Whatever Happened To Claudia Schiffer?

Claudia Schiffer is one of the original supermodels. Alongside the likes of Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Helena Christensen, this German beauty was one of the first to show the world that you can be famous simply for being gorgeous.

First discovered in 1987 in a Düsseldorf nightclub, Schiffer was just 17 years old when she moved to Paris to launch her modeling career. Her looks were often compared to Brigitte Bardot's, and it didn't take long for her to go from unknown to fashion icon. That same year, she landed a Guess Jeans campaign that would change her life, per The Times. Simultaneously, she became a muse for late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, who gave her countless unforgettable catwalk moments throughout the early '90s.

Over the years, Schiffer worked with all of the best designers and photographers and landed on over 700 magazine covers. Then, come the early 2000s, she suddenly took a step back from the spotlight. But if you think she's just been lounging around and taking it easy — think again. Here's what Claudia Schiffer has been up to lately.

Claudia Schiffer downsized her career for family

Claudia Schiffer decided to end her catwalk career in 2002, shortly before tying the knot with British movie producer Matthew Vaughn. As it turns out, it was her love for Vaughn that inspired her to change focus from career to family. "I used to work every single day and travel round the world. I worked weekends, I never took one second off," she revealed to The Guardian. "When I met my husband I said, 'You know what, this is important. I'm not going to work weekends any more.'"

To hear Schiffer tell it, Vaughn turned her entire world upside down. "I just thought, oh, there's no perfect man out there. Then I met him," she gushed. "He had everything I wanted in a man. He completely swept me off my feet." He also inspired her to try new things. Asked when she knew she was in love, Schiffer quipped to Marie Claire, "The moment I started to love Marmite, which I had always hated, after Matthew made me try it again. Only love can do this."

On May 26, 2002, the couple said "I do" — but their magical day kicked off with boos from hundreds of onlookers, a fan told Reuters (via CNN), because Schiffer hid her dress. "We were all so disappointed and disgusted," they said. "Everyone just booed." Despite the rough start, Schiffer and Vaughn now have three kids and would celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary in 2020.

This supermodel is still making fashion headlines

Claudia Schiffer may have thought she downsized her fashion career for good, but following her 2017 return to the catwalk, she's once again become one of the hottest models in the biz. As Star Tribune (via News Break) proclaimed in March 2020, "Veteran fashion models are back in style." And it all started with the Versace Spring 2018 show. As Schiffer told Vogue backstage, "I did my last show 15 years ago for Yves Saint Laurent — his farewell show in Paris. [At the time I thought], this is the last time, now on to the new generation, I'm never going to do this again." Then Donatella Versace invited her to walk in the Spring 2018 presentation, and everything changed.

Since then, Schiffer's returned to gracing magazine covers — in 2019, she appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia for the first time in 25 years, then landed on Vogue Russia's January 2020 cover — and is once again an "It Girl." Her Instagram account is closely followed by fashionistas (when Schiffer posed in a pair of flared jeans, Vogue Paris gushed, "Allow Claudia Schiffer to introduce you to the denim trend of the moment") and is inspiring the next generation of stars. At the 2020 Oscars, actress Margot Robbie paid tribute to the then-49-year-old fashion icon by wearing a gown, which, according to her stylist, was "very similar to the short dress that Claudia Schiffer wore on Karl Lagerfeld's spring/summer 1994 couture runway."

Claudia Schiffer has designed shoes and makeup

As a fashion industry veteran, it may come as no surprise that Claudia Schiffer would try her hand at designing. In 2017, she teamed up with Artdeco Cosmetics to launch Claudia Schiffer Makeup. Featuring essentials, like lipstick, eye shadow, and foundation, the collection was first teased on Instagram by professional makeup artist Lisa Eldridge, who showed off the collab's wide-ranging hues, from classic nudes to bold purples.

At the same time, Schiffer unveiled a second partnership, this time with Aquazzura, which consisted of eight unique shoe designs. The capsule collection was unveiled during Paris Fashion Week and, as she told Footwear News, "Every shoe is inspired by something in my time or in my life — whether it's a school run or a red carpet event." Explaining how the collab came about, Schiffer told the outlet she's a "huge fan" of Aquazzura and revealed that she met co-founder and creative director Edgardo Osorio "through mutual friends in London." She added, "We had the same taste level so we thought it would be great to do something together."

The experience was so great, in fact, that they teamed up again in 2018. This time, Schiffer looked into her archives for inspiration. "I pulled them all out," she told Footwear News. "I loved the slouchiness in boots in the '80s. The '90s was more about the buckle. I also love all the leopard and tiger prints. These bring back a lot of memories for me."

