When the fashion industry professionals weren’t willing to take a chance on GiGi Hadid, her mom was. The model, 24, praised her mother Yolanda’s supportive ways.

“Obviously, the first person was my mom,” Hadid told i-D when asked about the mentors who gave her a chance early on. “And that wasn’t just in the industry – she always allowed me to be creative growing up, she had such a positive impact and always encouraged me to express myself in any way, whether that was cooking, drawing, trying to learn how to sew or letting me use and break her cameras.”

However, not everyone believed in her the way her mother did. Hadid revealed that early in her career she received quite a bit of criticism from outsiders.

“At the time I was still starting out in my career, I was coming out of high school, I still had my volleyball body,” she recalled. “It was a body that I loved. I knew how hard I worked to have those muscles, to be curved in those places – I kind of miss it now. At the time, people were hard on me and tried to say that I didn’t have a runway body.”

Despite harsh opinions, the supermodel would eventually get the opportunity of a lifetime to walk on a Paris runway.

“So for Jean Paul [Gaultier] to have me at his last ready-to-wear show in 2015 – not only to have me, but also to put me in an outfit that didn’t cover a lot… like, there were still stylists or designers at that time who were putting me in their shows, but putting me something that really covered my body,” she praised the designer. “And so for him to make me feel like he wanted me to shine in that way, it really meant a lot to me as a young model. And I know that he has done that for a lot of people.”

Hadid also acknowledged some of her other fashion industry supporters during the interview.

“But I think as I’ve got older in my career, I’d say Carine Roitfeld and Stephen Gan. I call them my fashion fairy godparents,” she said when asked about her mentors. “Then there’s my manager Luiz. Tommy Hilfiger giving me four seasons of a collection was insane. To put that kind of trust in someone – it gave me so much confidence in myself and that meant so much to me.”

When Hadid is not on the runway or at a photoshoot she enjoys creating, whether that be with food or paint. These activities and spending some time at her mother's farm in Pennsylvania helps her deal with the pace of the industry.

“I think my personal space for that is the farm,” she explained. “I think that everyone needs a place, or a space or a moment to themselves where they are able to do what they love and find their thing. For me that’s the farm, and whether that’s doing a little oil painting in the morning and then doing a puzzle in the afternoon... I don’t know, it’s random things.”

As for the future, Hadid isn’t sure where her career will take her, but thanks to her mom’s support she feels as if she can do anything.

“Well, one day I’ll start a family and I don’t know if I will always be modeling,” she added. “But who knows? Maybe I’ll take up full-time cooking!”

Gigi Hadid
Gigi Hadid walks the runway at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on Nov. 8, 2018 in New York City. Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images