Claudia Schiffer picked a good time to be a supermodel. She began her career in the late 80’s and soared to stardom in the 90’s, a decade in which supermodels dominated the covers of American fashion magazines.
Standing at 5’11", with a striking resemblance to French film star Brigitte Bardot, Schiffer was practically made to be in magazines. She was born in Rheinberg, Germany on August 25, 1970. She was only seventeen when Michel Levaton, a representative from the Metropolitan Model Agency, scouted her at a club in Dusseldorf. Six months later, after completing her final year of high school, Schiffer moved to Paris to begin her modeling career.
When she first started going to auditions, Schiffer was turned down for several jobs on the premise that her looks were too “commercial.” It wasn’t until she scored the cover of French Elle that other editors started to take notice. Schiffer was making her rounds on magazine covers around Europe when she was handpicked by the legendary Karl Lagerfeld to become the new face of Chanel. When she made the venture to the United States, she appeared in advertisements representing Guess? Jeans, quickly becoming a household name with American audiences. Along with fellow supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer became one of the most recognizable faces in fashion.
On top of the high profile ad campaigns, Schiffer appeared on every major magazine cover, from Vogue to Cosmopolitan. She was also the first model on the cover of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and the New York Times.
When not on the catwalk or being photographed, Schiffer busied herself with other high profile projects. In 1997 she opened the Fashion Café restaurant with Naomi Campbell and Elle Macpherson. She had a brief acting career, and is a volunteer with UNICEF.
Now married with two kids, Schiffer is still a heavy hitter on the modeling scene. Last fall, she posed for an 11 page spread in Vanity Fair’s style issue with Turlington, Campbell, Crawford, Evangelista and Stephanie Seymour. Although newer and younger models are taking over the runways, the appeal and charm of Claudia Schiffer still holds strong.
Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.