When model Gigi Hadid sashayed down the Victoria’s Secret catwalk in November, it was more than just a runway show for her. It was a victory lap.
This career triumph followed numerous other 2015 milestones. The California-raised model was on the cover of Vogue Italia and W. She landed the Balmain fall 2015 fashion campaign. She was prominently featured in Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue and had a cameo in pal Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video. She was also paparazzi bait, alongside such high-profile boyfriends as singer Joe Jonas and former One Direction member Zayn Malik.
And just days after the lingerie extravaganza aired on TV in December, none other than the bible of high fashion — Vogue — officially anointed the 20-year-old a “supermodel.”
Simply put, 2015 was the year of Gigi Hadid.
But unlike past fashion-world It girls — Twiggy, Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, Karlie Kloss — who came from humble beginnings, Gigi is striding into the spotlight . . . from the spotlight.
Her father, Mohamed Hadid, is a colorful real estate developer who’s been all over the news lately for controversial business deals. Her mother is “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star and former Ford model Yolanda Foster. Up until recently Yolanda was seemingly happily married to star music producer David Foster — but the tabloids have been consumed with mudslinging news of their divorce.
And David carries his own colorful history of relationships: Before he tied the knot with Yolanda, the producer was married to Linda Thompson — who was also once married to Bruce Jenner.
It’s the type of familial web that can be spun only in Los Angeles.
The history of Jelena “Gigi” Hadid goes all the way back to Palestine, where her father, Mohamed — an enigmatic, overly tanned man with an open disdain for shirt buttons — was born in 1948. His family lived in Damascus, Syria, and later in Tunis, Tunisia. When he was 15, the Hadids moved to Washington, DC. Mohamed attended North Carolina State and took graduate classes at MIT.
Though he didn’t graduate from either, he began to scratch his entrepreneurial itch by running a nightclub on the Greek island of Rhodes and then flipping used Rolls-Royces in DC.
But those businesses were merely a warm-up for his real calling — real estate development in the nation’s capital. With his tailored suits, slick personality and pretty, blond first wife, Mary, he stuck out in the town filled with stiff politicos. He owned a private plane and lived on a 1,000-acre Maryland farm that once belonged to automaker Walter Chrysler. But Mohamed had his eyes set on even bigger things.
“He was a lot of flash and dash right from the start,” says Harry Jaffe, a writer who chronicled Hadid for now-defunct business magazine Regardie’s during the 1980s. “As a fanciful high-flyer making deals in a town that was used to staid operators, he was one of a kind.”
In 1987, Mohamed began his move west — by outfoxing Donald Trump. He swooped in with $42.9 million and bought a foreclosed, undeveloped site and an additional 66-acre piece of land in Aspen, Colo. — property that Trump thought he had in the bag.
Trump sued to nullify the deal. According to Jaffe, the pair broke bread at the Waldorf Astoria and gleefully agreed to do business together. Trump, ever the bloviator, never came through with cash for the project and asked for $6 million to drop the lawsuit, as he proclaimed that Hadid paid too much for the land. But the dispute eventually petered out, and Mohamed built a Ritz-Carlton (now a St. Regis hotel) on the land. He went on to develop other luxury projects in the Rocky Mountain town, as well as in cities like Houston and New York, before eventually making his way to Los Angeles to build mansions.
“I think there’s a Trump-like aspect to Hadid. He likes marquee properties. He likes golf courses, and he likes properties that he can point to and say, ‘This is mine, I own this,’ ” says Jaffe.
Something else he wanted? Beautiful women. After ending his first marriage to Mary, with whom he had two daughters, Alana and Marielle, he married Yolanda van den Herik in 1994.
The pretty Dutch model, who was discovered by the legendary Eileen Ford and even lived with the Ford family in their New York home, went on to have three children with Hadid: Gigi, Bella (now 19) and Anwar (now 16).
But their marriage ended in 2003 after Hadid cheated on Yolanda — reportedly with Polish model Joanna Krupa of the now-canceled “Real Housewives of Miami.”
