Claudia Schiffer on Her Career, Love, and Life

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Luigi & Iango

The year 1994 saw the launches of Friends, Amazon, and Marie Claire. For our 25th anniversary issue, we asked our first cover model to return to our pages.

1. If I weren’t a model, I’d be: Unemployed.

2. Best career advice I’ve gotten: Follow your instinct and be yourself.

3. The three qualities that got me where I am today: Instinct, tenacity, and luck.

4. Moment I felt I made it: When I was 18 years old, I walked out of my New York City elevator one morning and someone stopped and asked me, “Are you the Guess girl?” I knew then my life had changed.

5. Most agonizing career decision I’ve ever made: Turning down having an Hermès bag named after me.

6. Easiest career decision I’ve ever made: To travel to Paris at age 17 after being spotted in a discotheque in Düsseldorf.

7. How did you make your first dollar? Working for Chanel.

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On the cover of Marie Claire, October 1994.
Marie Claire Magazine

8. Last thing I binge-watched: Modern Family, The Crown, How I Met Your Mother.

9. Book that left a lasting impression on me: Carole Bamford’s Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm and How Not to Die, by Michael Greger, M.D.

10. Favorite song: Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones.”

11. Song I’d want played at my funeral: Nena’s “99 Luftballons.”

12. First album I bought: Olivia Newton-John’s Physical.

13. On my bucket list: Do a mixologist course to extend my repertoire beyond passion-fruit martinis. Be tutored by an expert card player so I can routinely beat Matthew [Vaughn,
her husband] at cards. Do a PlayStation course so I can beat my son.

14. Food I’m not ashamed to admit I love: Hamburger, fries, and Coke.

15. Cocktail of choice: Passion-fruit martini.

16. If I could live in a foreign country, it would be: America. [She currently resides in England.]

17. My perfect day would begin: On a boat with my family.

18. My perfect day would end: On a boat, drinking cold rosé and watching the sunset.

19. One thing I’m exceptionally good at: Backgammon.

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Schiffer on the runway at Chanel Spring/Summer 1991 in Paris, France in October, 1990.
Daniel SIMONGetty Images

20. One thing I’m epically bad at: Cooking.

21. Superhero power I’d want to have: The power to be invisible.

22. Something better in theory than in practice: Epidural.

23. Store I can’t leave without buying something: Ulla Johnson in New York City.

24. How I clear my mind after a crappy day: I go for a long walk in the countryside with our dogs.

25. Something nice I did for myself recently because, hey, why not: Had a long, relaxing bath with organic oils and Epsom salts.

26. If I could compete in an Olympic sport, I’d like it to be: Tennis.

27. The beauty essentials you’d have to pry out of my cold, dead hands: Mascara and an eyelash curler.

28. My first kiss: I started kissing properly when I met my husband in 2000.

29. The three qualities I thought I wanted in a partner: Honesty, looks, and loyalty.

30. The three qualities I know now matter: The same!

31. Relationship advice to my younger self: Don’t change anything.

32. Moment I knew I was in love: The moment I started to love Marmite, which I had always hated, after Matthew made me try it again. Only love can do this.

33. The craziest thing I did for love: Gave up traveling as much and slowed down my career.

34. What my high school boyfriend would say about me: That I’m not as shy.


This article appears in the October 2019 issue of Marie Claire

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