Heidi Klum (pronounced [ˈklʊm]; born June 1, 1973) is a German model, actress, television host, business woman, fashion designer, television producer, artist, and occasional singer. She is married to singer Seal.
Klum was the Emmy Award-nominated hostess of Project Runway and Germany's Next Topmodel, and is a Victoria's Secret Angel.
Klum was raised by her parents, Günther P. (a cosmetics company executive) and Erna (a hairdresser) in Bergisch Gladbach, West Germany, a small city outside Cologne. Klum was persuaded by a friend to enroll in a national modeling contest called "Model 92". Out of 25,000 contestants, Klum was voted the winner on April 29, 1992 and offered a modeling contract worth US $300,000 by Thomas Zeumer, CEO of Metropolitan Models New York. As the winner, she appeared on the Gottschalk Late Night Show, a top German television show with host Thomas Gottschalk, similar to late night shows with David Letterman or Jay Leno in the United States. She accepted the contract a few months later after graduating from school and decided not to try for an apprentice position at a fashion design school.
Klum has been on the cover of fashion magazines, including Vogue, ELLE and Marie Claire. She became widely known after appearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and for her work with Victoria's Secret as an "Angel." In addition to working with world class photographers on her Sports Illustrated shoots, she was the object/subject of Joanne Gair body painting works in several editions from 1999 to 2006.She wrote the foreword to Gair's most recent book of body paint work. She has been a spokesmodel for McDonald's, Braun, H & M, and Liz Claiborne, among others. She is currently a celebrity spokesmodel for Jordache and Volkswagen. In addition to modeling, she has appeared in several TV shows, including Spin City, Sex and the City, Yes, Dear, and How I Met Your Mother. She had a role as an ill-tempered hair model in the movie Blow Dry, played a giantess in the movie Ella Enchanted and was cast as Ursula Andress in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. She had cameo appearances in The Devil Wears Prada and Perfect Stranger.
In July 2007, having earned an estimated $8 million in the previous 12 months, Klum was named by Forbes as third on the list of the World's 15 Top-Earning Supermodels. In 2008, Forbes estimated her income to be $14 million, which put Klum in second place on the list, surpassing Kate Moss ($7.5 million). Klum is signed to IMG Models in New York City.
In December 2004, she became the host, judge and executive producer of the reality show Project Runway on the U.S. cable television channel Bravo, in which fashion designers compete for the opportunity to show their line at New York Fashion Week and receive money to launch their own fashion line. She received an Emmy Awards nomination for the show for each of the first four seasons. In 2008, Klum and Project Runway received a Peabody Award, the first time a reality show had won the award. Klum herself was nominated for an Emmy in 2008 for "outstanding host of a reality or reality-competition show" for Project Runway, the first year that category was recognized by the Emmys.
Klum has designed her own clothing lines (including one for infants) that were featured in the German mail-order catalog "Otto." She also has designed shoes for Birkenstock, jewellery for Mouawad, a clothing line for Jordache, and swimsuits – featured in the 2002 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue – that, for a limited time, were available for sale through her personal website. She was one of the designers of the Victoria's Secret lingerie line "The Body", which was named after the nickname she received following her first Victoria's Secret Fashion Show appearance. Her Mouawad jewelry collection debuted on the cable shopping network QVC on September 14, 2006, and 14 of the 16 styles sold out after only 36 minutes. A second line of her jewelry collection debuted on QVC on April 14, 2007, with similar success. Klum's clothing line for Jordache launched on April 30, 2008.
Klum has produced two fragrances, called "Heidi Klum" and "Me". She has also designed makeup for Victoria's Secret as part of their "Very Sexy Makeup Collection", titled "The Heidi Klum Collection". The first run debuted in Fall 2007. A second run was released in Fall 2008.
Klum was also involved in the development of a namesake rose, the Heidi Klum rose, which is available in Germany.
For the 2008 US Open, Klum designed a screen print t-shirt which was sold at the US Open shop. It featured child-like butterfly pictures and retailed at $40. Proceeds from the design are set to go to Unisphere, a non-profit organization which maintains Flushing Meadows-Corona park, home to the US Open.
Germany's Next Topmodel is a German reality television show, which pits contestants against each other in a variety of competitions to determine who will win a modeling contract with IMG. Klum is the host, a judge, and co-producer of the show (along with model Tyra Banks). Season winners are Lena Gercke, Barbara Meier, and Jennifer Hof. All three seasons aired successfully on the German TV station ProSieben and a fourth season is on TV in Germany now.
Klum is an artist and had several of her paintings appear in various art magazines in the U.S. On September 27, 2002 she dedicated a sculpture she painted called "Dog with Butterflies" to commemorate the role of rescue dogs in the aftermath of September 11.
In 2004, Klum co-authored Heidi Klum's Body of Knowledge with Elle magazine editor Alexandra Postman. The book gives Klum's biography as well as her advice on becoming successful. Prior to that, Klum had been an occasional guest columnist for the German television network RTL's website. She wrote an essay for the German newspaper Die Zeit.
