Claudia Maria Schiffer (German pronunciation: [ˈklaʊ̯dɪa ˈʃɪfɐ]; born 25 August 1970) is a German supermodel, actress, executive producer, and fashion designer currently living in the United Kingdom. She rose to fame in the early 1990s as one of the world’s most successful models. In her early career, she was compared to Brigitte Bardot.
She has appeared on more than one thousand magazine covers and holds the record for the model with the most magazine covers, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. In 2002, Forbes estimated her net worth to be around US$55 million (£38 million).
Schiffer originally aspired to become a lawyer and used to work in her father’s law firm.[ In October 1987, at age 17, she “was spotted” in a nightclub in Düsseldorf by Michel Levaton, the head of Metropolitan Model Agency, and was signed to the agency as a model. She “met” Patrick Lafontaine who gave her the contact to Elite Model Management. After leaving high school, Schiffer flew to Paris for a trial photo shoot, and subsequently appeared on the cover of Elle.
In the early 1990s, she starred in campaigns for Guess?. Guess? co-founder 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 was selected by Karl Lagerfeld to become the new face of Chanel. 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 one of the most beautiful women in the world,[by whom?] her ability to appeal to a global audience assured an internationally successful career spanning over 25 years. Other magazines Schiffer has appeared on the covers of include Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, People, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Time. Schiffer has walked in fashion shows for numerous fashion houses, including Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, Chloé, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Fendi, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, Balmain, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Valentino.
She has appeared in advertising campaigns for Chanel, Versace, Balmain, Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Dom Pérignon, Alberta Ferretti, Bulgari, Chloé, Escada, Blumarine, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Max Mara, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Emporio Armani, Liz Claiborne, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, Guess?, Salvatore Ferragamo, Neiman Marcus, Gap, Dillard’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, L’Oréal, Revlon, Intergaz and Pepsi.
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 for the first time specially for the 2006 Autumn/Winter Accessorize campaign. 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.
Schiffer was a judge on Fashion Fringe in 2011. In 2012, she posed for Guess? again, marking the brand’s 30th anniversary.