“Mohamed cheated on Yolanda, and it broke her heart,” a friend of Yolanda’s tells The Post. “Mohamed is very charismatic and charming — he often has a very young [woman] on his arm.”
Mohamed — now under fire for building a mega-mansion in Bel Air without the proper permits — is now engaged to Persian beauty Shiva Safai, whom he met at Beverly Hills restaurant Il Pastaio.
Despite the infidelity, they remained close.
They were so close that it was Mohamed, 67, who introduced her to David Foster — the songwriter and producer saw a photo of Mohamed’s ex and expressed interest. They met at one of Mohamed’s parties, and in 2011, the pair tied the knot in front of Oprah Winfrey, Michael Bublé, Kate Hudson and Steve Wynn.
Mohamed was, an associate says, “delighted when they announced their engagement.”
By then David — who has 16 Grammys and has worked with everyone from Madonna to Whitney Houston, Celine Dion to Josh Groban — already had three failed marriages and a failed reality show under his belt. In 2005 he appeared on Fox’s show “The Princes of Malibu,” starring then-wife Linda and her sons with Bruce Jenner — Brandon and Brody Jenner. David filed for divorce the day after the show premiered.
David, now 66, and Yolanda went on to have a lovey-dovey marriage — at least in front of the “Real Housewives” cameras. But it was recently revealed that they have been separated for close to a year.
Since their divorce announcement on Dec. 1, accusations have been flying about the collapse of their marriage.
Says a David insider, “With ‘Real Housewives,’ David thought it was a disaster. He didn’t like the way either he or Yolanda were portrayed; he didn’t like having to spend time with some of the other ‘wives’ and their husbands, and he felt that the show damaged his credibility within the music industry. He hoped the show would make Yolanda happy but it seemed to have the opposite effect on her, too, which made him mad about them signing up for the show in the first place.”
“That’s bulls - - t,” says a friend of the family. “He likes the attention.”
The insider adds that David’s lack of support as Yolanda struggled with Lyme disease was the major catalyst in the marriage breakdown.
“David prized Yolanda for her looks, and they were always very tactile before she got ill — he enjoyed showing her off at functions,” the insider says. “They had a very active sex life [before her illness], and when it became clear that Yolanda’s battle with Lyme disease was not going to be an easy fix, she felt that his interest in her started to wane.”
A David source counters: “He was as supportive as he could be, given his work schedule. They had other issues — he craved a pared-down, simpler life just when she became a household name. He also spent very long hours at work, which added stress to the marriage.”
Then there were the blended families. Yolanda is a proud mother who helped shepherd the exploding modeling careers of Gigi and Bella. Bosses at IMG, which reps both Hadid sisters, are also itching to work with Anwar and looking for age-appropriate projects for him.
“Yolanda would go to castings and shows and tell the girls how to walk, and how to work the cameras,” says a family insider. “She doesn’t see anything wrong with [her being hands-on]. She believes it helps them avoid all the pitfalls that some models fall into, like drugs and inappropriate relationships.
“She thinks that with the right support,” the source continues, “either of her girls could be the next Gisele Bündchen.”
But David also has daughters who harbored dreams of fame: Sara, 34, and Erin, 33 (from his second marriage to former flight attendant Rebecca Dyer), stars of VH1’s reality spoof “Barely Famous.”
“Foster’s daughters hated Linda and the Jenner boys. And they can’t compete with Gigi. Sara wanted to be a model. To see Gigi have all of this success, I am sure there was some resentment, too,” says the Foster family friend.
Next comes the dizzying task of settling financial entanglements. The family friend says it could get complicated: “David is just not supergenerous.”
But that may not matter, the source adds. Mohamed may have foisted her on David, but he made sure she would be well taken care of. The real estate mogul was generous in the divorce. Yolanda walked away with a reported $3.6 million and a $6 million Santa Barbara mansion where she raised her three children.
“Yolanda got a very generous settlement from her ex, Mohamed,” the family insider says. “She is actually worth more than David Foster.”
The way things are going, though, Gigi could end up wealthier than all of them. It was just revealed that she makes $300,000 per Instagram post.