Claudia Schiffer (born 25 August 1970) is a German model and creative director of her own clothing label. Schiffer rose to popularity and became a household name during the early 1990s as one of the world's most successful models. In her early career, she was said to resemble Brigitte Bardot. She appeared on more than 1000 magazine covers and continues to front global campaigns for luxury fashion and fragrance houses. In 2002, Forbes estimated her net worth at about US$55 million (£38 million).
Early life[edit | edit source]
Claudia Maria Schiffer was born in Rheinberg, Germany, a small town 15km northwest of Duisburg. She is the daughter of Gudrun and Heinz Schiffer, a lawyer. She has two brothers, Stefan and Andreas, and one sister, Ann Carolin.
Schiffer said she was popular in high school, but she has revealed that, because she was so tall, she became very shy and did not want to be noticed. She was also subjected to jealousy by others as she came from a wealthy family that was well-known locally. Schiffer is fluent in three languages – German, English and French.
She originally wanted to become a lawyer and used to work in her father's law firm. She later dropped these aspirations when, in October 1987 at 17, she was spotted in a nightclub in Düsseldorf by Michel Levaton, the boss of Metropolitan Model Agency who signed her up to become a model.
Modeling[edit | edit source]
Schiffer completed her education and then began to work as a model. She flew out to Paris for a trial photo shoot and soon after she appeared on the cover of French Elle after being well received in Paris. In the early 1990s, she starred in the highly publicised Guess? Jeans campaigns. Paul Marciano said in E! Forbes Top 15 Supermodel Beauties Who Made Bank, "Guess name became really much more known around the world because [of] Claudia". After several other magazine appearances including the cover of British Vogue shot by Herb Ritts, Schiffer quickly achieved supermodel status and was selected by Karl Lagerfeld to become the new face of Chanel. She went on to become world famous, instantly recognisable with her blue eyes, blonde hair and tall figure, standing at 1.81 m (approx. 5 ft 11 in.). In May 1997, Schiffer was featured on the cover and in the pictorial of Playboy.
Schiffer appeared on the November 1999 millennium cover of Vogue as one of the "Modern Muses". Named as one of the most beautiful women in the world, her ability to appeal to a global audience has assured an internationally successful career spanning more than 25 years. Schiffer was the first model to make the covers of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The New York Times and People and has appeared numerous times on covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Time. Schiffer has appeared on the catwalk for numerous fashion houses, including Versace, Dior, Chloe, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and Valentino.
As well as endorsing luxury brands, Schiffer has appeared as the face of high street retailers including Mango and Accessorize, and had her ears pierced especially for the 2006 Autumn/Winter Accessorize campaign. She has also featured in commercials for Pepsi and Fanta. From her appearances in a 1998 Citroën advertisement she allegedly earned £3 million. Schiffer still holds a contract with L'Oréal and is one of their longest standing ambassadors.
Karl Lagerfeld photographed Schiffer for a Dom Pérignon campaign, around 17 years after her first appearance for Chanel. Schiffer has appeared in recent campaigns for Chanel, YSL, Salvatore Ferragamo and Dolce & Gabbana. Most recently she appeared as the face of the Chanel A/W11 Eyewear Campaign She is signed to a few agencies solely for her modelling interests including d'management group in Milan, 1/One Management in New York City and Marilyns in Paris. Her mother agency is Model Management in Hamburg. Schiffer was a judge on Fashion Fringe in 2011. In 2012, she posed again for Guess black and white ads marking the brand's 30th anniversary.
Claudia Schiffer Cashmere[edit | edit source]
Schiffer launched her eponymous cashmere collection during Paris Fashion Week in March 2011. The Autumn–Winter 2011 season saw her fashion design debut and has been followed by a Spring–Summer 2012 collection. The collection is sold globally in department stores and high-end boutiques. Schiffer is the creative director of the brand.
Media appearances[edit | edit source]
Schiffer has appeared in a number of films and music videos. Her first appearance in film was in the children's movie Richie Rich in 1994 and then starred opposite Dennis Hopper and Matthew Modine in The Blackout. She then went on to appear in Friends & Lovers, Black and White in 1999, In Pursuit and Life Without Dick in 2001, and then Love Actually in a semi-cameo role. Schiffer has made other cameo appearances in films including Ben Stiller's Zoolander (2001).
Schiffer has appeared on several talk shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Jonathan Ross Show, and sitcoms Dharma & Greg and Arrested Development. She also appeared for Comic Relief in boyband Westlife's music video for Uptown Girl and in 2000, she made a cameo appearance in Bon Jovi's video for "Say It Isn't So".
