Bella Hadid and Jesse Jo Stark have been best friends since forever. Despite a six-year age gap, they bonded at a mutual family friend's festive shindig and have never looked back. Even their mums are best friends; in fact, it was Jesse Jo's mum and founder of LA-based luxury fashion and accessories label, Chrome Hearts, Laurie Lynn Stark, who first suggested Bella try modelling. "She and Gigi were so beautiful," Laurie Lynn tells i-D. "We got them to do some modelling for Chrome Hearts when they were kids."
Years later Bella is back modelling for the family run biz, only this time she's fronting her own capsule collection. "I'm so excited!" exclaimed Bella over a glass of pink champagne, as she camped out in the personal shopping section of Selfridges, where her collection is exclusively stocked. "To be able to work with family and make some really dope clothes is just a dream come true."
Jesse Jo Stark and Bella Hadid
"It was so much fun," adds sultry songstress Jesse Jo, who's been designing for her parents' label for as long as she can remember. "Bella wears Chrome Hearts in a really different way. She makes it her own."
Drawing on the iconic Chrome Hearts aesthetic, particularly their 80s and 90s archives, but with a contemporary twist, the collection is all about strength and femininity, featuring luxurious fabrics, intricate leatherwork, reimagined wardrobe staples and badass accessories. Think cropped puffa jackets teamed with cute mini skirts and bondage coats offset by pastel coloured purses.
"It's very much my style, mixed with Chrome Hearts, but much more modern," Bella says. "If you like that style then you're going to love the collection, but if you just want to represent the brand we've done some chokers, belts and T-shirts, which I hope the fans are going to love!"
"These days it's so easy for models to slap their name onto something and call it a collaboration, but with Bella she was so involved," explains Laurie Lynn. "She would spend ages looking through the archives, asking about price points, production and design."
"I've learnt so much," adds Bella. "I'm so thankful to have this opportunity." With many more ideas in the pipeline, (there's a lot of talk about shoes, and potentially a second collection) watch this space.
Launched on Friday, the CHROME HEARTS x BELLA collection is now available exclusively at Selfridges.
Text Tish Weinstock
Photography Flo Kohl