• Germany's news in English
 

Heidi Klum: supermodel, supermum, media mogul

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
'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol
Image: Fremantle Media/YouTube

'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol

A 22-year-old from Hanover has become the latest winner of Vietnam Idol – bagging $27,000 along with his new title. READ  

Man promises to stop coffin naps in public
If you want to rest in place while you're still alive, a car park isn't the place place to choose. Photo: DPA

Man promises to stop coffin naps in public

When a man walking his dog alerted police to the fact that a black coffin was lying in the middle of a public parking place, the cops were surprised to find someone inside. READ  

Court orders boss to pay worker for changing
Photo: Pixabay

Court orders boss to pay worker for changing

A mechanic from western Germany is set to receive €350 in back payments – after claiming he should be paid for the time he spent showering and getting dressed for work. READ  

In Pictures
Wacken festival draws metalheads of the world
A reveler at Wacken Open Air 2015. Photo: DPA

Wacken festival draws metalheads of the world

Armies of black-clad fans gathered for the world's biggest heavy metal festival between Thursday and Saturday, marking 25 years of headbanging fun in the small town of Wacken in northern Germany. READ  

Railway sunbather brings trains to a halt
Photo: DPA

Railway sunbather brings trains to a halt

A plucky sunbather brought train services in North Rhine-Westphalia to an abrupt halt at the weekend - after deciding to catch some rays on the tracks. READ  

Spiegel: Merkel wants fourth term in power
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Spiegel: Merkel wants fourth term in power

According to Germany's most influential political magazine, Spiegel, Angela Merkel has decided to run for a fourth term in power and has already started talks on who will run her campaign. READ  

State leaders call for faster asylum processes
Refugees at a temporary reception centre in Baden Württemberg. Photo: DPA

State leaders call for faster asylum processes

Several state leaders called for more investment in processing asylum applications over the weekend as the backlog continues to put severe strain on current infrastructure. READ  

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record
Roger Klueh. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / DPA

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record

A German businessman and power boating fanatic on Saturday broke a 57-year-old record for the fastest boat crossing between the United States and Cuba. READ  

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'
Migrants on a train on their way to the EU. Photo: Djordje Savic / DPA

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'

Germany has hosted more than 300,000 asylum seekers since the start of the year, said the daily Die Welt on Saturday, nearly 50,000 more than first thought, as Berlin prepares for a record influx of refugees in 2015. READ  

Migrant wounded in German police shooting
Photo: DPA

Migrant wounded in German police shooting

A Guinean migrant who caused a brawl in a home for asylum seekers in Germany was shot and seriously wounded by police, local media reported. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
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
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
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

7,129
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd