Kate's Notes

Friday, March 09, 2007

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum (born June 1, 1973) has gone on from being simply being your run-of-the-mill world renowned supermodel, to being an international icon as an actress, television presenter, fashion designer, television producer, and singer.

A beauty who has graced the cover of hundreds of magazines over her career, most notably a fixture for Victoria’s Secret, has also become known as “The Body” modeling in Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Elle, and several others. She has also turned her notoriety and love of fashion into a hit reality television show in “Project Runway,” and there is no sign of slowing; with a singing career, a clothing line and a family with singer/songwriter Seal, this wunder-model has the world at her fingertips.

Early Life

Klum was born on June 1, 1973, in Bergische Gladbach, a small city in Cologne, Germany. Practically destined to be a fashion model, Heidi's father, Gunther, worked for a cosmetics company, while her mother, Erna, was a hairdresser. In 1991, while she was still in high school, and fairing quite well in mathematics and art, Heidi was encouraged by her friend to participate in a modeling competition. Although Heidi was reluctant at first, she finally gave in.

Klum was discovered when she participated in the Model '92 competition, organized by Petra magazine and a New York modeling agency. The competition received 250,000 resumes from girls wishing to participate in the grueling selection process. As the winner of the Model '92 competition, Heidi appeared in the Petrol catalog and was offered a three-year modeling contract with Metropolitan worth $300,000. However, she passed on the offer in order to finish high school.

Less than a year later, she was studying to be a fashion designer when she decided to drop it to pursue a modeling career. After a couple of modeling opportunities in Paris and Milan, Heidi crossed the Atlantic to come to the United States in 1993. She first landed in Miami, and soon made the trek to New York City.

Modeling Career

With patience and effort, the work offers started to pour in for Heidi. She appeared in many print advertisements, including for Bonne Bell (which Denise Richards also modeled for), Finesse, Gerry Weber, Givenchy's Amarige, and INC.

In 1996, Heidi founded Heidi Klum GmbH, helped design the firm's trademarked logo and secured the copyright to her name. By 1997, Heidi was snatched from regular model status and thrown into the supermodel ranks of Tyra Banks, Helena Christensen and Stephanie Seymour. That year marked Heidi's first runway walk and the beginning of a long relationship with Victoria's Secret.

While Heidi appeared on the covers of such magazines as Bride's, Cosmopolitan, Self, Glamour, and Mademoiselle, none could live up to the recognition Heidi received as 1998's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover girl, an honor that models Vendela, Elle MacPherson and Tyra Banks had previously claimed. Heidi was the first German model to take the Sports Illustrated cover and she maintained a mutually beneficial relationship with the publication for years.

Heidi's newfound superstardom allowed her to launch her very own swimsuit calendar in 2000. The inaugural calendar was shot on location in St. Barts by renowned photographer Antoine Verglas. A year later, People magazine finally recognized Heidi as one of the world's 50 Most Beautiful People. She has since been honored by ranking high on various "sexiest women" lists, such as FHM's, Maxim's, and AskMen.com's Most Desirable Women list.

Heidi is signed with Elite Model Management, which is or has been home to Alessandra Ambrosio, Gisele Bundchen and Claudia Schiffer, and she continues to model. Although Heidi has achieved a powerful name in the industry – Forbes ranked her among the 100 Most Powerful Celebrities in 2003. Though she is still obligated not to change her physical appearance by her contract, and she also has insured her legs for two million dollars.

Modeling and Acting

As an actress, Heidi's parts have been relatively small and she often appears as herself. Nonetheless, she's a welcome addition to any screen and has appeared in such television shows as "Spin City," "CSI: Miami" and "Sex and the City," in which she shared the runway with Sarah Jessica Parker. She had a role as an ill-tempered hair model in the movie Blow Dry, played a giantess in the movie Ella Enchanted and was cast as Ursula Andress in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.

She can also been seen in the films 54 (1998) and The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

"Project Runway"

In December of 2004, she became the host and judge of the reality show “Project Runway” on the U.S. cable television channel Bravo, in which fashion designers compete for the opportunity to show their line at New York Fashion Week and receive money to launch their own fashion line. She also received Emmy Award nominations for the show for the first and second seasons.

Clothing, Designing and Perfume

Klum's own clothing lines (including one for infants) were featured in the German mail-order catalog "Otto." She also has designed shoes for Birkenstock, jewelry for Mouawad, and swimsuits - featured in the 2002 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue - that, for a limited time, were available for sale through her personal website. Her Mouawad jewelry collection debuted on the cable shopping network QVC on September 14, 2006, and 14 of the 16 styles sold out after only 35 minutes.

She also produced two own fragrances, called "Heidi Klum" and "Me", which are currently available for sale through her own website.

Germany's Next Top Model

Klum hosts the show, "Germany's Next Top Model," which is a German reality television show which pits contestants against each other in a variety of competitions to determine who will win a modeling contract with IMG. It was co-produced by supermodel Tyra Banks. The show has renewed for its second season in Fall 2006.

Other Media Opportunities

Klum is an artist and has had several of her paintings appear in various art magazines in the U.S. On September 27, 2002 she dedicated a sculpture she painted called "Dogs with Butterflies" to commemorate the role of rescue dogs in the aftermath of September 11. She has also had a rose named after her, known as the "Heidi Klum rose."

Klum is featured in the 2004 James Bond video game Everything or Nothing, where she plays a villain Dr. Katya Nadanova.

Klum has also appeared in several music videos, including Jamiroquai's video "Love Foolosophy" from their album A Funk Odyssey, and Kelis's "Young, Fresh N' New," off her second album Wanderland.

In November 2006, Heidi released her debut single as a singer "Wonderland," which was written for a series of television advertisements for the German retailer "Douglas," Proceeds from the single were given to a children's charity in her hometown of Bergisch Gladbach.

Personal Life

Heidi also married her first husband, hairstylist Ric Pipino, in 1997. The couple divorced in 2002 and Heidi hit the dating scene. She has been romantically linked to Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis, Renault's Formula One owner Flavio Briatore, with whom she had her first child in 2004, and Philip Zevenbergen. In 2005, she happily settled down and wed Grammy-winning British soul singer Seal. The couple has produced two sons, Henry and Johan, since their union. Klum gave birth to their son, Henry Günther Ademola Dashtu Samuel, in Los Angeles on September 12, 2005. On November 22, 2006, in Los Angeles, Heidi gave birth to their second son, Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel. Seal is also helping her raise her first child, and even in the earlier stages of their relationship, Klum said Seal treated Leni as if she was his own child.

Klum and Seal were wed on May 10, 2005, on a beach in Mexico. Klum wore a Vera Wang wedding dress.

Heidi Klum is well-known for her down-to-earth personality and her quirky sense of humor (she yodeled on "The Late Show with David Letterman" and performed a pregnant dance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"), but her wholesome family values may surprise some. She has listed quality time with her family as her greatest hobby, among her many other interests, such as jazz and ballet dancing, traveling, painting, skiing, and listening to music. Her favorite musical artists include James Brown, Moby, Dido, U2, and Nikki Costa.

Charity Work and Activism

Klum participates in several charities including working on behalf of such organizations as the American Red Cross (as part of its Celebrity Cabinet) and the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation.


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