Bella Hadid Wears a Vintage Palestinian Keffiyeh Sundress at Cannes

The model, who is Palestinian and Dutch, pulled the dress from an early-2000s collection.

Bella Hadid wears a keffiyeh sundress with a scrunchie in her hair at Cannes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bella Hadid has spent her week at the Cannes Film Festival in an array of outfits ranging from vintage slips to Saint Laurent naked dresses pulled straight from the runway. For the one of the festival's final days, the model and Ôrebella perfume founder appeared to turn toward her Palestinian heritage for inspiration, in a vintage dress made from keffiyeh scarves.

On Thursday, May 23, the model left the Hotel Martinez in a red and white sundress with thin straps and a deep scoop neckline, extending into an asymmetric, ruffled skirt. She and stylist Molly Dickson coordinated the dress with a white, ruffled scrunchie, silver hoop earrings, tinted sunglasses, and red sandal mule heels by Gucci.

Bella Hadid wears a keffiyeh sundress in Cannes with a flower scrunchie in her hair

Bella Hadid walks with her team in Cannes, France, wearing a vintage sundress made from keffiyeh scarves.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Shortly after photos of her dress surfaced, users on X (formerly known as Twitter) speculated that the Palestinian and Dutch model was wearing a keffiyeh dress. Another X sleuth surfaced that her dress may was an early-2000s vintage piece by New York City label Michael and Hushi, based on a Women's Wear Daily story where an identical dress made from a Palestinian keffiyeh walked the runway.

Hadid confirmed that the dress was a Michael and Hushi original with a post on her Instagram Story later in the day. "Archival 2001 keffiyeh dress," she wrote under a photo of a model wearing the piece.

Keffiyehs are a form of scarf that have long been worn throughout the Middle East. Often with black and white or red and white thread and tassel details along the edge, they were first used by nomadic farmers as protection from sun and wind, according to CNN. Over the years, NPR reports, they've become a symbol of Palestinian cultural identity and political resistance or activism. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators have often worn some version of a keffiyeh during protests over the past year, including Hadid at a march in September, per Business Insider.

The keffiyeh has also turned up in fashion and pop culture over the years. On a 2002 episode of Sex and the City, for example, Carrie Bradshaw ties a keffiyeh into a top, in a piece also designed by Michael and Hushi. Some attempts to incorporate keffiyehs into fashion have been met with accusations of cultural appropriation, such as when Louis Vuitton released a “Monogram Keffieh Stole” that was reportedly inspired by a keffiyeh in 2021. The house pulled the piece from shelves following backlash, Business of Fashion reported at the time.

Bella Hadid wears a red keffiyeh dress at Cannes

Hadid paired her dress with small sunglasses, hoop earrings, and an eyelet lace scrunchie.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bella Hadid wears a keffiyeh scarf dress at cannes

Hadid picked up an ice cream cone before posing for photographers along the shores of the Mediterranean.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The model has previously spoken about her pride in her Palestinian lineage. The all-natural formulas in her fragrance label, Ôrebella, are in part inspired by her relatives. “Whether you are Palestinian or just Arab, our families put olive oil on everything. That was, for me, something I could put in that was special and an ode to my heritage,” she told Vogue.

Celebrities have used fashion as a means of sharing their cultural identity or advocating for their political beliefs throughout the most recent red carpet circuit. Stars including Nicola Coughlan, Billie Eilish, and Quannah Chasinghorse attended events like the Academy Awards and 2024 Met Gala wearing Artists4Ceasefire pins, for example.

Editor's note: This post was updated on Thursday, May 23, to reflect Hadid's confirmation of the dress's designer.

Halie LeSavage
Senior News Editor (Fashion & Beauty)

Halie LeSavage is the senior fashion and beauty news editor at Marie Claire, where she assigns, edits, and writes stories for both sections. Halie is an expert on runway trends, celebrity style, emerging fashion and beauty brands, and shopping (naturally). In over seven years as a professional journalist, Halie’s reporting has ranged from fashion week coverage spanning the Copenhagen, New York, Milan, and Paris markets, to profiles on industry insiders including stylist Alison Bornstein and J.Crew womenswear creative director Olympia Gayot, to breaking news stories on noteworthy brand collaborations and beauty launches. (She can personally confirm that Bella Hadid’s Ôrebella perfume is worth the hype.) She has also written dozens of research-backed shopping guides to finding the best tote bags, ballet flats, and more. Most of all, Halie loves to explore what trends—like the rise of doll-like Mary Janes or TikTok’s 75 Hard Style Challenge—can say about culture writ large. (She justifies almost any purchase by saying it’s “for work.”) Halie has previously held writer and editor roles at Glamour, Morning Brew, and Harper’s Bazaar. Halie has been cited as a fashion and beauty expert in The Cut, CNN Underscored, and Reuters, among other outlets, and appears in newsletters like Selleb and Self-Checkout to provide shopping recommendations. In 2022, she was awarded the Hearst Spotlight Award for excellence and innovation in fashion journalism. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Harvard College. Outside of work, Halie is passionate about books, baking, and her miniature Bernedoodle, Dolly. For a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting, you can follow Halie on Instagram and TikTok.