With a resume that includes modelling swimwear for Sports Illustrated it comes as no surprise that Heidi Klum has plans to add swimwear to the Heidi Klum Intimates range.
Klum was in Auckland for the New Zealand launch of the Heidi Klum Intimates brand for Bendon during which MiNDFOOD also met up with the supermodel, Emmy-winning television host, designer and mum for a one-on-one interview.
You are not only the face of Heidi Klum Intimates, you are also the designer, but this is not your first foray into fashion design.
No. I’ve designed for New Balance and Birkenstock. I design baby clothes and children’s clothes from zero to five years old. I’ve done jewellery. I’m actually wearing some of my jewellery today. And I design for Jordache Jeans. I started designing about 15 years ago for many different companies and I love it because I’m quite a creative person so I love this opportunity that I have designing the Heidi Klum Intimates range.
Is it true you were thinking about studying fashion design before winning a modelling contract sent you in another direction?
Yes. In Germany you have to do 13 years of school. You do your finals and by the time you have done that you have already sent out your papers/resume to go into other schools. So I was already approved to go to the design school in Dusseldorf, so that’s what I would have done. But then I won this modelling competition so it never happened but that was really something that I wanted to do.
The inspiration for the current Heidi Klum Intimates range is a road trip through France. How did you decide upon that?
Well this line was already pre-designed because I came into the company only a few months ago so this was already pre-done. I only just started six weeks ago with my first design meeting so the next round will be completely mine.
What future plans do you have for Heidi Klum Intimates?
A lot of the pieces that women have loved over the last 25 years will not be forgotten about so these shapes will stay and I will basically add on to that. For example, there is currently no racerback in the line which is crazy. We need a racerback. We need bras that are a little bit more plunging and cuter strapless bras or specialty bras as I call them. Because sometimes we have really unusual dresses on and we are racking our brains and can’t figure out what kind of underwear to wear with that. I have those problems all the time because of my business. I do a lot of red carpet events, I’m on television and funnily enough I’m always looking for the right bra for these unusual outfits so that is really something that I want to do.
I also want to do a range that is more sexy. I feel like there is not enough of the garter belts and the super sexy bras with a lot of lace. There is some but I want to push that a little bit more… There are definitely bras that we want to wear purely for comfort but there’s a lot of bras and lingerie that we want to wear to flirt with. A lot of lingerie that we just purely wear to the bedroom. I will be designing more of that as well.
What is your view of showing a bit of your underwear with an outfit?
I think sometimes it’s nice to give a little preview of what is to come when the clothes come off. If you wear a sheer blouse and show a beautiful sexy bra underneath. It’s always nice if you give a little peek-a-boo I think. Not too much but like a little bit. Like if you have a beautiful dress like a lacy dress for example. You put a bright pop of colour underneath it. I think that is always nice and very fashionable. Like if you wear a black lacy dress and wear a red bra and you have a red shoe to match with that. You know there are a lot of things you can do. It can almost be like an accessory.
The Heidi Klum Intimates range goes from size A up to a G, which I know a lot of women are very happy about.
Going up to G is something that was important for me too because a lot of women who are curvier say to me ‘don’t forget about us’. I feel like for ladies with more curves there isn’t enough out there and it’s just not fair. Why should someone who has a G-size have boring bras? You can still make them look beautiful with lace and still have a lot of support.
What’s your number one tip whilst bra shopping?
I always say it is important to get measured because a lot of women wear the wrong bra size. You know when girls say I have this fat back here, and I say it’s actually not your fat back here, the problem is that your bra is too small and it’s too tight and then it creates that because I have that too sometimes if I have the wrong bra and it’s too tight. You’re wearing the wrong size.
And we go through changes. Our body changes and so sometimes does your bra size. So I think it is always important to get measured and you can do that anywhere where you buy Heidi Klum Intimates.
Tell us about HK Men. What can guys expect from your range?
I wanted to make the underwear for men a little bit bolder, a little bit more fun. So there are a lot of stripes, bright colours, there is some neon. There will also be some basics like the black, grey and white. But I just thought for the girls out there to have their man looking good so when they take their pants off it’s a nice surprise for us as well. I always think that guys expect us girls to look beautiful and have beautiful lingerie on and then when they take their pants off and it’s like, really? That’s it? I think the guys can surprise us too sometimes.
How did the relationship with you and Bendon come about?
I got a call from Eric [Watson] and Justin [Davis-Rice] and they said they would like me to continue with their brand that had been very successful for the last 25 years and obviously the Elle Macpherson Intimates brand. I was very honoured that I was asked to take over the reins in designing for their company and it will hopefully be a great and long and beautiful relationship. We get along great, we have great ideas and we want to expand. We will be coming out with swimwear next year so I’ve been working on that heavily right now.
Whoops, maybe I shouldn’t have said that.
Aside from your children, what is the one thing that gives you a feeling of purpose each day?
I do love making women feel great. I that’s why with my new venture with making bras that I make women feel great and sexy and comfortable in their underwear. Putting out positive energy. I feel like I’m quite a positive person to make everyone feel good. Putting smiles and laughter on people’s faces. I like to not take myself too seriously. When I’m on television I feel like I’m always quite goofy. I like to entertain people.
