I couldn’t tell you the exact model…but I remember that I was always stealing my Dad’s watch, which was much too big for me. Believe it or not, it just so happened to be a TAG Heuer!

Editor’s Note: Macha Vananty is a writer, classic rally car champion and co-founder of Watch-her.com. Follow her along on her journeys on her Instagram and Facebook accounts.

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