Changing the world one prayer at a time: Anwar Hadid

As the younger brother of supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid, Anwar Hadid has some big - and stylish - shoes to fill. But the younger Hadid is already making a name for himself as a model scoring campaign work with Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren and Zadig-Voltaire.

Now, in his first visit to Australia, the 19-year-old who currently lives in Soho, New York, will walk exclusively for the David Jones runway in Sydney.

But Hadid is hoping to do more with his public status than just chase the followers (that's 2.2 million on Instagram and counting), wanting to spread the word of peace, love and human rights. With a dose of fashion label marketing as well.

A message to share

The tall peroxide blond has been busy finalising his jewellery and clothing line titled Martyr which debuts in November. When we meet, he's wearing a sterling silver ring with the words 'Pray For Us' engraved on it and draped around his neck are healing crystals on a silver chain – both from the new range.

He started the label three years ago with his friend Yoni and now has three creative directors working behind the scenes to make his fashion dreams come true.

"Martyr is about creating something I love and spreading that message.  I want to give a voice to those who don't have one," he says of the loaded title.

DIY skill sets

The teenager learned how to sew from a back room at a tattoo parlour. He watched tattooists draw and ink clients while he was shown how to sew and use chain stitching machines over two summers before he moved into modeling.

"I've always been interested in making my own clothes," smiles Hadid.

"I always cut my clothes and would piece them back together from when I was very young. I...don't really feel comfortable in my own skin so I always like to mix it up and create my own look. I feel somewhat split, it's hard to explain," he says.

A family affair

He signed to IMG Models in 2016 – the same agency that rosters his sisters and has since been on the cover of L'Officiel Hommes and guest appeared on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills where his mother Yolanda is a main star.

"My mum and sisters are the most important people in my world and we don't really see what we do as competing with one another," he says.

"People assume that it's a problem for me to have them there, but I don't feel I need to break off from them.

"We're one big family and none of us share that feeling of competition. If anything they text and call me to say they're proud of their little brother. My goals are completely different from theirs. They know I am not trying to be them. I am just myself."

A place of influence

Hadid says he wants to use his position of privilege to make the world a better place, what's more the ambitious teen can probably do it.

He wants to launch a worldwide Prayer and Meditation Day – not in the name of one religion – to raise a collective consciousness for human rights and remembering those who don't have the same rights as we do.

"I am very spiritual person," says Hadid.

"My Dad is Muslim, my Mum is Christian who became a Muslim when she married him, but we grew up celebrating Christmas. My godfather is Jewish and I have Devout Christians who work with me in my team. My point is it doesn't matter where you are from; we have to see different views and beliefs and bring people together," he says.

"I have been lucky to travel the world and see all corners of it and understand perspectives from all sides. With my national meditation day it's about taking a stand and uniting over one vision regardless of what you believe. It's about love."

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