German beauty Claudia Schiffer has parlayed her statuesque elegance into international fame, becoming one of the world's most recognizable supermodels. Along with such contemporaries as Cindy Crawford and Elle MacPherson, Schiffer took the catwalk world by storm in the early '90s, and made a predictable move into acting soon after. Claudia Schiffer was born on August 25, 1970 in Rheinberg, Germany, and raised in Dusseldorf. Originally eager to follow in her father's footsteps by becoming a lawyer, Schiffer warmed to modeling after being discovered in a nightclub in 1987. With her 5'11" frame and striking angular countenance, Schiffer was a natural, first gracing the cover of Elle magazine, then in 1989, landing the coveted spot as the centerpiece of the Guess? jeans advertising campaign. The sultry black-and-white ads turned her into a familiar face, and paved the way for over 500 magazine covers throughout her career. Schiffer made her first appearance on celluloid in Richie Rich (1994), as an aerobics instructor. The role apparently encouraged some real-world pursuits, as she would release a line of workout videos the following year. Also in 1994, she was a natural to cameo in Robert Altman's fashion industry send-up Ready to Wear, the first of Schiffer's many film appearances as herself, including Ben Stiller's Zoolander (2001). She took on a larger role in the romantic comedy Friends & Lovers (1999), and earned real credibility by getting cast in James Toback's cinéma vérité approach to multiracial youth culture, Black and White (1999). Schiffer is one of the owners of the Fashion Café chain of trendy restaurants, along with fellow supermodels Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Elle MacPherson.
Biography by Derek Armstrong
- Was discovered at a nightclub in Düsseldorf, Germany, when she was 17.
- One of the first Guess Jeans girls in the late '80s; returned to the campaign for their 30th anniversary in 2012.
- While engaged to magician David Copperfield, would often appear on-stage with him as his assistant.
- Appeared in Love, Actually (2003) as a Claudia Schiffer look-alike.
- Launched a cashmere-collection clothing line in 2011.