A runway success
Kristy Hinze plans to make saving the oceans her next big fashion trend, writes Colin Vickery
KRISTY Hinze rose to fame in the superficial, image-obsessed world of modelling, but now she is out to show there is much more to her than the catwalk, fashion and reality-TV stardom.
The 29-year-old is in Australia to host Foxtel’s Project Runway, but in an interview at the Docklands studios where the reality show is being filmed, it’s talking about history and marine biology that really gets her excited.
Hinze has been immersed in the world of fashion since she was 14, but now she’s ready to break out and have an impact on a much larger world.
She has big goals in mind — getting a university education and helping to save the environment.
It’s clear that Hinze’s marriage in March to billionaire US entrepreneur James H. Clark, 65, has had a huge effect on her thinking. The relationship made headlines because of the age difference (Clark is a grandfather) but Hinze insists that it has given her ‘‘a relaxed, beautiful, happy, in-love feeling’’ that any other couple would envy.
As the Project Runway contestants line up in the background with a new set of couture creations, Hinze talks with passion about her love for Clark and their own projects — which centre on marine preservation and, down the track, babies.
‘‘Marriage has definitely made me more driven to go back and get an education,’’ Hinze says. ‘‘I’ve just finished my high school equivalency so that I can go to university in New York.
‘‘Now I have other goals. I’ve been modelling for half my life. I’ve always loved history and I love sciences, especially biology. I hope to get into marine biology. That’s the end goal.
‘‘I think I’m much more aware of the world now (because of Clark). His world is so different to mine. I feel like every time we have a conversation I’m learning something new.’’
Clark is a former computer scientist who founded Silicon Valley technology companies including Netscape. A passionate sailor and diver, he is using some of his fortune to fund environmental projects.
Anyone who thinks Hinze’s social concerns are mere hot air had better think again. It’s obvious she and Clark have the monetary power to make a big contribution and a substantial difference.
‘‘Jim started an oceanic preservation society and I’d love to have a bigger voice within that organisation — to be involved in saving the world’s oceans,’’ Hinze says.
So where does all that activity leave the prospect of having children? Hinze recently said she would love to start a family with Clark and that two children would be the perfect number.
‘‘It would be great, but obviously I’m very busy at the moment and he’s starting his fourth company. But if it happens, it happens,’’ Hinze says. ‘‘I’m not in a rush.’’
Hinze is committed to Project Runway, but it’s difficult not to believe, given her increasingly wide interests, that fronting documentaries for The Discovery Channel, for example, could happen down the track.
‘‘Hmm . . . Kristy’s Underwater Aquarium (sounds good),’’ she says with a laugh. ‘‘I really do like hosting. I’ve dabbled in acting, but I think I’ve found something I’m really good at.’’
As Hinze is called to resume filming Project Runway, there’s time for one last question. What does she think she’s brought to Clark’s life that has made their relationship such a success?
‘‘He’s definitely chilled out a lot since he’s been with me because I’m fun,’’ she says.
‘‘We’ve had a lot of laughs. I taught him how to play golf and he’s definitely a good shopper!’’ Project Runway, PG Arena, Wednesday, 8.30pm Catwalk creations Duration: 1 hour
Science and sensibility: Kristy Hinze’s next goal is to complete her education.