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Claudia Schiffer, A Model Life

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer skillfully manages a career that proves that classic beauty will always be in fashion.
Mervyn Rothstein
From the Print Edition:
Claudia Schiffer, Jul/Aug 97

(continued from page 1)

She has spent countless hours on fittings and taking part in two runway shows, for the designers Badgley Mishka and Halston International. Yet she also found the time recently to take her brother to a Knicks game, do a day-in-the-life photo shoot for Gala magazine, attend dozens of business meetings and spend a weekend with a 13-year-old girl who won a contest in Europe that allowed her to tag along with Claudia.

And there is no rest. Immediately after the interview, she will be off to another cover shoot, for Fitness magazine. Tomorrow morning, she will be on a flight to New Orleans to supervise several changes at that city's Fashion Cafe.

"I work all year long," she says. "There are no off seasons. And I travel all year long. I make sure I can go home"—as with many other European celebrities, home is Monte Carlo, for tax purposes—"for a couple of days every few months, even if it's only to switch things in my suit-cases. Whenever I leave I pack for at least two months."

Her schedule in the next two weeks is typical. After three days in New Orleans, she moves on to Los Angeles, to shoot a cover for Allure magazine. "I'll be in L.A. for one day," she says. "I arrive in the morning, and after the Allure cover I'm attending a charity event, a benefit for the Make-a-Wish Foundation," which helps seriously ill children. (She is also a spokeswoman for the National Breast Cancer Coalition Signature Drive and takes part in many events on behalf of Revlon to help cure the disease, as well as donating time with other supermodels in the fight against pediatric AIDS.) "Then I catch a plane at 1:35 in the morning and go directly to Lima, Peru. I arrive at 12:35 p.m., and the next morning I work from 7 a.m. all the way to 9:30 in the evening. The following day, it's the same hours. And then I travel to Chile and work for two days from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. And then I go to Argentina for one day. And then, finally, I'm back in Europe."

"It can be crazy," she says, "because when you don't have time to relax it can be very tiring. When I go back to the hotel room, there are always the daily faxes to look at, and the phone calls to be made if there's something urgent. And then it's time to sleep. Once in Monaco, I started work at 9 in the morning and worked all through the night until 6 a.m. I didn't know in advance I would be doing that, but if the photographer decides artistically that he doesn't have what he needs, you just keep on going until you have it. And it can take all night. So we finished at 6, and I had to take a 7 a.m. plane from Nice to Paris and catch the Concorde to New York. I didn't get any sleep. And when I arrived in New York I had to go straight to the studio."

But despite it all, she says, she loves what she does. "It's so much fun," she says. "Working with photographers, collaborating on a shoot, you can create so many different things. You can come in with one idea of what you're planning to do and then a couple of hours later you can change the idea to something completely different. I love the creative part of it so much."

Claudia Schiffer portrait.
With such a schedule, one might think she wouldn't need to exercise and watch her diet to keep fit. But she does. "I enjoy good food very much," she says, "and I'm not one of those women who can eat whatever they want. I have to watch myself very carefully and think about what I eat all the time. If I don't it's a disaster."

On a typical morning she will have fruit for breakfast, along with tea and honey. "For lunch I try to have salads or vegetables or soups," she says. "And for dinner, chicken salad or tuna salad or a bit of regular chicken or vegetables. I try very hard to eat healthy. And it's not only for my figure.

Sure, I would like to keep it the way it is. But it's also for the energy. I have much more energy when I'm thinner. Sweets make me very tired. Heavy food, lots of meat, makes me tired."

When it comes to exercise, she tries to work out in a gym four or five days a week, an hour and a half or two hours a day, on the stationary bicycle, the Stairmaster, the treadmill and a new machine she has fallen in love with, the Transport, which is a cross between a bike and a treadmill that puts much less pressure on the knees. She also uses weights for her upper body, and sometimes for her lower body. But with all her travel, she says, "I need to have something I can do in hotel rooms." So she does a one-hour workout routine with her private trainer, Kathy Kaehler, that closely resembles those seen in her videos. "The tapes were first developed for me," she says, "so I could show people what I do."

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