How do you find the time to do all everything?
I’m a Gemini, there’s two of me. [laughs] No I think if you love what you do it just happens naturally. It’s not like, oh god I have to go to a design meeting. I love it. When I travel I always pick up things and find beautiful things. A beautiful fabric. Sometimes I take a photo of something that I love and incorporate it in. Sometimes I rip something out of a magazine and I don’t even know what I’m going to do with it one day. I have a wall at home where I stick things. I just keep a lot of things.
Your job involves a lot of travelling. When travelling do you have a daily healthy tip that you follow?
It is harder definitely when I travel. I don’t really have time to exercise. My day today started at 4.30am this morning and I’m probably going to be going until 5pm this afternoon. I take a shower literally and I go to the airport and I fly back home. So there is not a lot of routine that I can have when I’m on the go. So then when I choose from the menu from the hotel or I go to a restaurant I pick all the healthy food instead of having spaghetti Bolognese and bread and cheese soup or something. You know, there are always options so I always choose the healthy options.
You always look great. Do you work with a stylist or is most of your wardrobe your own? Is there a combination?
I do work with a stylist. I have been working with her for seven or eight years. Her name is Maryam [Malakpour]. She knows my style and what I like because I shoot three television shows a year. So when I do one TV show it’s about 50 different looks … She comes to my house and literally there’s three rolling racks filled with clothes and I just have to try on everything and then things get altered, shortened, find the right bras for underneath, the right shoe, the right accessory, so it takes pretty much a whole day of putting clothes on, taking clothes off, putting it on, taking it off. It’s like being at the gym for the day.
What’s your top beauty tip?
It’s always good to have a smile on your face. I think that is always our best beauty trick.
People around the world are inspired by you. Where do you look to for inspiration?
Well for me it’s probably travelling. I have been travelling the world for so many years. I have an office in NYC; I have an office at my home. It is really a mess probably because I have things I have collected over the years that I just know that I’m going to use one day for something. Sometimes it’s a strange bag that I found in Bali or it’s a piece of fabric that I found somewhere else. Or it’s a certain shell. You know, sometimes it’s certain colour that I ripped out a magazine. I have a board on the wall where I pin things on and then I have drawers full of stuff that I have collected over the years. I am also a little bit of a hoarder. Sometimes I find things in flea markets, certain styles of things that I like, and I just know that I’m going to incorporate some of that.
And, my family inspires me. I have four beautiful children. I design children’s clothes as well and they sometimes help me with that a little bit.
Since Heidi Klum Intimates launched into 1800 stores internationally in January it has sold out in many stores. How does that make you feel?
I’m overwhelmed, I’m very proud. For me it was also very important that we didn’t go to London and New York first [to launch HKI]. I live in America right now. I live in LA and I work a lot in New York right now but for me it was very important to come to New Zealand and Australia first because this is where it all started many years ago.
The Heidi Klum Intimates campaign was shot by acclaimed LA photographer Rankin …
Yes, it was so exciting shooting the first ever Heidi Klum Intimates campaign with Rankin. Shooting is a lot of fun and it’s also great when you have one of the best photographers in the world who puts you in the best position, in the best light, and helps you with the poses and I have been working with him for 10 years and so I don’t have to be shy. You want to feel comfortable, especially when you are wearing lingerie.
You’re starring in Sia’s music video for Fire Meet Gasoline with Game of Thrones star Pedro Pascal, which will be released in March 2015. How did that come about?
Well we are very creative. We thought instead of doing a regular commercial how can we have people see my beautiful lingerie so we called up Sia. She is this amazing talented singer. I think she has 480 million YouTube hits and I love her. So I asked her if I could do her next video and do a combination of me wearing my lingerie in her video and she said yes. She said ‘you only have to wear my wig [blonde bob] at the end of the video, that’s the only thing I care about’ because that’s her trademark.
And you got to make out with Pedro Pascal…
I wanted to shoot with a really rugged handsome guy and I had seen [Pedro] on Game of Thrones and couldn’t believe it when he said yes. So I got to roll around in the bed with him and make out with him.
When it comes to the catwalk you are best-known for modelling lingerie. Why is that?
I have never really done the big high fashion runway shows because I was always too curvy. When I started 20 years ago I went to Paris first and then Milan and they looked at my book and if they liked me then I got sent to another room and they’d say, ‘here try this on’, and I would try this way and it would get stuck on my hips, and try this way, no, it got stuck on my boobs. And I just couldn’t fit most of the clothes and I was always just a bit too curvy so that’s why I became a lingerie model more than a fashion runway model.
What are some of the most memorable moments for you on the catwalk?
Tripping, and thankfully not falling. Sometimes that happens. The floor is slippery and they put down the most ridiculous floor for us sometimes. Sometimes it’s a mirror or little rocks, or there is confetti that you have to walk on. And sometimes it’s very slippery so it has happened a few times and thankfully you don’t hit the floor.