With guidance from Karl Lagerfeld, the shy German teen became an iconic 1990s supermodel. Beneath the glamor, Claudia Schiffer was lauded as a disciplined professional. The “Ice Queen” maintains her cool at 50.
Schiffer made her name in an iconic 1989 photoshoot for the Guess fashion brand. “I never had the urge to be in the spotlight,” she confessed a few months ago in the British edition of Elle fashion magazine. She was always considered diligent, disciplined — and free of scandal. Unlike the wilder supermodels of the era, like Kate Moss, Schiffer never made headlines for being drunk at after-show parties. Schiffer was discovered at 17 on the dance floor of a disco in Dusseldorf. At the time, she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a lawyer. But the shy young girl from Rheinberg, a northwest German town, was soon a star, her blue eyes, blonde mane and legendary pout used to sell fashion, cosmetics, soft drinks and car brands around the world.
Schiffer’s career soon catapulted beyond catwalks and photo modeling to become her own brand. She worked with world-leading photographers like Peter Lindbergh, Mario Testino and Helmut Newton, her iconic look setting her apart. Star designers Dolce and Gabbana wrote of Schiffer: “Her perfect beauty overwhelmed us from the start: luxurious, shining golden locks, eyes as blue as Sicilian waters, a body stature that recalls antique statues of goddesses.”
Schiffer retired from the catwalks in her late 20s. In 2018, she once again appeared in a Donatella Versace show together with fellow ’90s supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Carla Bruni and Helena Christensen. “I am so happy to turn 50 and in my life I have never felt safer or happier. I don’t try to look or feel younger,” Schiffer recently told Britain’s The Telegraph newspaper.
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