Who Is Heidi Klum?
German-born supermodel Heidi Klum started her modeling career at the age of 18. She landed work with Victoria's Secret after moving to New York, en route to achieving supermodel status with her appearance on the cover of the 1998 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Klum has since expanded her brand as a media personality, thanks to her stints as the host and one of the judges of Project Runway and as a judge on America's Got Talent.
Early Life and Career
Klum was born on June 1, 1973, in Bergisch-Gladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. She started her modeling career at the age of 18 after winning a contest in her native Germany. Before this win, Klum had planned on becoming a designer.
After later moving to New York, Klum eventually landed work with the lingerie company Victoria's Secret, which helped raise her profile in the modeling world. Soon she appeared on the cover of the 1998 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, an honor coveted by many models. While her hourglass shape was not a fit for the runways, Klum became a fashion favorite, appearing in such magazines as Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and Harper's Bazaar.
Movies and TV Shows
Exploring other opportunities, Klum branched out into acting. One of her early roles was a guest appearance on the political sitcom Spin City, with Michael J. Fox. Making the jump to the big screen, Klum appeared in the hairdressing comedy Blow Dry (2001) with Alan Rickman, Josh Hartnett, Natasha Richardson and Rachael Leigh Cook. More roles followed in such films as Ella Enchanted (2004) with Anne Hathaway and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) with Geoffrey Rush and Charlize Theron. For the Peter Sellers biopic, Klum portrayed another famous beauty, Ursula Andress.
On the professional front, Klum helped develop a competitive reality television series about fashion designers called Project Runway. She became the show's host, alongside fashion consultant Tim Gunn, and served as one of the executive producers. Premiering in December 2004, Project Runway soon became a huge hit, garnering a string of Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Reality Competition Program. Klum herself won an Emmy in 2013 under the Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program category. In September 2018, she announced she was leaving Project Runway after 16 seasons.
'Germany's Next Topmodel' and 'America's Got Talent'
Not long after the launch of Project Runway, Klum began her run as host of the reality show Germany's Next Topmodel. In March 2013, it was announced that Klum would begin serving as a judge on the popular talent show America's Got Talent, joining former Spice Girl Melanie Brown and controversial radio/talk show host Howard Stern for the 2013 season. The popular talent-competition show, created by Simon Cowell, was hosted by Nick Cannon up until 2017, with Tyra Banks replacing him. The following year Klum bid farewell to AGT after six seasons.
'Making the Cut'
In March 2020, Klum re-teamed with Gunn for the debut of Amazon's Making the Cut, a Project Runway-esque series in which contestants jet to exotic locales with the hope of creating the "next global fashion brand" and claiming a $1 million cash prize. Along with showcasing the familiar banter between its co-hosts, the show featured Naomi Campbell and Nicole Richie as two of its judges.
Klum has also achieved her early dreams of becoming a designer with her own jewelry line, lingerie line and a series of shoes she created for Birkenstock. Additionally, she has helped with a clothing line for Jordache Jeans and has served as a spokesmodel for the company.
In 1997, Klum married famed hairstylist Ric Pipino, but the couple divorced in 2002. In 2003, Klum became pregnant with her first child by boyfriend Flavio Briatore, an Italian racecar team manager. But the couple split up shortly before the baby was born, and Klum became involved with British singer Seal. On May 4, 2004, she gave birth to her daughter Leni.
Shortly after the launch of Project Runway in 2004, Klum's life took another interesting turn. Her boyfriend Seal proposed to her on top of a glacier in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. They married in May 2005 and welcomed son Henry Gunther Ademola Dashtu Samuel on September 12. Klum stunned many by returning to modeling in less than two months after her son's arrival, looking fabulous as part of the nationally televised Victoria's Secret fashion show.
Klum and Seal expanded their family with one more son, Johan, on November 26, 2006, and their first daughter, Lou, born on October 9, 2009. It was announced in January 2012 that Seal and Klum were separating after nearly seven years of marriage. Klum officially filed for divorce from Seal in April 2012 (it was finalized in 2014) and not long after, she began dating her bodyguard Martin Kristen. She and Kristen ended their relationship in 2014.
Klum dated Vito Schnabel from 2014 to 2017 and began dating Tokio Hotel guitarist Tom Kaulitz in 2018. Klum and Kaulitz got engaged in December 2018 and were married in Capri, Italy, in August 2019.
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