A supermodel with the savvy to create her own empire, Heidi Klum hit gold with a perfect amalgam of high fashion and reality TV. Born in Germany, Klum began modeling when she was just a teenager, after submitting photos to a German modeling agency on a whim. She toured Europe as a model, eventually coming to United States where she found even more success. Heidi Klum is an international fashion model that many consider the best ever.
She was raised in Bergisch Gladbach, a city outside Cologne, by her parents Gunther, a cosmetics-company executive, and Erna, a hairdresser. Both of her parents are German. A friend persuaded her to enroll in a national modeling contest called “Model 92”. Out of 25,000 contestants, Klum was voted the winner on April 1992 and offered a modeling contract worth US $300,000 by Thomas Zeumer, CEO of Metropolitan Models New York. As the winner, she appeared on the Gottschalk Late Night Show, a top German television show with host Thomas Gottschalk. She accepted the contract a few months after graduating from and decided not to try for an apprentice position at a fashion design school.
Her career has started by being a cover of fashion magazines including Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire. She became widely known after appearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and for her work with Victoria’s Secret as an “Angel”. In addition to working with well known photographers on her Sports Illustrated shoots, she was the object and subject of Joanne Gair body painting works in several editions from1996-2006. She was also a spokes model for McDonald’s, Braun, Dannon, H&M, and Liz Claiborne, among others. In addition to modeling, she has appeared in several TV shows, such as, Spin City, Sex and the City, played a giantess in the movie Ella Enchanted and was cast as Ursula Andress in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. She had cameo appearances in the movie The Devil Wears Prada and Perfect Stranger.
Heidi Klum became a spokes model for Victoria’s Secret, and also began taking some small roles in films, like 2000’s Blow Dry. In 2004, she became the executive producer and host of a show on Bravo called Project Runway, in which fashion design hopefuls were presented with a variety of challenges and judged on their talent and ability, facing elimination in every episode until a winner was crowned. The show was a huge hit, and Klum became even more of brand in and of herself.
Klum was married to celebrity hairstylist Ric Pipino in 1997, though things did not work out the way it used to be, they divorced in 2002. She also had a relationship with Formula One manager Flavio Briatore, and sadly it did not last, the couple had a daughter together namely Helene. In 2005, she married a singer and musician Seal, who raised Helene as his own along with the couple’s other children. And in 2009, she officially adopted the surname of her husband, Seal, and is now legally known as Heidi Samuel. However, she has not yet officially announced whether she will use that name professionally or will continue using “Klum” as her stage name.