Schiffer has released four exercise videos, entitled Claudia Schiffer's Perfectly Fit, which were successful and reached the best seller list. Schiffer has hosted the French Fashion Awards and the World Music Awards in Monaco.
With fellow models Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Elle Macpherson, Schiffer was joint owner of a chain of restaurants called the Fashion Café in 1995. Schiffer remains a prominent figure in German society and helped present and carry the trophy with Pelé during the opening ceremonies at the 2006 World Cup. She also presented Prince William with a polo trophy in 2002.
When talking about the model profession at present, she said: "Supermodels, like we once were, don't exist any more."
Charity[edit | edit source]
Claudia began her involvement with UNICEF by becoming a member of the Arts & Entertainment Support Committee and is currently a UK Goodwill Ambassador for the organisation. Claudia was also a spokesman for Make Poverty History where she appeared in the powerful Click advertisement. In July 2005, she appeared as a presenter at both the Berlin and Edinburgh Live 8 concerts.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
From 1994 to 1999, Schiffer was married to the American illusionist, David Copperfield. They first met in October 1993, when Schiffer attended one of Copperfield's shows and he invited her on stage to participate in a mind-reading act and his "Flying" illusion. A month later, she joined Copperfield on an appearance on live German TV. During this appearance, Schiffer assisted Copperfield in a traditional "Thin Model" version of the famous stage illusion, "Sawing a Woman in Half", with Schiffer being sawed in half by Copperfield and the show’s host, who used a large two-person saw to cut her in half. Having sawed Schiffer in half and separated her halves, Copperfield then tickled her feet, causing her to scream with laughter and complain (in German) that she was ticklish. While she was still in two pieces, she was interviewed by the show's host, who asked her what it felt like to be sawed in half. Copperfield then asked her out on a date and, after she agreed, he finally put her back together in one piece. Shortly after this, they became engaged, and married the following year. While they were married, Schiffer sometimes appeared on stage with Copperfield to act as his special guest assistant in illusions including being levitated, guillotined and sawn in half. She also appeared alongside Copperfield in David Copperfield: 15 Years of Magic (1994), a documentary in which she played the role of a reporter interviewing him, and at the end of which they reprised their performance of the "Flying" illusion. She often acted as the test assistant in many of Copperfield's new illusions while they were under development. In addition to some which later featured in his TV specials and stage shows, this also included a number of other illusions which have never been performed publicly. Copperfield also devised a close-up magic trick especially for her to perform, in which she used a blunt darning needle to pass a length of knitting wool through her (as it was then) unpierced earlobe.
In 1997 Copperfield and Schiffer both sued Paris Match after the magazine claimed their relationship was a sham, that Schiffer was paid for pretending to be Copperfield's wife and that she didn't even like him.  In 1999 Schiffer won an undisclosed sum and a retraction from Paris Match when a French court ruled that the magazine's story was false.  Copperfield's publicist confirmed that while Schiffer had a contract to appear in the audience at Copperfield's show in Berlin where they met, she was not under contract to be his "consort." 
On 25 May 2002 she married the film director Matthew Vaughn (born Matthew de Vere Drummond) in Suffolk.  Schiffer and Vaughn have three children: son Caspar Matthew (born 30 January 2003, Westminster, London) and daughters Clementine Poppy (born 11 November 2004, Westminster) and Cosima Violet (born 14 May 2010).  Because her father-in-law and husband are both in the line of succession to the Earldom of Oxford and Mortimer, it is possible that Schiffer could one day become the Countess of Oxford. Following their marriage, Schiffer took her husband's name and is now officially known as Claudia de Vere Drummond, although she continues to be known as Claudia Schiffer for professional purposes.
Schiffer had two significant problems with harassment in the past. In 2002 an Italian kitchen porter was arrested after making 9 visits to Schiffer's £5 million Coldham Hall  mansion near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, attempting to see her. Charges against him were dropped however, as he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.  He believed that the Pope had told him to marry Schiffer.  In 2004 a Canadian man was accused of harassing Schiffer, also at her mansion in Suffolk. He called at her mansion in the hope of seeing her. He also repeatedly left letters at her home. 
In 2006 Schiffer and her husband were twice spoken to by policemen from the local Suffolk force after a number of incidents involving their two dogs, an Irish wolfhound and a German shepherd, and local people using the public footpath across the grounds of their Coldham Hall home. These included severely mauling a Jack Russell being walked on the footpath, chasing deer on the estate, intimidating people using the footpath, and biting one of the local postmen. 
