On August 25, 1970, supermodel Claudia Schiffer was born in the suburbs of Dusseldorf, Germany, to a prominent and wealthy family. At first she had dreams to be like her attorney father, even interning at his law firm. Instead, she would spring to worldwide stardom during the golden age of the supermodel: the 1990’s. Along with her fellow long-legged beauties Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista, Schiffer would help in the astronomical ascension of the modeling industry.
Self-described as lanky, shy and awkward, Schiffer was plucked from obscurity on a Dusseldorf disco dance floor at age 17. Certain that the modeling scout’s invitation to do some test shots in Paris was just a fluke, Schiffer convinced her parents to let her go anyway. She said of the shoot: “After I was discovered, and did the test shots, I was sure that they would realize they had made a mistake and send me back.”
The next thing the German beauty knew, she was signed to her first modeling agency. Her global supermodel status was cemented when she starred in the early 1990’s international Guess Jeans campaign. Karl Lagerfeld chose her as the face of Chanel and the rest is supermodeling history.
Schiffer went on to break many records, becoming the first model to make the cover of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and People. According to the “Guinness Book of World Records,” she holds the record as the model with the most magazine covers – over 1000!
Famously engaged to the magician David Copperfield in 1993, Schiffer would occasionally appear in his stage act until their relationship fizzled six years later. Now married to film director Michael Vaughn, with three kids, Schiffer hasn’t retired from the runway just yet. She won the Elle Style Awards trophy for Model of the Year just months before her 40th birthday in 2010, and she recently launched a cashmere clothing line. She remains an inspiration to women worldwide to find their inner supermodel at any age.