Klum's other projects have included music and video games. She is featured in the 2004 James Bond video game Everything or Nothing, where she plays the villain Dr. Katya Nadanova.She has appeared in several music videos, including Jamiroquai's video "Love Foolosophy" from their album A Funk Odyssey, and Kelis's "Young, Fresh n' New," off her second 2001 album Wanderland.
In early 2009, Klum ventured into web-based videos, starring in "SPIKED HEEL: Supermodels Battle the Forces of Evil". The web-series also starred fellow model Coco Rocha and was directed by fashion documentarian Doug Keeve (Unzipped, Seamless). In the story, Klum aka 'The Kluminator,' and her stylish sidekick Coco “The Sassy Superhero” Rocha battle the evil Dr. Faux Pas who is plotting to destroy Fashion Week. The heroines employ all sorts of tools in their arsenal, from blow-dryer guns to old-fashioned fist fights, in order to thwart Dr. Faux Pas' dastardly plans. The Kluminator and Girl Wonder avoid a chain of fashion disasters in their efforts to neutralize an evil death ray that threatens to vaporize the entire community of fashionistas gathered in Bryant Park. Also making guest appearances are Michael Kors, Leighton Meester, Mel B and Christian Siriano.
In November 2006, Klum released her debut single "Wonderland," which was written for a series of television advertisements for the German retailer "Douglas." Proceeds from the single were given to a children's charity in her hometown of Bergisch Gladbach She also contributed to her husband Seal's 2007 album System, singing the duet "Wedding Day", a song that Seal wrote for their wedding.
In 2008, Klum was a featured guest on an American Volkswagen commercial, where she was interviewed by a black Beetle. When she commented that German engineering is so sexy, she caused the Beetle to blush and turn red. She also has been a part of several commercials for Volkswagen and McDonald's on German television.
In November 2008, Klum appeared in two versions of a Guitar Hero World Tour commercial, where she did a take on Tom Cruise's famous scene in Risky Business. In both versions, she lip-synced to Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" while dancing around the living room with the wireless guitar controller; the director's cut, however, had her strip to her underwear halfway through the commercial and was broadcast only after prime time.
Klum is a "Real Celebrity" on the website Stardoll. On Stardoll Klum has her own line of virtual jewelry for other members to purchase, and her own virtual clothing line called Jordache. You can go to Klum's suite and interact with her by doing interviews, sending pending requests or dressing up Klum's doll.
In what some pundits saw as a heavy-handed approach by Klum's lawyers, an unemployed Chemnitz butcher, who used Klum's picture in advertising for a local dance on a flyer and a web page, contested her subsequent takedown notice in court and lost, forcing him to pay court costs of 2300€. A German actress has pledged to pay on his behalf.
On April 1, 2009, Klum appeared on the CBS television special, I Get That a Lot, as a girl working at a pizza shop.
Klum married stylist Ric Pipino in 1997; the couple divorced in 2002. Following the divorce, she had brief relationships with Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis and Formula-1 mogul Flavio Briatore. In the autumn of 2003, Klum announced she was pregnant with Briatore's child. On the day she announced the pregnancy, Briatore was photographed kissing Fiona Swarovski, a jewelry heiress. Klum and Briatore split up shortly thereafter. Klum gave birth to Helene (Leni) Boshoven Klum on May 4, 2004 in New York City, New York.
In early 2004, while still pregnant, Klum began a relationship with musician Seal. Klum and Seal married on May 10, 2005, on a beach in Mexico. They have two children together, both boys: Henry Günther Ademola Dashtu Samuel, born September 12, 2005 in Los Angeles, California and Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel born November 22, 2006 in Los Angeles. According to Klum, Flavio Briatore is not involved in Leni's life, and she has stated emphatically that "Seal is Leni's father." In April 2009, Heidi reported that she was pregnant with her fourth child, which is due in late Autumn.
On hearing her family referred to as a "patchwork family", Klum said, "I'm not white, I'm a shade of brown," and added, "we're all different shades and we came together and we all love each other...it's actually kind of nice to have a 'patchwork family'."
In 2008, Klum became a naturalized American citizen.
In 2008, Klum dressed as the Hindu goddess Kālī for a Halloween party. She was not aware that goddess Kali killed only the unjust, and not just anyone. In Hindu religion, goddess Kali is considered one of the first feminist goddess ideas as she fought over injustices done to women. Klum's act upset many Hindus all around the world, and as a result, many Hindus (and some non-Hindus) all around the world vowed not to be a part of any product endorsed by Klum.
Heidi Klum appeared in episodes of TV shows like Malcolm in the Middle (as a toothless hockey player) and Cursed as well as - guest starring herself - in I Get That a Lot, Spin City, Sex and the City, CSI: Miami, How I Met Your Mother and Yes, Dear. Further the character of Katya Nadanova in the video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing is modeled after Heidi Klum and features her voice.