Heidi Klum is not just a supermodel – the mother of four is the Emmy-winning host and executive producer of US reality show Project Runway and also hosts Germany’s Next Top Model, as well as being a judge on America’s Got Talent. During an Australian visit to spruik her Heidi Klum Intimates range of lingerie, the 41-year-old told me about the secrets to her success, what she thinks makes a woman feel sexy and how family comes first.
What did you get up to during your time in Australia?
The first day I arrived I went to the zoo – to see the koalas and kangaroos – and the Harbour Bridge. Then the next day we hit the ground running with all the promotion for Heidi Klum Intimates.
Tell me about your intimates range.
It is a mixture of everything from soft pastels to bright colours to the basics of black and grey. There is a lot of lace, all different styles: push-up, triangles, no-padding bras and garter belts. So a little bit of everything.
Are you involved in the design?
I’ve just started. I just started my first design meeting about six weeks ago. Everyone came from Hong Kong and we met in Los Angeles. We all sat around the table and I kind of brought all my favourite pieces that I’ve collected over the years. [But] I want to introduce more specialty bras to the line. I feel like we could have a little bit more super-sexy lingerie. There’s not a lot of lingerie that you want to wear in the bedroom, and I want more of that.
What do you think makes a woman feel sexy?
For me it’s high heels; definitely it’s beautiful lingerie; always to be prepared because you don’t know when clothes do come off!
Are you a cotton-briefs or a lace-briefs type of girl?
Lace! Even for everyday running around, I never really wear cotton. I always have pretty ones and I always like a matching set.
You look amazing in the Heidi Klum Intimate ad campaign [which marked her return to lingerie after a five-year hiatus]. Did you do much fitness preparation for the shoot?
I’m prepared all the time because I shoot all the time. I think most women get ready for the summer time, when they know it’s bikini season. So a lot of girls, I guess, go on a diet and they start working out then, but it’s been my business for the last 20 years. I’ve always had to be ready, and my lifestyle pretty much changed 20 years ago when I started this job: of eating different and exercising and staying away from too much meat and potatoes and carbs and just stuff that I would eat when I was young, when I was at home living with my mum and dad.
What is your biggest indulgence?
Burgers and fries.
With your TV and modelling commitments, where do your priorities lie these days?
My family comes first. It’s always a juggle to keep the schedule on target, so that work doesn’t all of a sudden take over like a monster.
How do you juggle it all?
It is a juggle. I always make sure that I have enough time for my family. When I’m home I make breakfast for the kids, drop them to school and then go to the [TV] studio. Or I start super early [in the studio] and then I get home at five and I can do dinner, bath and reading to them at night. My clients kind of have to work with it too but everyone who I’ve been working with over the years has been very easy going about that. It has been helpful.
What has been your biggest career highlight?
Well, I have many along the way. As I said, I’ve been in the industry for 20 years now. So even my first Vogue cover was amazing. But then I really became more of a household name in America from being on the cover of Sports Illustrated; 55 million readers see your face. And then all of a sudden things changed and then I did Victoria’s Secret, and doing the show every year and being in the catalogue shifted everything, so all of a sudden things came up and suddenly television became more dominant. Then I created Project Runway and now, 13 years later, we’re still on the air. And I’ve hosted Germany’s Next Top Model for the last 10 years and for the last two years I’ve been doing America’s Got Talent. So all those things are all important because they kind of help you climb the ladder.
A model’s career can sometimes be short-lived you but have had such long and successful career. What is your secret for this success?
It is hard work. I think when you show up you have to put in the work. You can’t constantly look at your clock and go, like, “I actually wanted to already be gone two hours ago.” I’ve heard other girls be that way. And then you hear, like, “Oh, she’s so difficult to work with.” That’s not good. If you’re not pleasant to work with, then people won’t hire you again. You have to be on time and you have to be professional and a lot of [models] aren’t.
You are known for your bubbly personality. Do you ever have a bad day?
Sometimes, if you get up early and then you get on the set and then no one is there, that kind of bugs me. Or sometimes when I’m away from home too long and I miss my kids, then it’s like, “Oh, I want to go home”. But it’s never really the work because I feel thankful for all the things that I’ve got over the years. I remember when I first started [my career] and I went to New York and I did castings everywhere and I was always like, “I wish I would get a job.” So now that I’m working so much, I think back to those times and I feel happy and thankful for where I am today.
WE WENT TO David Jones Private Salon, Sydney CDB.
WE ATE a selection of sweets from the Panini Bar, David Jones Food Hall.
WE DRANK cappuccino’s.
Photography: Tamika Keioske