Model Mogul: Heidi Klum makes the cut beyond “Project Runway.”

By Sondra Barr

They say that German engineering is as close to perfection as you can get. No, we aren’t talking about a Mercedes or a BMW; we’re talking about German-born Heidi Klum, who has been rated one of the sexiest models in the world. For crying out loud, she even had her legs insured for $2.2 million dollars, and that was 20 years ago! German engineering indeed! 

Much like the Mercedes Benz, the stunning and multi-talented entertainer, model, mother, and all-around superstar, Klum, has been a household name for generations. She’s been in the limelight since she won a modeling contest in her home country of Germany at 18, and has sustained global recognition well into her 40s. Now 46 years old, many wonder how she continues to maintain her superstardom. The answer––by keeping things fresh, branching out into new markets, different art forms, and always being the hardest worker in the room.

BEYOND BEAUTY

Klum is an archetype of physical perfection, a flaxen-haired blonde goddess with as much brains as beauty, a beloved role model for business-minded creatives, a wryly humorous German-American exotic personality, and an all-around loveable force to be reckoned with.

She is a woman of many talents and even more life interests: A former Project Runway presenter, a talent show judge, and a philanthropist––in addition to being a model, actor, singer, and a carefree, body-positive nudist. (Rumor has it that she enjoys brushing her teeth topless!
At an age where the entertainment industry often chews up mature women and spits them out, Klum has continually raked in the money and the fans without any slowdown in sight. She still makes headlines several times a year, for various projects.

LAID BACK OUTLOOK

Sure, she’s been a Victoria’s Secret Model and graced the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition, but she’s also a perennial Halloween favorite, conjuring up costumes that would make creature feature artist Rick Baker jealous. She’s undergone hours of prosthetic makeup for Halloween to transform herself into fun and imaginative monsters and aliens, rendering her unrecognizable as the supermodel underneath. Sometimes beauty is a bit more than skin deep.

Despite being gorgeous, hip, and fashionable, Klum doesn’t claim to always be at the apex of haute couture. She admitted to USA Today that she’s often “The worst dressed” when in public, and doesn’t mind. Fans agree Klum’s willingness to be casual and her generally laid-back demeanor makes her more relatable.

Hollywood and the entertainment industry are fiercely competitive and fans can be fickle and forgetful of the greatest talents. To compensate for the vagaries of Hollywood, Klum has always pursued multiple creative and business goals to cultivate a diversified and interesting career, everything from writing to acting to producing.

MAKING THE CUT


What current projects does she have in the works? Well, in a recent interview with Variety, Klum dished about her newest project, and how it came to be. Following a wildly-successful ride of 16 years producing and hosting Project Runway, Klum and Tim Gunn decided to graduate to the next level, creating a new hit show called Making the Cut. As they discussed with Variety,Project Runway is the undergraduate program, Making the Cut is the graduate and PHD program.”  This new fashion competition reality program on Netflix speaks not only to Klum’s competitive nature for self-improvement, but also a realization that more could be done with a new show on a new network.

Being a semi-retired model still requires a great deal of dedication and focus on her physical wellbeing. Klum takes a balanced approach that allows her to eat reasonably well, and doesn’t kill herself working out every day of the week. 

STAYING ACTIVE

For the most part, she relies on cardio like running, a bit of weight training and then yoga as her stretching and resistance regimen (which helps her keep her impressive abs and core looking like a 20-year-old’s). She’s also been known to jump on trampolines and dabble in circuit training to keep her heart rate up. Klum’s motto is that working out is easier with an accountability partner. Gym partners are friends and motivators in one. “My best advice,” Klum dished to Glamour, “is to workout with a buddy. They keep you motivated and get you out of bed.”

Klum admittedly eats a generous amount of food, but she eats nutritious foods that help fill her up (fruits and veggies for fiber), eggs and skinless chicken for protein, and watches her portions around dinnertime, careful not to eat too much before bed, as she explained to US Weekly.

FINDING LOVE

As far as her personal life, Heidi has been thrice married, famously to the pop singer Seal, with whom she had children, and most recently to musician Tom Kaulitz. He is a guitarist, singer-songwriter and keyboard player in the bestselling rock band Tokio Hotel. He also just happens to be 16 years her junior! But while double standards may raise eyebrows for these age gaps among women who are the senior partner, Klum doesn’t sweat the questioning looks. 

The couple hardly seems to care about the age difference; but the public, especially in Hollywood, can be shallow. 

“Lately, I’m being reminded more about my age by people other than myself,” Klum recently explained to InStyle. “My boyfriend is many years younger than me, but I don’t see the big deal.”

When asked about her recent nuptials, Klum told USA Today, “So far, so good!” Which would hardly count as a ringing endorsement, save for the fact that she was ribbing us with a coy smile and her trademark sense of humor. 

Klum and Kaulitz get along famously, for several reasons. Both are German natives and, on top of that, they both have been married before. Not to mention, they are both multifaceted entertainers with a passionate love for life and wanderlust for global travel. Kaulitz has grown very fond and paternal of Klum’s children, as she has expressed in multiple interviews.

Amusingly enough, she had not listened to her husband’s music prior to marrying him. They, in fact, met through a mutual friend, Kaulitz’s twin brother. She had met Tom’s brother years ago, without knowing that she’d eventually fall in love and marry into the family. She is, however, a current fan and cheerleader for her husband’s successful band.

PHILANTHROPIC ENDEAVORS

Klum is also a noted philanthropist, giving generously to multiple causes and charities over the years, even lending her star power to fundraisers along with her dollars. In 2014, she was even given the honor of receiving the Crystal Cross Award, a rare tribute to the generosity of donors like Klum. She received special recognition for her contributions and advocacy for the Red Cross after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast, as first reported in The Telegram.

“I think everyone can do something, even if it is in your own community,” Klum explained. “You can visit children in the hospital or bring gifts to them, cook a meal for someone who is ill and can’t. We are all global citizens and whatever we can do, if it is small or something bigger––it’s all important.” 

Klum has more plans on the horizon, both creatively and philanthropically, which we would expect from someone as busy as this beloved entertainment mogul. Stay tuned for what’s next!