“I don’t consider myself a TikToker,” says Hailey Bieber, though she has 3.1 million fans… which is more people than the entire state of Kansas. “It’s been fun to goof around, but I hope people don’t think I’m being insensitive or ignoring what’s happening in the world right now.”
In fact, Mrs. Bieber is doing the opposite of ignoring it. After teaming with amfAR on virtual fashion show for COVID-19 relief in April, she’ll appear this Saturday, May 9, on SHEIN Together, an online concert and fundraiser to benefit the World Health Organization with Katy Perry and Lil Nas X. (You can view it exclusively on SHEIN’s app, which is totally free. SHEIN also made a series of tees that directly benefit the WHO.)
Before the big day, Hailey called us from Canada to talk about quarantine life with Justin, the beauty of bike shorts, and her predictions for fashion’s future…
There are tons of SHEIN pieces that seem like they were directly inspired by your style. Are you shopping for new stuff right now? What are you buying?
Things that I see and go, “Oh, I can’t wait to wear this when [social distancing] is over. I bought a few brightly colored things for warmer weather, but I can’t wear them yet, because we’re in Canada right now! All I wear is tank tops, sweats, tees, and bike shorts… for the SHEIN Together event, I’m wearing an orange crop top and snakeskin bike shorts, which are really cute.
How has this time changed your ideas about fashion?
I think it’s changed because obviously, we’re not going anywhere! But it’s important during this time to stay true to your style and identity, because it keeps you feeling normal, and sometimes better than normal, which we all need right now… When I force myself to put jeans on [and] put [an outfit] together, it makes me feel good… On the days where I’m in a slump, that’s where I put on an outfit I really love, put on a little makeup, and make a real day of it. Style can really lift my mood when I need a boost.
You’ve been on runways around the world. Why pair with SHEIN even though they’re more fast fashion?
First of all, if I can participate in something helpful right now, I’m happy to do that! So happy. Second, I think that what they’re doing—this virtual event that brings people together—it’s different, and cool, and people are reaching into their creative side to be new and innovative and fun about what’s possible right now.
Is it changing how you see your job as a model?
Yeah, well a lot of what we’re realizing in quarantine is that there will be so many things in life that won’t require us to fly on planes, drive in our cars, use travel time… We can lead more of our work lives online and do it really well if we’re creative and really push ourselves. That’s exciting.
You and Justin just released The Biebers on Watch. Why is now the right time to let people see inside your marriage?
I think right now, we’re all in the same boat, right? We all have to be quarantined. It’s helped me make the process less daunting and lonely. We connect with more people. But I was nervous at first.
Opening up, honestly, it’s something I’ve never been that comfortable with. I really value our privacy. Especially because with Justin, he’s never had a private life really. He’s so used to it that he doesn’t mind being so open with people. I’m the opposite. Opening our home to videos and being more active on social media and bringing people into what we’re doing is so strange for me! But doing the Facebook Watch show has actually been really helpful for that.
You’re very close with the Kardashian-Jenner family. Did you ask Kendall or Kim for advice before you filmed the show?
If there’s anyone to ask about being on a reality show, it’s them, because their whole life is very public. I admire how they handle it the way they do; they’re amazing. But for me, to be honest, reality TV is just not my thing. I don’t know if I would want a camera crew in my home… but even though doing the [Facebook Watch] series during quarantine was so out of my comfort zone, it was cool, because we were the ones filming it. We got to decide what happened in our kitchen, we got to decide what we’d do on camera, and that made it easier for me.
Everyone’s baking something in quarantine. What’s the last thing you made?
I just baked these banana chocolate chip protein muffins… They’re like protein muffins with protein powder and bananas. They’re kind of perfect.
I heard you and Justin like board games. Who’s the more graceful loser?
Me for sure! Justin hates losing. Hates! [Laughing.] We play Bananagrams and Wordamelon, which is a game from the same people who make Bananagrams. You roll the dice, flip over these tiles with letters on them, and see how many words you can put together. I love that game, and also, Justin taught me to play chess.
Did you win?
Not yet! Justin usually wins. He loves that game, and then he’ll play chess online against his friends. He was in chess club at school. He’s great at it.
I feel like you’d be great at chess, too.
Maybe with more practice, but right now, I get stuck on strategy! Chess is about being one step ahead of your opponent. With every move they make, you have to stay ahead of them to win… We’ve tied though!
Editor at Large, ELLE.com
“Her beauty and her brain go not together.” —William Shakespeare