Why Bella Hadid Was the Breakout Style Star of 2016

When Bella Hadid arrived at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival in May, she quite literally turned heads.

The model wore a super high-cut Alexandre Vauthier gown that seemed destined to lead to a wardrobe malfunction, and she paired the dress with sandals by Giuseppe Zanotti. While this was certainly a fashion highlight for Hadid this year, it was far from the only one.

Bella Hadid Red Carpet Shoes Style 2016Bella Hadid in Giuseppe Zanotti heels and an Alexandre Vauthier gown at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. REX Shutterstock

The 21-year-old has proved she can pull off more than the typical “model off-duty” look consisting of jeans, leather jackets and boots. Time after time, we’ve seen Hadid expertly take a runway look to the streets — and make it totally desirable.

For a Dior event, she wore not one but two looks from the spring ’17 collection. And after the Versace spring ’17 runway show, she and sister Gigi wore their looks right off the runway onto the streets of Milan — shoes included.

Bella Hadid StyleBella Hadid in head-to-toe Dior. REX Shutterstock
Gigi Bella Model Off Duty StyleGigi and Bella Hadid leave the Versace spring ’17 runway show in Milan wearing head-to-toe Versace. Splash

Hadid has also led the way when it comes to this year’s obsession with athleisure — for those who missed it, Merriam-Webster added the word to its dictionary this year, making it a fashion word that’s here to stay. The model has a pretty impressive collection of sneakers, favoring Nike Air Force 1s and the latest from Adidas. She was named a Nike brand ambassador in November, so expect to see her in lots more Nike come 2017.

Bella Hadid Nike SneakersBella Hadid in Nike Air Force 1s. Splash

Her ability to elevate even the simplest of looks with her shoes is impressive. At a Grammy Awards after-party, Hadid turned a little black dress into a major fashion statement when she added thigh-high boots to the look.

Bella Hadid 2016 Grammy AwardsBella Hadid wore black over-the-knee leather boots to the Republic Records after-party. Splash

Hadid provided one of the best thigh-high boot moments at the Met Gala in New York, an event where anything goes when it comes to fashion. She dared to wear socklike thigh-highs with her ruffled Givenchy gown and totally nailed it.

Bella Hadid StyleBella Hadid in Givenchy at the 2016 Met Gala. REX Shutterstock

Still, the true mark of a style influencer is perhaps knowing when a look calls for simple accessories. This year Hadid has shown this discretion when she wore that sheer Julien Macdonald gown at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show after-party and when she opted for simple satin sandals with her blush-hued Hugo Boss gown at GQ‘s Men of the Year Awards.

Bella Hadid Victoria's Secret Fashion Show After-PartyBella Hadid in a Julien Macdonald sheer dress and Jimmy Choo Tizzy sandals. REX Shutterstock
Bella Hadid StyleBella Hadid in a Hugo Boss dress and strappy sandals. REX Shutterstock

And even Hadid knows that most trends come and go quickly, so when she wanted to wear a pair of this year’s favored clear sandals, she chose a pair that ring in under $50 to celebrate her 20th birthday, making her style all the more relatable and achievable.

Bella Hadid 20th Birthday Public Desire HeelsBella Hadid wearing Public Desire Amarie Perspex sandals for her 20th birthday celebrations. Splash

Click through the gallery to see more of Bella Hadid’s style.

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