Turning 50 today, August 25, and once the highest-paid model in the world, Claudia Schiffer’s beauty is anything but ethereal.
“I met German photographer Ellen von Unwerth in Paris at 17; she was starting, I was starting. We got on like a house on fire, having fun, being silly, just mucking around next to the Centre Pompidou on the streets of Paris in my own clothes. Cut to Paul Marciano, who saw the pictures and wanted us for a Guess? Jeans campaign. Then numerous trips around Europe and the US started, from Nashville to Mykonos, for the many Guess campaigns, which were very prestigious to do in the Nineties and were heavily featured in all the magazines.
There is a particular black and white photo, which became the most well-known, because shortly after, Revlon rang and wanted this to be its first-ever fragrance campaign for Guess, which they were creating. I remember flying around the US to every major city for signings in department stores with massive crowds, only to be interrupted when a duck flew into one of the engines of Ron Perelman’s private plane. But only for a moment – then, the tour continued to all major TV shows from Jay Leno to David Letterman. When I came home afterwards, I got up the next morning and stood sleepy-eyed and hair uncombed in my elevator in one of the high rises in uptown New York near Central Park, when a person entered and said for the first time, ‘Are you the Guess girl?’ This is when it all began.”
In honor of Schiffer’s milestone birthday today we look back at the legendary model’s biggest career highlights over the past three decades as she continues making her mark in the industry with a trio of new lifestyle and fashion collaborations debuting this year.
Claudia Schiffer is born on August 25 in Rheinberg, Germany, the oldest of four children.
A modeling agent spots her at a disco in Düsseldorf.
Her first cover for Vogue UK is shot by Herb Ritts.
Her first campaigns are for Guess? Jeans shot by Ellen von Unwerth and Chanel.
Karl Lagerfeld makes Schiffer his muse and the new face of Chanel.
At 21, she is the highest-paid model ever.
Signs a USD $10 million contract with Revlon. Further campaigns include Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, and Bulgari.
Does the “Barbie” shoot with Von Unworth for Vogue Italia.
Named Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.
Signs multi-million dollar contract with L’oréal. Remains with the brand for 14 years.
Travels to Bangladesh as part of UNICEF World Immunization Week.
Marries film producer and director Matthew Vaughn. They have three children: Caspar, Clementine, and Cosima.
Launches haircare line with Schwarzkopf.
Launches cashmere collection for TSE.
Spring campaign for Balmain.
Designs a capsule collection for Aquazzura.
Becomes the face of BA&SH.
Becomes a face of the Chanel J12 watch campaign.
Her collections include Cloudy Butterflies for Bordallo Pinheiro by Claudia Schiffer, Cloudy Butterflies for Vista Alegre by Claudia Schiffer, and Claudia Schiffer for Être Cécile.