She shared the story at the ‘Vogue’ Forces of Fashion conference on Friday.
Wearing pieces from the collection — Karefa-Johnson in a lilac cashmere cardigan, Hadid, in an oversized blazer and sweater combo — the two real-life friends discussed the creative process in bringing the brand to life. Karefa-Johnson, who styles for Guest in Residence, commented on Hadid’s intuitive taste in design. The model revealed that as a small company of only 13, she’s extremely hands-on, responsible for every detail, from color-combination to picking out buttons. She also talked about how sustainability factors into the line.
“It was expected for me to come out with something that was a fast-fashion type situation… People use that to get to consumers quickly and make money quickly… but with this brand, I really want to support people and invest in pieces for a long time” she said. Hadid credits her grandma for teaching her clean sweaters by hanging them outdoors (as opposed to using water), as well as the value in “investing in pieces you can wear for a long time.”
As every entrepreneur knows, timing is everything — and for Hadid, the pandemic was the right time for her to explore a different professional avenue. She knew that she couldn’t model forever, and that she was a creative at heart. Plus, when she became pregnant, she thought having a brand and office space was “a lot more sustainable than [having] the anxiety of being in a different country every week and having a kid.”
Hadid also told the story of how the brand got its name. “Once, I was staying at a hotel during fashion week, and I would see this letterhead, ‘Guest in Residence.’ I was like, ‘What does that mean?,'” she said. “I think we’re all guests in our own bodies… we’re guests in the houses we live in, this planet, and what keeps me comfortable…comes from always being comfortable with what you’re wearing.”