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Interview With Claudia Schiffer

Aired March 2, 2010 - 00:00:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Claudia Schiffer is one of the world's most beautiful women and the most photographed, appearing on more than 500 magazine covers.


ANDERSON: And a whole host of movies, including 2003's "Love Actually" and "Zoolander."


ANDERSON: With her resemblance to Brigitte Bardot, Claudia was signed up as a model while at a nightclub in Dusseldorf. She quickly achieved super model status when top designer, Karl Lagerfeld, picked her as the face of Chanel and was catapulted to further stardom as the sculptured face and body of GUESS jeans.

Two years ago, Claudia Schiffer claimed the era of the supermodel was over. Yet this week's "Elle" Style Awards named her Model of the Year.

A statuesque blonde and a model mother, Claudia Schiffer is your Connector of the Day.


ANDERSON: Well, Claudia is busier than ever with another baby on the way. That is among several other projects that she's looking forward to.

And we spoke to her earlier and began by asking her how much the world of modeling has changed since she took her first tentative steps on the catwalk.

This is what she said.


SCHIFFER: You know, all the magazines, they want to have all the famous people on the covers and -- and in the campaigns, as well. Whereas in the '90s, it was just only the models in the campaigns. So that has completely changed. And it makes it very hard for young models to succeed or to -- when -- to succeed, they can still succeed within the industry, but to become more well known globally, because they compete with all these other well-known people.

ANDERSON: Do you keep in contact with those that you modeled with in -- in the past?

I mean we talked to Naomi Campbell last -- last week and she was suggesting many of her friends still are -- still in the industry and she's still in -- in touch.

SCHIFFER: Yes, absolutely. It's -- also, you do, once in a while, get those kind of shoots where everyone is -- is shot in the same picture again, as -- and it feels like a high school reunion.

ANDERSON: How lovely.

SCHIFFER: And, also, when we see each other again, it's really great, because we go back, you know, such a long time.

ANDERSON: You've been in and around the fashion industry for some time now.

What inspires you and excites you about the fashion industry in 2010?

What are you working

SCHIFFER: Well, at the moment, I'm -- I've just completed the campaign for Chanel and Ferragamo and the fragrances Alberta Ferretti and D&G. And I still work with L'Oreal after 13 years; UNICEF, as well. And I'm pregnant. So I've got...


SCHIFFER: -- some different projects.

ANDERSON: Good stuff.

Some of the viewer questions, Claudia.

Stephanie says: "To me, you are an icon of the fashion industry, the super model," she says, "par excellence. And I just wondered if you've got plans to launch any of your own branded products one day?"

SCHIFFER: Yes, I do have plans. Over the last 20 years, I've been -- I've been receiving offers and so on that I -- I wasn't as keen on, because it was very much putting your name onto something that you don't really believe in. And -- and today, after searching all through that, I -- I am very ready and excited that there's something coming very soon which I -- which will be lovely, which I...

ANDERSON: That you've got to (INAUDIBLE)...

SCHIFFER: -- I'm...

ANDERSON: -- it's one of those.

SCHIFFER: I'm absolutely believing in and I think that's the most important, to create a product that you really love.

ANDERSON: OK, viewers watch this space.

Lilian says: "Do any of the clothes that you wore in the '80s and '90s make you cringe these days?"

SCHIFFER: Yes. I mean the thing is, is, I'm one of those people who cannot part from any of their clothes, so I've kept them all. And I recently went back into the archives and oh my god, the -- the ones -- the -- you know, all those shoulder pads, oversized ones with the blazers...


SCHIFFER: -- and -- and jacket and dresses are awful.


SCHIFFER: And I don't know how we were -- we were wearing them without noticing that they were actually not that great.

ANDERSON: And who -- who is your favorite designer?

SCHIFFER: Oh, I've got so many. There's so many great ones. I mean -- oh, an example is Karl Lagerfeld, who I've -- I've worked with for long periods of time and, for example, wearing these -- the wedding gowns at the end of every show is one of those highlights that you -- that you get very emotional about in -- in a weird way.

But, yes, lots of others -- Dolce & Gabbana and, you know, from Jil Sander to Versace to Valentino. There -- there are so many I love.

ANDERSON: I'm sure many of our viewers would be fascinated to find out whether you are allowed to keep many of the clothes that you wear on the catwalk.

Are you?

SCHIFFER: No, you're not, actually. You -- if you work together with a designer very closely, then you do, once in a while are allowed -- you are allowed to keep something that he gives you personally.

But in general, the clothes on the catwalk go straight into the magazines, they get photographed until the seasons are over. So they're not actually, they mostly have like one of a kind and they can't really then give it to you.

ANDERSON: Gadan (ph) says: "Claudia, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to make it in the fashion industry?"

SCHIFFER: The most important is that you take the profession very seriously, because it is -- it is a business. And you can't think I'm going to become a model and I'm just going to -- it's going to be like a hobby, a fun thing, where I work a little bit here and there and then have lots of time off, as well.

If you really want to make it, you have to give it your all. And well, I work everyday. You work weekends. You work holidays. And you just -- that is your passion and that's what you want to do.

ANDERSON: Jonathan says: "You've represented GUESS. How do you keep up with the modeling world when the girls are sort of 18-year-olds or less? Any tips on staying gorgeous?," he says.

SCHIFFER: You have to keep up with me.


ANDERSON: It's from you.

SCHIFFER: But I think it's -- it's -- it's just having a healthy attitude to it and just really appreciating it, you know. Going to a floor shoot and realizing, oh my god, you know, I'm working with so and so, who's amazing or a great talent helps.

ANDERSON: We talked about whether you have a favorite designer.

Do you have a favorite photographer?

SCHIFFER: Oh, yes. I mean there are several. Again, it's so difficult, they're so very different. One of the photographers who discovered me is Ellen Von Unwerth, who is a German photographer, as well - - of German nationality, as well. And -- and she's -- she shot all the Gastine ads with me and so on. And -- and we go back a long way.

But, yes, over the years, I've worked with such great -- I mean, also, people that are not there anymore, unfortunately, a Richard Avedon or Irving Penn and Herb Ritts. And then all the way through to, you know, designers who turn photographers, like Karl Lagerfeld or Marty Maritasino (ph). There are so many and they're all very different.

ANDERSON: Claudia Schiffer, your Connector of the Day.