SU­PER POWER Clau­dia Schif­fer’s lat­est book cel­e­brates 30 years on top of the mod­el­ling world

Clau­dia Schif­fer’s daz­zling new book re­veals the se­crets of her three decades as one of the most suc­cess­ful models in the world

Harper's Bazaar (UK) - - Contents - By LUCY HALFHEAD

‘The best fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy is like a great piece of art,’ says Clau­dia Schif­fer. ‘It’s all about emo­tion, when you go, “Oh my God, I love this pic­ture every sin­gle time I look at it; it makes me feel so good that I want to have it on my wall.”’ It is pre­cisely this type of im­agery that fills the pages of the new cof­fee-ta­ble book, Clau­dia Schif­fer, a glo­ri­ously glossy ret­ro­spec­tive of the Ger­man su­per­model’s 30-year ca­reer.

The list of contributors reads like a Who’s Who of pho­tog­ra­phy, in­clud­ing Richard Ave­don, and Ellen von Un­werth, who worked with Schif­fer on the 1989 Guess cam­paign that made her a house­hold name. Else­where there are heart­felt quotes from de­sign­ers, ed­i­tors and other Nineties faces, such as Cindy Craw­ford, Naomi Camp­bell and He­lena Chris­tensen. ‘Th­ese are all the peo­ple I’ve worked very closely with and we share a lot of mem­o­ries,’ Schif­fer says with gen­uine emo­tion. ‘When I work with any of them to­day, it feels like a high-school re­union.’

Schif­fer has ded­i­cated the book to her hus­band of 15 years, the film pro­ducer Matthew Vaughn. ‘We met on a blind date and im­me­di­ately no­ticed that we’re cut from the ex­act same tree,’ she says. ‘Even though we grew up in com­pletely dif­fer­ent coun­tries, we’re like the same per­son.’ The cou­ple live in a Tu­dor man­sion in Suf­folk, with their three chil­dren. ‘I love the quin­tes­sen­tial English life­style of play­ing board games in front of the fire, eat­ing Mar­mite on toast with a mug of PG Tips and go­ing for long walks with friends,’ she says. Res­o­lutely pri­vate, Schif­fer seems in awe

of to­day’s stars whose lives are played out on so­cial me­dia. ‘The new nor­mal is that you share so much more with so many peo­ple,’ she says. ‘I’m very happy that my ca­reer wasn’t based on this, be­cause I don’t think I would have been very good at it, be­ing the type of per­son I am – shy and re­served.’

This trait first came to the fore dur­ing Schif­fer’s teenage years, when she was crip­pled by a lack of con­fi­dence. ‘I was so awk­ward that I found it hard to make friends at school,’ she says, ‘and of­ten at break­time I would cy­cle home and wait un­til it was over.’ Then one night in 1987, she was spot­ted in a Düs­sel­dorf night­club. ‘I just thought, “It’s so dark in here, once they see me in day­light they’ll change their mind.”’ She soon found her­self in Paris, and af­ter Karl Lager­feld chose her as his muse at Chanel, her ca­reer sky­rock­eted. ‘When I first heard the term “su­per­model”, I couldn’t help laugh­ing, it felt so apt! ’ she says. ‘There I was play­ing at be­ing Su­per­man when I was work­ing, but in real life I was ac­tu­ally Clark Kent.’

To­day, Schif­fer holds the record for be­ing the model with the most mag­a­zine cov­ers to her name, ap­pear­ing on more than 1,000, in­clud­ing the mem­o­rable Novem­ber 2009 cover of Bazaar shot by Michelan­gelo di Bat­tista. It was part of a project in which she was cel­e­brated by lead­ing con­tem­po­rary artists; Marc Quinn showed her pos­ing on a bed of poly­styrene snow as ‘a kind of Sleep­ing Beauty’. ‘Not just any­one can get th­ese amaz­ing artists to par­tic­i­pate,’ Schif­fer says, ‘but it’s a priv­i­lege to work with Bazaar. It’s some­thing very few mag­a­zines can pull off.’

‘Clau­dia Schif­fer’ with an in­tro­duc­tion by Clau­dia Schif­fer and fore­word by

Ellen von Un­werth (£45,

Riz­zoli) is pub­lished on

10 Oc­to­ber.

Clau­dia Schif­fer pho­tographed by Herb Ritts in 1990

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.