Now she's designing ceramics and glassware

Claudia Schiffer clearly enjoyed her time dreaming up makeup and shoes because, in 2020, she unveiled not one but two new design projects with two legendary Portuguese manufacturers. The first was a collection of three glass vases created with Vista Alegre, while the second included five butterfly-themed tableware pieces from Bordallo Pinheiro. Speaking about her inspiration, Schiffer told Architectural Digest, "Growing up near the Rhine in Germany, surrounded by countryside, I often drew inspiration from nature, like butterflies." She continued, "With this in mind, when I developed the vases, I chose naturalistic colors that really explored that sense of bringing nature into the home."

As for how the collaborations came about in the first place, it all started with her being a fan. "I was given my first Bordallo Pinheiro piece years ago by my Portuguese friends Carlos and Filipa, who for my birthday gifted me the cheese platter with gray mice sitting on it," Schiffer told the outlet, which marked the beginning of her Bordallo Pinheiro collecting spree. "I decided to confess my love and ask them to bring my ideas to life," she added, noting, "The collaboration with Vista Alegre then followed on naturally from this."

Claudia Schiffer went to war with her neighbors ... and lost

It's hard being rich! In August 2019, Claudia Schiffer and hubby Matthew Vaughan went head-to-head with their neighbor, Hanne Pilo, who, according to the Daily Mail, wanted to "bulldoze her existing outbuildings and double the size of the house by fitting a two-storey extension" to her bungalow, Coldham Hall Cottage.

Schiffer and Vaughan, who live in the nearby Coldham Hall mansion, quickly got their lawyers involved, arguing that the modern-day expansion would ruin the historic look and feel of the neighborhood, that they would see it from their property, and that a large, healthy sycamore tree would have to be unnecessarily cut down. According to court documents, their lawyers noted that "the large overtly residential extension would be detrimental to the settings of the heritage assets," which include "Coldham Hall Farmhouse, the Grade II listed stables and the Grade II listed outbuilding with clocktower."

Unfortunately, that October, the pair was overruled by the town council (via Bury Free Press), which granted Pilo permission for the expansion after concluding that "the proposed development [would] not have an adverse impact on the setting of Coldham Hall itself" nor would it "result in any material adverse impact on the neighboring property in terms of overlooking, loss of light or having an overbearing impact."

This supermodel turned a Pinterest board into a book

2017 marked Claudia Schiffer's 30th modeling anniversary and, to celebrate, she teamed up with esteemed publisher Rizzoli to release a 272-page coffee table book, aptly titled Claudia Schiffer. Featuring a collection of her most iconic photographs, the book actually started out as a Pinterest board. As Schiffer told Vanity Fair, it first featured "the best [images], and then the best of the best, and then the best of the best of the best."

In addition to highlighting stunning photos that defined her career, Schiffer also used the opportunity to open up about herself and debunk a few misconceptions, like her reputation as an "ice queen." Speaking with InStyle, she explained, "On photo shoots, there's a lot of people, and because I'm shy, I wouldn't be the one participating in the conversation. People would assume, 'She's an ice queen' or 'She doesn't want to hang out with us.'" That wasn't true, however.

"I think people misunderstood me, and then when I would open up and say, 'Actually, I'm really shy' they'd be like, 'Oh, yeah. That makes so much sense,'" Schiffer continued, adding that the only time she's not shy is in front of the camera. When this supermodel's posing, she's "someone different." Schiffer added, "And I can be outrageous and very chatty and bubbly. But as soon as [I'm] me again, I would step out of that."

Claudia Schiffer is a protective mom of three

Claudia Schiffer and Matthew Vaughn are extremely protective parents of three: Caspar Matthew (born in 2003), Clementine Poppy (born in 2004), and Cosima Violet (born in 2010). So much so that the couple moved house to keep them out of the limelight. "We used to live in London, and when [my kids] started school, there was a lot of attention and paparazzi at the gates," Schiffer told Vogue. "We decided to move to the countryside, where they can have a kind of normal life. We are trying to keep them away from everything for as long as possible until they, one day, voice what they want to do."

