“I’m not superstitious,” says Hailey Baldwin Bieber backstage at Zadig & Voltaire. We’re talking about runway slip-ups, and she knocks twice—once on the wooden table in front of us, a second time on the floor—to dispel bad luck. “I don’t really believe in it. But, you know,” she smiles, “Just in case.”
Of course, Mrs. Bieber seems to have luck on her side. She has used her disciplined ballet training and Hollywood background to become a model mogul, an Internet superstar, and, of course, the wife of a music superstar. (She legally married Justin Bieber last summer; a bigger wedding will happen sometime soon-ish and involves an “off-white” wedding dress with the security clearance of nuclear codes.)
Mrs. Bieber isn’t at Zadig & Voltaire to look for wedding-wear, but she does have her eye on the brand’s rock-n-roll staples. “I think there’s always something a bit more rock and roll about French girls,” says the 22-year-old, and it’s kind of a relief even she falls for the lure of Paris fashion babes. “Take a look at Zadig, take a look at Saint Laurent—it’s more grungy without being dirty. It’s like rocker chic, but it’s done so well, with such great fabrics and cuts. So even though the grunge element is there, it’s more polished. It’s more ‘chic,’” she laughs, doing the air-quote thing with her fingers. “Even though it’s casual. You know what I mean!”
I do—though the “easy” suit she wore to the show was less casual and more runway-ready, or at least primed for front row viewing. “I haven’t watched too many fashion shows, to be honest,” she says. “But I don’t mind it at all. There’s way less anxiety and pressure when you’re not walking, but I almost get stressed out second-hand when I’m watching a fashion show, because I look at the girls coming down the runway and I know exactly how they feel. Unless you’re a very-very-very-very seasoned vet, it’s a very nerve-wracking experience. But it’s not the runway, exactly. The part when you’re backstage waiting to walk out onto the runway is the hardest part. The minute right before. You’re standing in a lineup back-to-back with all these other models, and you’re just like, waiting to trip and fall! Thankfully,” she knocks on the wood, “that has yet to happen.”
I tell her I’ve often tripped on shoes in my own house. Does she have that problem? Is a Bieber Kondo cleanout in her future? “I don’t know,” she smiles, and her expression says, there’s no way that’s happening. “Here’s the thing: I have to cycle out clothes a lot, because of my [modeling] work, and I feel like I’ve got that under control. The thing I can’t ever get rid of is the knick-knacks. I’m the worst. Come over and there’s like a thousand [electronic] cords coming out of a bin. I have a million chargers that I’m sure are useless, but I’m like, ‘No! Don’t get rid of those!’ Because you never know.”
As an Instagram star and a modern American woman, Mrs. Bieber is totally justified in hoarding chargers. But she doesn’t just use her phone to update her 17.4 million followers. (That’s more people than Georgia—the state or the country.) She also pulls it out when I ask the famously religious celeb about her current favorite scripture.
“It’s Jeremiah 29:11,” she confirms after a quick swipe. “In that verse, G-d says, ‘For I know I have plans for you, plans for a hope and a future for you, plans to prosper and not harm you.’ I think it’s a hopeful thing to look at in my life right now, that the best is yet to come.”
Knock on wood.