The Supermodel


For Claudia, clothes have always been a very personal affair, a way of expressing yourself and capturing how you feel at a particular moment in time. She grew up in a small German town called Rheinberg, surrounded by nature and a close-knit rural culture. At that time, it was all about being invisible. She was known to the whole town; instantly recognizable thanks to her tall and skinny frame. At first, it was something she wanted to hide away from, borrowing baggy, oversized clothes from the boy next door, embracing her shy side.

Discovering beauty

All that began to change in 1987, when she was spotted by a talent scout in a disco in Dusseldorf. With the help of one of her all time favourite photographers, Ellen von Unwerth, she began to blossom in front of the camera. The sudden realization that the assets she had always wanted to hide away – her wispy blonde hair, her super long legs and narrow physique – were synonymous with utter perfection in the fashion world. It was time to see her own beauty in a way she had never imagined before. With each shoot, her confidence continued to grow, as Ellen taught her how to become fearless before the lens, putting her trust in the photographer’s hands. It was a technique that paid off, and this mindset allowed her to start travelling with her work even more than she had before. By this time, Paris had become her adoptive home, even though she was incredibly homesick at the beginning, torn away from the support of her family and her childhood friends. Yet it was always a city she had dreamed and fantasised about. She loved the food, the way that people spoke and dressed, the attitude. It was a dream that became a reality, first by moving to Pigalle and later to Marais where she settled. She had finally found the buzz that she had been craving all those years, being comfortable amidst the chaos. Working with brands such as Chanel, YSL, Alberta Ferretti and Salvatore Ferragamo, she naturally rose to the top of her field, collecting a colour co-ordinated collection of designer shoes as she went. She graced the covers of over 400 magazine covers and countless campaigns.

All in the balance

A new chapter began for her when she met her husband Matthew Vaughn. The film producer’s influence on her life allowed her to dabble in the acting world, talking on a walk-on role in Love Actually. They married in 2002, and went on to have three children: Caspar, Clementine and Cosima. Over time, the rhythm of Claudia’s life began to change, as she felt it was time to relax into motherhood. She has been quoted as saying that having children made her feel at one with nature, almost as though this was her calling in life. She continues to hold an affinity for the fashion world, raising a family in style.

Short Facts


Her long blonde hair and elongated figure made her stand out from the crowd at an early age. Her groomed appearance soon made her into the queen of all things glamour, attracting some of the biggest names in fashion.


Distinctive characteristics

Despite her strong reputation, Claudia is surprisingly down to earth. Her warmth and love of a wholesome lifestyle has allowed her to carve out her own direction in the fashion world.


The model used to actively dislike her figure, trying to hide in baggy, layered clothes to go unnoticed – so much so that a Vogue editor once named her the “girl in the woolen underwear”.


1970 - Rhineland

Schiffer was born and raised in a small German town, surrounded by the countryside.

1987 - Discovery

Claudia was discovered by a model scout in Dusseldorf, celebrating a friend’s birthday in a nightclub. Until then, she had always planned to follow in her father’s footsteps by going in to law.


1989 – Cover Girl

The Guess campaign bought Claudia to international fame. Her appearance in the advertisements lead to her being featured in 5 American and 7 magazine covers including Vogue, within the space of 18 months.

1992 - Supermodel

Schiffer became one of the original supermodels, alongside Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Tatjana Patitz, gracing the catwalks endlessly in the early 90s.

1998 - On set

She appears in many films, such as Richie Rich and Zoolander, as well as featuring in catwalks for Thierry Mugler, Versace, Chanel and Valentino.


2000 - Advertising star

Claudia signed a multi-million pound contract with L’Oreal, becoming the face of the brand for a generation.

2001 - The proposal

Matthew Vaughn came into her life at the turn of the century. It was a whirlwind romance, and they married a year later, after Vaughn proposed with a tortoise.

2002 - Happy families

In May 2002, Claudia Schiffer retires from the catwalk and marries British film producer and director Matthew Vaughn. They have three children and live in London's Notting Hill. Schiffer's son, Caspar, was born on 30 January 2003, and followed by two daughters – Clementine, born 11 November 2004, and Cosima, born 14 May 2010.

2003 - Supporting roles

She has a small part among the all-star cast of film Love Actually.

2010 - Fashion Business

She works with the Hamburg-based designer Iris Von Arnim to launch her own cashmere line.

2013 - Reality TV

Schiffer signs a contract with German TV show "Fashion Hero", a talent show for fashion designers. The show is dropped after a relatively unsuccessful first season.

2014 - Business

Claudia Schiffer brings out an eyewear collection for Rodenstock and develops a hair care and colour range with Schwarzkopf Henkel.


2015 - A balancing act

The model continues to play a starring role in the fashion industry, balancing her work with a happy home-life and three wonderful children.


© GettyImages


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