Claudia Schiffer talks exclusively to Stylist.co.uk about career highlights, finding your personal style and her favourite box sets.
Scouted aged 17 in a nightclub, German born supermodel Claudia Schiffer went on to become one of the defining faces of her generation.
Alongside Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, Schiffer and co. were part of the first wave of models who attracted not just the attention of designers and fashion lovers but also a mass of photographers and fans who would gather outside shows in a scrum like fashion.
Now based in the UK, the Creative Director and mum of three called us from the comfort of her Suffolk home to talk us through the launch of her new haircare range Essence ULTIME. And lucky for us she was more than happy to share her tips for dressing for success, honing your beauty look and achieving your career ambitions.
Stylist: Hi Claudia, lovely to speak to you. First up, what is your die hard beauty secret which guarantees you’ll always look and feel perfectly put together?
Throughout my career I have been able to pick up a lot of beauty secrets. One tip I love is for a red lip, which always makes you feel glamorous but runs the risk of ending up on the teeth. Rather than using a lipstick, use a lip liner to colour in the lip and add a clear lip balm – I like one from Sisley – to prevent any risk of the colour coming off.
When you hair is feeling very damaged or depleted try sleeping in a hair oil to bring back the moisture and volume. A favourite of mine is the Essence Ultime Diamond Colour Illuminating Oil.
Try to avoid foundation where possible to keep skin looking fresh and glowing. If you can, just apply the right shade of concealer where you need it. It gives the impression of perfect skin while still looking fresh Then add a bronzer, I use a lovely Chanel one and apply where you’d naturally tan – so on the forehead, cheek bones and so on. This gives you a great natural make up look perfect for a night out with friends. Finally I always use an eyelash curler before applying mascara, it opens the eyes and gives the illusion of a much longer lash.
When I am feeling a bit run down, I enjoy a long soak in an Epson salt bath with a moisturising face pack.
Are you a going in or going out woman nowadays?
A great evening for me will be a great glass of red wine, a plate of cheese and a game of chess, cards or backgammon. Sadly I can’t cook but of an evening we love to be with our kids and watch the US TV Series Modern Family on the sofa. When it’s just my husband (director, Matthew Vaughn) and I we love to watch Breaking Bad.
How has your perception of beauty evolved, particularly now you are a mother to two young daughters (Claudia is mum to Clementine, Caspar and Cosima with film director husband Matthew Vaughn)?
I try and teach my daughters to develop a taste when it comes to style and to beauty - I actively ask them what their opinion is, what they like and I share my ideas with them. I am a person who feels very good when I am surrounded by beauty, I love great architecture and great furniture – I love to see beautiful things. I try to teach my children to acknowledge beauty and to take it in, as a parent you have to ask questions and encourage your kids to be aware of their surroundings. I like to take pride in the way I look, the way my home looks – those things bring me happiness.
And when it comes to fashion, what is your advice for women wanting to develop their own personal style?
I love fashion, I like to look at the way people dress as I think it shows so much about how a person feels about themselves. Personally, I don’t follow trends – I dress for myself. When it comes to dressing for me or my husband – well, fortunately my husband thinks I look great in everything (Ed’s note: of course he does) I don’t have style icons, I think you have to find what you feel comfortable in and that instils you with a confidence and dress that way. You move differently when you don’t feel good – so follow your instincts and only wear what you feel good in.
Claudia’s golden rules for developing your personal style:
- Never dress for anyone else
- Don’t overthink, follow your instincts
- Dressing shows the world how you feel that day
What would your advice be for achieving your ambitions – is there any wisdom you could impart on how to succeed in business?
I would say three things: follow your instincts, don’t give up and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Know what your weaknesses and skills are, and make sure you have someone you can lean on. When it comes to dressing for success, again make sure you have a presence when you walk in a room. That comes down to dressing for yourself and feeling comfortable, with that you will be the most confident person in the room.
Do you still remain in touch with friends from her early modelling career – Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and others – do you find the time to stay in contact?
Yes absolutely, we email from time to time. The bond of what we went through in the 90’s, the intensity of it, will bind us together for life and when we do see each other it feels like it was only yesterday.
And finally just before we go, tell us about ‘Join the flick’. What was the idea behind this?
I was working with my husband on set everyday of his latest movie and I thought it would be fun to borrow some of the equipment. I directed a short online film around hair. I persuaded my girlfriends join plus Jonathan! WE had a great day and would love for everyone else to be part of this too, hence #jointheflick.
Join the flick and you could star alongside Claudia in the next Essence ULTIME online film and to have a chance to win the full range of Claudia’s Essence Ultime haircare products