In May 2014 up to 50 firefighters were reported to have responded to a fire at the home. A number of outbuildings and stables, including a clock tower, were damaged in the fire, which took crews more than two hours to extinguish. Eight fire crews managed to prevent the flames from spreading to the Grade I-listed hall. 
Filmography[edit | edit source]
|1994||Richie Rich||Herself as an aerobics instructor|
|1994||Prêt-à-Porter||Herself||American title Ready to Wear|
|1996||Perfectly Fit||none||Fitness program by Claudia Schiffer|
|1999||Desperate But Not Serious||Gigi||USA DVD release titled Reckless + Wild|
|1999||Friends & Lovers||Carla|
|1999||Black and White||Greta|
|2000||Chain Of Fools||Herself|
|2001||In Pursuit||Catherine Wells||USA DVD release titled Rules of the Game|
|2002||666 – Traue keinem, mit dem Du schläfst!||Herself||English title 666: In Bed with the Devil|
|2002||Life Without Dick||Mary|
Appearances in documentaries[edit | edit source]
|1993||Noche de tu vida, La|
|1994||David Copperfield: 15 Years of Magic|
|1995||Die schönsten Frauen der Welt – Claudia Schiffer|
|1995||Around Claudia Schiffer|
|1996||68th Annual Academy Awards|
|1997||Happy Birthday Elizabeth: A Celebration of Life|
|1997||An Audience with Elton John|
|1997||1997 VH1 Fashion Awards|
|2000||The Sound of Claudia Schiffer|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In 2002, Forbes estimated her net worth at about $55 million (£38 million).
- In 2006, at the age of 35, she had her ears pierced especially for the photoshoot for her 2006 Accessorize advertising campaign. Her contract for the campaign included an additional payment to cover the need for her to pierce her ears so as to be able to wear the pierced earrings she was required to model during the photoshoot. Since then, she has continued to wear pierced earrings, with her favorites being either a pair of small diamond studs, or a pair of large gold hoops.
- She used to be a smoker, but gave up before her first pregnancy. Prior to that, she appeared in a number of photoshoots smoking cigarettes or cigars.
- The version of the "Sawing a Woman in Half" illusion she performed with Copperfield is called "Clearly Impossible". In this version of the illusion, she would lay down on the "table", and her head and feet would be firmly held by members of the audience. She would then be covered by a special clear-sided box, from which her head and feet projected, and which allowed an uninterrupted view of her body throughout the illusion. Once her neck and ankles had been firmly locked in place by stocks, the audience member who had been holding her head would join Copperfield in sawing through her middle using a large two-person saw. After she had been completely sawed through, two large metal divider blades would be inserted through the cut and her two halves separated. As her feet had been firmly held by the second audience member all the time from before she was covered by the box, and because the box allowed her body to be clearly seen throughout the sawing through and separation, this proved to the audience that she really had been divided into two pieces.
- In addition to being sawed in half in Copperfield's Clearly Impossible illusion, she was also occasionally sawed in half in his antique version of the Buzz Saw illusion. This had previously belonged to actor and magician Orson Welles, who had used it to saw in half various celebrities including his wife Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe. Additionally, she was sometimes sawed in half in Copperfield's "Blade" vertical sawing, in which she was divided lengthwise, from head to feet, rather than being divided through her waist.
- The guillotine illusion that Copperfield performed on her is known as the "French Guillotine", and uses an accurate copy of the type of guillotine historically used in France for executions. Unlike other versions of the illusion, where the blade passes through the neck stocks and the victim's head stays in place within the stocks, in the "French Guillotine" the blade passes in front of the neck stocks. As a result, when the blade fell, Claudia actually was decapitated by it, with her severed head dropping into the waiting basket.
- She didn't learn to drive a car until she was 28, in May 1999, when she learned how to drive especially for appearing in TV adverts for Citroen cars.
- Her measurements are 36C-24-36.
- While at school, she spent two months in the UK as part of a cultural exchange programme between her school in Emmerich and King Edward the Seventh Secondary School in Kings Lynn, Norfolk.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
- (Claiming that supermodels are now extinct) "In order to become a supermodel one must be on all the covers all over the world at the same time so that people can recognise the girls. That is, for now, not least because the advertising industry is very much taken nowadays by pop stars and actresses. Supermodels, like we once were, don't exist any more.
- "The first time David sawed me in half, I did feel quite nervous. But it was a lot of fun to do, and I didn't feel a thing as he sawed through me and pulled me apart. Now, being sawed in half is definitely my favorite part of being in David's shows."
- "I've met women who have way better bodies in their 40s because they've been working on them for all these years."
