Saturday, July 23, 2011

FEMspiration: Heidi Klum: the German Powerhouse

Modeling is a very fickle business; the array of fresh-faced, leggy and skinny new talent to hit the catwalks comes and goes as quickly as the designer collections. Although models over the last 15 years have ventured away from being mere faces of fashion to mini entrepreneurs, it takes a lot to evolve past glorified coat hanger to glorified ‘It girl’. You have to have a lot of muscle, a lot of attitude; an approachability and down to earth nature with which you entice your many female and especially male followers. All this happy-go-lucky pizzazz on a low-carb diet…

Heidi Klum Samuel embodies all the qualities of quite literally a modeling powerhouse. Google her name and it is associated with anything from video games and TV shows, to footwear, jewellery and even candies and roses with her namesake. In a world where the model represents the brand, Heidi Klum has become a brand in her own right, with modeling it being second nature.

Heidi Klum, who came from a small town outside of Cologne, Germany, was persuaded to enter a modeling contest in 1992 by a friend, and out of 25,000 participants was crowned the winner. From then on, she accepted a modeling contract with Metropolitan Models New York, and has appeared in countless fashion shows and magazine covers, including Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire. However, her biggest claim to fame was appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, from which she quickly attained the pinnacle of modeling superstardom, becoming a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Klum ended her 12 year long tenure with the Angels in 2010, during which she bounced back from three (!) pregnancies (usually in the space of a few weeks), to appear in super skimpy lingerie. In 2005, six weeks after giving birth to her second child Henry, Heidi modeled the $2 million dollar diamond encrusted Wonderbra, rocking an incredibly toned and tight midriff. Klum’s upbeat attitude, resilience and energy are palatable; she makes it her business to tackle the tricky world of fashion head on.

And it is exactly this attitude which has seen her grow and outgrow the fashion world and venture in to almost every avenue of business and merchandising. She has gone from curvaceous model to bona fide businesswoman with such ease and confidence (as well as four children in tow), you can’t help but feel there are not enough hours in the day for Heidi Klum. To name just a few of her accolades, she has been a spokesperson for H & M, & McDonald’s, appeared in several TV Shows such as Sex & The City, How I Met Your Mother and Spin City, appeared in commercials for Guitar Hero World Tour and Volkswagen, web-based videos entitled SPIKED HEEL battling evil forces planning to ruin Fashion Week. She is the face of countless brands such as European cosmetics brand Astor, shoe giant Birkenstock and New Balance, countless cosmetics lines for Victoria’s Secret and she has designed a line for Mouawad’s jewellery.

If that’s not enough to make you feel your multi-tasking skills are lagging behind, she has being the host, judge and executive producer of the super successful Project Runway since 2004 as well as Germany’s Next Top Model, also recently producing a new reality TV show with husband Seal called Love’s Divine, in which they offer love advice to couples.

The best part? Heidi Klum has four children! She has three children, Henry, Johan and Lou with husband Seal Samuel, her eldest daughter Leni being the biological child of Formula 1 boss Flavio Briatore. Klum and Samuel married in May 2005, while Heidi was pregnant with Leni, but states emphatically that “Seal is Leni’s father”. Each one of her pregnancies sees her bounce back, fitter, stronger and healthier than before. She has recently been a spokesperson and active participant of the AOL Summer Run challenge, uploading daily updates of her progress and comments on Facebook.
Heidi’s charm lies in her approachability and engagement with the public; she has so much enthusiasm, energy and humour and truly enjoys every project she does. She approaches it all with determination and sound business skills, and also her signature cheekiness. She’s the best friend you wish you had in the workplace.

And it seems life after Victoria’s Secret and four kids is not slowing Heidi down. She appears in the new movie Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil and is gearing for Project Runway’s 7th season. Heidi leaves no stone unturned and she does it with what seems to be an ever present smile on her face. When you have an adoring husband, four kids, a rocking body the world at your feet, what’s not to smile about?
Heidi Klum Samuel is the entrepreneurial powerhouse of the modeling world, paving the wave for models alike.


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