If that something happens to be modeling, Schiffer will be there to help. When German newspaper Bild asked Schiffer if she'd allow her daughters to follow in her footsteps, she noted (via People), "If [Clementine] really wants to do it, I would support her because I only had positive experiences." She has one caveat, though: "I would prefer that she wouldn't start too young but at 17." Schiffer shared a similar sentiment with InStyle, saying, "I will encourage whatever they want to do, as long as they try their best and work hard at it." Even so, she acknowledged, "Having me as their mum is a double-edged sword when it comes to modeling: It may get them through the door, but they will be under far more scrutiny on the other side."

She's pushing the boundaries of age in the modeling industry

Age is just a number, at least when you're Claudia Schiffer! The supermodel proved just that in 2019, when, at 48 years old, she decided to pose nude for a set of headline-making Vogue Italia covers.

Schiffer and fellow '90s muse, Stephanie Seymour, were invited to take their own photos for the mag and were merely "supervised" by photographer Collier Schorr, who gave them full control over the shoot, per WWD. For Schiffer, that meant wearing nothing more than a black YSL suit jacket in one snap and strategically placing a bag and heels to cover herself in the other. "There's not one thing that you see in these photographs that Claudia didn't want to do — if she didn't want to do it, she changed it," Schorr proclaimed, noting that the project was really all about breaking down barriers. She added, "This was about Claudia, Stephanie's and my relationships with our sexualities and bodies, and about being seen as older women."

Schiffer later gushed about the finished product on Instagram, writing, "25 years after my first [Vogue cover], the connection I felt with @collierschorrstudio transported me back to the [Richard] Avedon days," when the famous photog took other headline-making nude shots of Schiffer.

Claudia Schiffer was turned down by a '90s boy band

Here's something you don't hear every day: Claudia Schiffer was turned down ... by a '90s boy band. Irish pop group Westlife made the revelation during a November 2019 interview on ITV's This Morning, when band member Nicky Byrne said, "Mark [Feehily] has just informed us of something that I never knew: That when we shot [our cover of Billy Joel's] 'Uptown Girl,' that Claudia Schiffer was in the video and she invited us for lunch, and we turned her down!"

Feehily explained the mishap further, saying, "Basically, we were doing the shoot with Claudia Schiffer, and it was fantastic — we were all massive fans — and she was going for lunch halfway through the shoot. And she was like, 'Oh, you should come with me and have some lunch,' or whatever, and the label were like, 'No, sorry, you can't do [it], we've got some interviews to do.'" He added with a laugh, "So we basically turned down going for lunch with her, and I still hold that against them, obviously."

This supermodel really misses the old days of fashion

It's been over three decades since Claudia Schiffer started modeling, and she's witnessed the industry change by leaps and bounds — but not necessarily for the better. As she told the New York Post, she doesn't think she would've made it big if she was starting out today. "I'm quite a shy, private person," Schiffer explained. "The new generation, nowadays, they don't have a filter — they can just share and share anything at any moment, and I find it quite hard to share more than just certain things. So if I had to do that in the '90s, I think I would have failed!"

As she confessed to Vogue, "I'm so glad, I must say, that digital wasn't a part of our careers in the '90s." Why? Because "to make a difference and have people remember you [today], you have to do much more than the fashion shoots and shows." The industry has also gotten much larger and more competitive. It's a sentiment she shared in an editor's note when she was CNN Style's guest editor in 2018. "I look back on this time as a golden age for fashion," Schiffer wrote of the '80s and '90s. "This was a time before digital, where shoots could last weeks and actors or musicians were not the face of brands, it was us: the supermodels, the photographers, and the designers."

Claudia Schiffer's net worth is seriously impressive

She may not be modeling full-time anymore, but Claudia Schiffer has managed to maintain an impressive net worth of $60 million (as of 2020) thanks to a smart and varied mix of endorsements, collaborations, and side projects. She's endorsed mega brands like Pepsi and Citroen, designed everything from vases to makeup, and even appeared in a number of Hollywood movies. In fact, her minute-long cameo in 2003's Love Actually may have been one of her best-paying gigs ever. As Andrew Holmes revealed in his 2017 book, How Much?!: The $1000 Omelette... and 1100 Other Astonishing Money Moments, Schiffer was paid a whopping £200,000 (or about $250,000) for the job. Since marrying Matthew Vaughn, this multi-talent has also dabbled in production and was an executive producer on the Oscar-nominated Rocketman.

And that's not counting all of the money she's turned down. In 2014, Schiffer revealed to British talk show host Jonathan Ross that she's received some eyebrow-raising offers over the years. But the strangest by far, she admitted (via The Australian Women's Weekly), was from an Arab prince: "He asked if he could hire me for a dinner for a million pounds. I declined — and some other supermodel took it."