- "I just love to shock people. Yesterday my friend said, "What a great top, is it Stella?" I said, "No, it's Mango, £25." I'm never head-to-toe in anything. I like to mix things from Prada, things from Marc Jacobs. But, you know, you can spend several thousand pounds on something, wear it for one day and the button falls off. I get really ****** off when you spend so much money."
- "I really love working with David in his shows, especially being sawed in half. Feeling the saw go through me is such an amazing sensation, and it’s always such a thrill to look over and see my legs on the other side of the stage and know I’m in two pieces…"
- "I love wearing flat shoes, but I am not one of those girls who walks around in sweat pants and sneakers. I think I have something going on with shoes. Flat shoes. I buy them in several colors at once. High heels are for work and they have always been uncomfortable for me. I'm amazed when I see mothers wearing high heels. If your kids run off you can't run after them."
- "I'm not really a big jewelry person - never have been. Normally, all I wear is my wedding ring, a watch, and a small cross on a chain around my neck. Of course, now I've got pierced ears, I'll often wear earrings too, but not always. If I do, its usually a pair of diamond studs my husband gave me, although if I'm feeling especially bold, I've got some big hoops I love to wear too."
- "I like being a housewife but, unfortunately, I haven't mastered cooking. For all the other household jobs, I help out when I can."
- "My favorite shoot from the early days of working with Guess was the Greece shoot. I remember I tried Ouzo for the first time and was ill for the rest of the day, but the pictures were amazing and we laughed so much."
- "If there is a potential down-side to being a magician's wife, it's that your husband does keep wanting to saw you in half, stick swords through you, and that sort of thing. Fortunately, I really enjoy working with David as well as being married to him, so I don't mind at all when he does saw me in half, chop my head off or ask to do anything else like that to me."
- "I love being pregnant. You can do whatever you want. You don't feel guilty, because I used to feel guilty about having a day off. And, you know, something really strange happened to me. Before my pregnancies, I was someone who had to watch their weight."
- "My parents' support has always been very important. But I also had support from my oldest friend; we've known each other since we were four years old. She still lives in Germany, so we don't see each other as often, but I talk to her regularly. She knows me from before, she knows my family, we're very close. We went through all the same rituals together – experimenting with make up, first boyfriends and our first cigarettes (though we got caught by her mum!). And, when we were 13, we even pierced each others ears using a sewing needle and some cheap stud earrings. It was really painful and a bit messy, but I loved seeing the earrings in my ears and feeling how they went right through my earlobes. But I was worried what my parents would say if I turned up with pierced ears, so I took the earrings out again before I went home."
- (On her debut fashion collection in 2011) "The idea of it is effortless chic - it's based on my life and the clothes I need. I have 15 minutes to get dressed in the morning before taking the children to school. I want to throw on clothes but still look chic, then I want to go from school to a meeting and then out for dinner by only changing a handbag or my earrings or something … It's simple and lovely to wear but still really chic and very high quality - that's all I wanted."
- "My role model is Audrey Hepburn, I admire her a lot. I'd like to have her grace and charisma, which are qualities you acquire not in youth, but only with life experience. I'd like to be more happy with myself. I've never liked myself very much, I've always thought I should be more extroverted - more this, more that. But you have to learn to accept yourself as you are. That's my goal for the future."
- (On her cravings during her third pregnancy) "I'd love a beer, that's all I've been craving. I didn't even like it before I was pregnant. Alcohol's bad for you when you're pregnant, but I just want beer."
- "Before I met David, I thought that when a magician saws a woman in half, she curls up in the top half of the box and they are fake feet sticking out of the other end of the box. But, since David has started sawing me in half, I know that's not what happens. When he saws me in half, I'm not curling up in the top part of the box, because I can't. The ankle stocks he uses when he locks me in the box are so tight that there's no way I can move my feet to curl up. Plus there's always someone from the audience holding on to my feet to stop me doing that. So that means that I'm still laying full-length in the box as he's sawing through it. And, of course, that means that he's also sawing through me as well. So, as impossible as it sounds, he really is sawing me in half and, when he moves the halves of the box apart, I really am in two pieces."
References[edit | edit source]
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- "Shedding Light: Copperfield talks candidly about his profession". Las Vegas Review Journal. http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/1998/Jun-26-Fri-1998/weekly/7724852.html. Retrieved 8 June 2009. "Last year Copperfield slapped a $30 million lawsuit on Paris-Match magazine that alleged in a story that the Copperfield-Schiffer relationship was mere illusion; little more than a business deal to enhance both their careers."
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