Bella Hadid’s Big New Life In Texas — Interview

Since then, Hadid has risen from “the younger Hadid sister” to a capital-S Supermodel in her own right. She’s been the face of multiple glossy campaigns for multiple fashion houses (Dior, Versace, Lanvin, Moschino, and Burberry, to name a few). She’s covered just about every major magazine, including this one.

Hadid’s also come to speak openly about her mental health struggles (severe anxiety, brain fog), and her battle with Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness associated with symptoms like extreme tiredness, muscle aches and pains, and other problematic immune responses. (The last few weeks have been tough, she says, and describes her recovery as “not really linear” and “a roller coaster.”) In the past year, she not only took an unofficial step back from modeling to focus on her mental and physical health, but moved to Texas and started an entirely new chapter with her horseman boyfriend, Adan Banuelos, whom she refers to as “my partner” and “an incredible older businessman” (he is 35). Banuelos trains cutting horses and riders. (Cutting is a type of equestrian competition in which a horse and rider have to separate a single cow from a herd.) Earlier this year, Hadid, a longtime show jumper, competed in an amateur cutting horse competition (she placed eighth). She was ready for new challenges. “After 10 years of modeling,” Hadid says, “I realized I was putting so much energy and love and effort into something that, in the long run, wasn’t necessarily giving it back to me.”

Now, she’s back in the public eye, and she means business. Hadid is launching her own fragrance line, ‘Ôrəbella, pronounced “aura-bella,” a portmanteau of Hadid, which means “iron ore” in Arabic, and her first name. And, in a way, it’s a family business. “Growing up in an Arab family, perfume and scents were almost a personality trait—I can still remember the way my grandparents smelled when they walked into a room,” Hadid says. “My uncle Mahmoud was making his own essential oils in the 70s—woody, tobacco-smelling scents.”

Preempting my next question, Hadid asserts that the line is not the product of some celebrity brand incubator. “It wasn’t something where somebody came to me and said, ‘We want to start a business with you,” Hadid says. She simply sought an alternative to the kind of alcohol-based fragrances that tend to come out of major perfume houses.

“I get hives and rashes from stress alone, so I tend to stay away from anything that will trigger my body nowadays,” she says. And that includes traditional perfumes. Five years ago, Hadid began concocting her own scents. She would visit a health food store near her family’s Pennsylvania farm, picking out the most obscure essential oils she could find, and blend them in glycerin-filled spray bottles. (As a certified aromatherapist, I can confirm the only safe essential oil to wear directly on the skin is lavender; any others must be mixed with a base such as glycerin for safe experimentation.) “I was trying to make them as unique as possible so that when I put them on my body, it felt singular to me,” Hadid says.

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