Model Gigi Hadid pulls out of Victoria’s Secret China show

In this Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, file photo, model Gigi Hadid wears a creation by designer Tommy Hilfiger at the Spring/Summer 2018 runway show in London. (AP)
Updated 18 November 2017
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Model Gigi Hadid pulls out of Victoria’s Secret China show

SHANGHAI: Supermodel Gigi Hadid said Friday she will not be walking the Victoria’s Secret fashion show in Shanghai next week, a few months after Chinese Internet users accused her of racist behavior.
Hadid said in a post on her Twitter account: “I’m so bummed I won’t be able to make it to China this year. Love my VS family, and will be with all my girls in spirit!!“
Hadid did not give a reason and Victoria’s Secret refused to comment on the issue.
“Victoria’s Secret will not have a response,” a spokeswoman said by email.
The surprise exit comes months after a video of Hadid triggered an outpouring of criticism on Chinese social networks. It showed Hadid squinting in a way that appeared to be a reference to a stereotype about Asian facial features.
Hadid responded by apologizing in September on China’s popular Twitter-like microblog site, Weibo. “I have learned to be very careful of how my actions can come off or be portrayed, and I’m hopeful you’ll accept my apology,” the post said.
It was not immediately clear whether Hadid had been denied a visa. Asked about this at a regular briefing, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said he was unclear about the issue.
It is not uncommon for entertainers and performers to be denied visas by Chinese authorities for political reasons.
Most recently, as tensions rose between China and South Korea over a US missile defense system, some K-pop and K-drama stars had to cancel widely anticipated visits to China due to visa delays.
South Korean actor Ha Jung Woo could not get a visa needed for a movie project with China called “The Mask,” starring Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi.


Jessica Kahawaty gains recognition Down Under

Updated 22 October 2018
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Jessica Kahawaty gains recognition Down Under

DUBAI: Lebanese-Australian model and TV show host Jessica Kahawaty was honored with an award at an Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ALCCI) event in Melbourne this week.

The fashion influencer, who is based in Dubai but jets across the world to attend events, made an appearance at the event in a strapless black dress with a flared, tulle skirt completed with a thigh-high slit.
Kahawaty wore her hair in a tight bun and completed the look with dramatic blue eyeliner.
She took to Instagram to celebrate the honor, saying: “So yesterday, I received the highest honor a Lebanese-Australian could receive! Thank you so much to the ALCCI for awarding me with ‘Outstanding Ambassador to Lebanon and Australia. With my move from Australia to the Middle East five years ago, my aim was to bridge my two worlds and encourage intercultural dialogue and understanding. Couldn’t be happier for this recognition.”
The organization seeks to strengthen trade relations between Australia, Lebanon and the Middle East.

Before the gala dinner, she took to Instagram to post an image in which she poses on a Melbourne street in a white mini-dress with frilled accents and a dramatic, a-symmetrical train.
“Outside the International Chamber House after the private conference to honor some members of the Lebanese-Australian community who have made significant contributions in medicine, business, politics, philanthropy and more... can’t wait for the big gala tonight!” she captioned the photo.
While in the country, the former Miss Australia — who came third place in the Miss World 2012 competition — visited her childhood school to talk to the students and shed light on her career.
“It was such a pleasure to visit my old school in Australia, Tangara School for Girls, and speak to the bright, humble and ambitious Year 10 and Year 11 Girls. I had goosebumps being there, remembering how I was when I was 17 and what I wanted to hear. Thank you for listening to me,” she posted alongside a short video of cheering students on Instagram.
Kahawaty studied business, finance and law in Sydney and is a keen supporter of a number of humanitarian causes, including UNICEF and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Last year, fashion house Louis Vuitton selected Kahawaty to work with UNICEF at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan to help children affected by the Syrian crisis, which has seen millions of people displaced.
The multi-talented celebrity also gave a talk at the TEDxSciencesPo event in Paris in April.
The conference, according to a press release, brought together influencers “who work toward breaking the wall between the East and the West” and aims to “provide an essential bridge, to fuse the gap between rising trends of neo-conservatism predominant in the South of France and the cultural diversity that characterizes the Arab world.”