• Germany's news in English
 

Heidi Klum: supermodel, supermum, media mogul

The Local · 31 May 2013, 06:42

Published: 31 May 2013 06:42 GMT+02:00

Born in the Rhineland town of Bergisch Gladbach in 1973, Klum had a normal, German upbringing from her hairdresser mother and cosmetics-boss dad. It wasn't until 1992, when she won a television show not unlike Germany's version of The Next Top Model franchise she now presents, that this began to change.

Klum wiped the floor with 25,000 other girls and was offered a modelling contract. Yet it was not until 1998 when her big break came. She was the first German to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition magazine.

This sparked the beginning of Klum's world domination, and she went on to become one of the most sought after supermodels in the world and, like with Sports Illustrated, was the first German to become a Victoria's Secret “Angel”. Almost every fashion magazine has featured her on its cover, from Vogue and Elle, to Marie Claire.

All this put the now mother-of-four into the top earning bracket of models, but for Klum, there was business beyond the catwalk and she soon branched into acting, television hosting and later, producing.

She has been hosting the prime time talent-scouting show Germany's Next Top Model since 2006; Thursday coincidentally marked the end of this year's season. Yet the ever-shrinking size of the (mostly teenage) contestants, who have to be able to fit into a US size two, has not escaped the country's notice, and the audience is starting to diminish.

While filming the show, Die Welt newspaper reported a scene in which the girls all had to slide a finger into Klum's birthday cake and lick the cream off their fingers for the camera, which when turned off caused “facial expressions that looked like Amnesty International had saved them from starvation at the last minute”, according to the reporter watching.

Klum lives in America, where the public largely love her. But to fall back into the arms of Germany it could be that she needs to cultivate a “nicer” outward imagine, the newspaper said.

This could mean taking a different attitude when the next series of Germany's Next Top Model rolls around. After all, she said this week that she could imagine hosting it for ten years, giving her space to claw back some of her birth country's audience.

Until then Klum, who was previously married to British singer Seal, will be celebrating her big 4-0 in LA with a party. Known for her love of fancy dress bashes (each year she throws one on Halloween) the theme will be “big hats”, an idea she said she got off a friend.

Newly loved-up and a doting mother to her children – once saving them from a rip tide herself – Klum is without a doubt one of the most famous Germans in the world today. She has, we think, steered stereotypes away from a beer-swilling, lederhosen-wearing Germany towards a more glamourous one.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Robber threatens woman with “HIV syringe”
File photo: DPA

Robber threatens woman with “HIV syringe”

1 hour ago

A shocked woman in Munich called police on Sunday evening after a man climbed into her car, demanded her purse – and threatened her with a syringe he said contained HIV.

Day in court for first Loveparade tragedy case
Crosses adorn the stairs which festival-goers fought to reach to escape the crush. Photo: DPA

Day in court for first Loveparade tragedy case

2 hours ago

July 2015 marked five years since one of the worst tragedies in modern German history. But this week, those affected by the 2010 Duisburg Loveparade disaster will at last see the case come to court.

Refugee crisis tests EU's core ideals: Merkel
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Refugee crisis tests EU's core ideals: Merkel

2 hours ago

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said the refugee crisis facing Europe is testing the core ideals of universal rights at the heart of the European Union.

German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Going down with a bang. The splash diving championships 2015. Photo: DPA

German named 'arse bombing' world champ

5 hours ago

Summer went out with a bang - and a splash - in southwest Germany, where the finals of the "arse bombing“ world championship 2015 were held on Sunday.

Formula One
Rosberg 'overwhelmed' by birth of daughter
Formula One Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg with his wife Vivian. File photo: DPA

Rosberg 'overwhelmed' by birth of daughter

6 hours ago

Star Formula One driver Nico Rosberg confirmed on Monday that he and his wife Vivian are now the parents of a baby girl, saying the couple were “overwhelmed and totally in love”.

'No limit to refugees Germany can take in'
Refugees arrive at an intake centre. Photo: DPA

'No limit to refugees Germany can take in'

7 hours ago

Germany's top official dealing with refugees said on Monday that there was 'no upper limit' to Germany's capacity for taking in people in need of asylum.

Berlin orchestra's Tehran concert blocked by Iran
Daniel Barenboim. Photo: DPA

Berlin orchestra's Tehran concert blocked by Iran

9 hours ago

Iran has barred famed conductor Daniel Barenboim from entering the Islamic republic because of his Israeli citizenship, thwarting his plan to lead a performance in Tehran, media reported Sunday.

Bundesliga
Dortmund reclaim top spot with Hertha win
Borussia Dortmund celebrate scoring against Hertha Berlin. Photo:DPA

Dortmund reclaim top spot with Hertha win

9 hours ago

Borussia Dortmund reclaimed top spot in the Bundesliga from Bayern Munich on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over Hertha Berlin -- their eighth straight win under new coach Thomas Tuchel.

Germany's friendship vow to Afghanistan
Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Afghanistan on Sunday. Photo:DPA

Germany's friendship vow to Afghanistan

9 hours ago

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that German friendship with Afghanistan had "no end date" as he visited Kabul under tight security on Sunday.

Migrants crisis
German media and celebs rally for refugees
A welcome party for refugees in Heidenau on Friday. Photo: DPA

German media and celebs rally for refugees

1 day ago

Germany may have witnessed violent anti-refugee protests this week -- but the message from the country's media and celebrities is a loud and determined welcome for people fleeing the horrors of war.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Weekend of anti-refugee violence shocks Germany
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,967
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd