Claudia Schiffer reveals what supermodel life was really like in the ’90s

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In 1987, Claudia Schiffer was dancing with immoderate household friends successful a nightclub successful her hometown successful Düsseldorf, Germany, erstwhile an cause approached the 17-year-old astir becoming a model. A fewer months later, trial shots successful hand, she headed to Paris and into the exciting, glamorous satellite of fashion. She nabbed her archetypal cover, for French ELLE, successful 1989.

“It was an bonzer period,” Schiffer told The Post astir being one of the world’s apical supermodels. “There was an unthinkable merging of … fashion, music, creation and amusement that made the epoch dynamic, exciting. The intolerable became possible.”

Schiffer changeable to planetary fame during the 1990s, appearing successful a bid of sexy and playful ads for Guess jeans, changeable by her person Ellen von Unwerth.

“I retrieve flying astir the US to each large metropolis for signings successful section stores,” Schiffer recalled of her archetypal run circuit for Guess perfume successful 1990. “I returned to my flat successful New York adjacent Central Park, and 1 morning, sleepy-eyed with bed-head hair, I was successful the elevator erstwhile a idiosyncratic entered and asked, ‘Are you the Guess girl?’ I knew past my beingness had changed forever.”

Schiffer poses adjacent  to an representation  of her younger aforesaid   taken for a 90's Guess campaign.Schiffer poses adjacent to an representation of her younger aforesaid taken for a ’90s Guess campaign.Instagram

Now, Schiffer has shared immoderate of her astir celebrated shoots — positive behind-the- scenes ephemera — successful a caller grounds astatine the Kunstpalast depository successful Düsseldorf. “Captivate! Fashion Photography from the 1990s,” up done Jan. 9, 2022, is the model’s curatorial debut, featuring hundreds of pictures that exemplify the heady 1990s manner country done Schiffer’s eyes. A publication based connected the exhibit, edited by Schiffer and besides called “Captivate!” [Prestel], volition beryllium disposable successful the US connected Jan. 25, 2022.

“It took a batch of patience — I mean, determination were virtually thousands of images to take from,” said Schiffer. “What made it? What didn’t? I ever asked myself, ‘Is this quintessentially ‘90s?’”  

“The 1990s was a watershed play that upturned ideals of quality and fashion,” she added. “[There was] a immense displacement successful manner moving distant from the head-to-toe perfectionist glamour of the 1980s, towards a naturalism and minimalism. There was much state and idiosyncratic expression. … I wanted ‘Captivate!’ to seizure [that].”

Here, Schiffer tells the stories down immoderate of these captivating images. 

1989: Guess Jeans ad, changeable by Ellen von Unwerth

 Guess Jeans ad, changeable  by Ellen von Unwerth Ellen von Unwerth

“I met Ellen successful Paris, aged 17. We were some starting retired and got connected similar a location connected fire, conscionable mucking astir adjacent to the Centre Pompidou [while I wore] my ain clothes. Not agelong after, the Guess squad saw the pictures and wanted america for the 1989 advertisement campaign.

We changeable [the bicycle photo] with successful Pisa, Italy, 1 glorious summertime day. … Ellen truly encouraged maine to determination astir and explicit myself freely alternatively than clasp a pose. Everything was precise spontaneous, and I recovered myself balancing barefoot connected the backmost of a bicycle, riding done the streets successful a achromatic swimsuit, arsenic if disconnected to a distant beach.

Those are the champion shoots: You tin beryllium arsenic silly and naughty arsenic you want, due to the fact that there’s trust.”

1990: Chanel campaign, changeable by Karl Lagerfeld

 Karl Lagerfeld
© CHANEL / Karl Lagerfeld 2021Karl Lagerfeld

“[Chanel designer] Karl Lagerfeld came into my beingness erstwhile I was conscionable 18. He had seen my archetypal UK Vogue screen … and asked to spot me. I entered his workplace connected the Rue Cambon [in Paris] afloat of nerves but, wrong hours I was being fitted for his caller collection. We spoke successful German and nary 1 astir america could understand, which helium loved. There was an contiguous consciousness of complicity, and I loved his crisp humor.

The adjacent day, I was driving with the unit to Deauville to sprout my archetypal Chanel campaign. I retrieve america bonding implicit the information that we were the lone 2 radical afloat of vigor astatine 3 successful the morning.

The formation edifice is portion of Coco Chanel’s history, truthful it felt peculiar to don her signature boater and casual tailoring and airs successful beforehand of ‘paparazzi.’

Lagerfeld loved his work. He often said helium dreamed collections and helium would aftermath up to sketch successful the mediate of the night. As a lensman arsenic well, helium was prolific and excelled astatine manner portraiture. He was incredibly generous erstwhile taking photos, sharing his cognition and his enthusiasm was infectious. What was singular is that helium was ever unfastened to my input.

Karl taught maine truthful overmuch astir fashion, culture, photography and helium besides advised maine to stay existent to myself and spot my instincts — those omniscient words stay with me. … What Warhol was to art, helium was to fashion.”

1994: Versace post-runway, changeable by Michel Comte

 Kristy Hume, Nadja Auermann, Nadège du Bospertus, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Shalom Harlow, Brandi Quinones, 1994Michel Comte

Kirsty Hume (clockwise from left), Nadja ­Auermann, Nadège du Bospertus, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni, Christy Turlington, Shalom Harlow, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Brandi Quinones

“[This was] a high-energy, classical 1990s Versace moment. We went consecutive from the catwalk to sprout for Italian Vogue successful Versace’s palazzo and connected to a enactment unneurotic successful the aforesaid aqua-toned dresses.

Group compositions are complex, and the accomplishment is successful directing everyone to enactment together. Michel Comte made it look spontaneous but determination were galore variations made implicit galore hours earlier helium arrived astatine the cleanable shot. We changeable this straight aft the Versace amusement and from the infinitesimal of walking the runway close done to the extremity of the shoot, determination was specified large adrenaline, and that euphoric feeling stayed with america each passim the shoot.

“It was a imagination moving with Gianni, Donatella and the Versace family. They were each truthful welcoming and Gianni had specified a large bosom and truthful overmuch warmth. He turned his runway into a unrecorded amusement with choreography, large lighting effects and theatrical staging. I retrieve walking successful 1 of his shows to a Prince way lone to spot Prince himself sitting successful the beforehand enactment … the ambiance was electric.”

1993: US Vogue shoot, changeable by Herb Ritts

 Helena Christensen, Claudia Schiffer, Stephanie Seymour,Christy Turlington, Naomi CampbellHerb Ritts

“This radical representation of [clockwise from apical left] Helena Christensen, Stephanie Seymour, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and myself is quintessential 1990s. It was from a US Vogue screen sprout by lensman Herb Ritts, who was a maestro astatine capturing earthy moments and the camaraderie betwixt america all.

I callback Helena [Christensen] and I discussing antithetic types of licorice connected the set. Denmark [where Helena is from] makes the champion and fresh, and I retrieve asking her to bring immoderate for maine adjacent clip she went home.”

1994: “Captivate! Fashion Photography from the ’90s” publication cover, changeable by Richard Avedon for Versace

Nadja Auermann (from left), Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and Stephanie Seymour 

”This Versace campaign, photographed by Richard Avedon, is iconic 1990s successful its beauty, dynamism and glamour. … It embodies the amusive and artistry of the supermodel era. On set, Avedon would bring successful a choreographer who would thatch america however to move. His signifier was besides to sprout alongside a reflector turned toward you, truthful that you could spot yourself arsenic helium did. In that mode you could genuinely collaborate successful the instauration of the shot, by getting a bully thought of what was working, what wasn’t, and what you could alteration to marque it better.”

Captivate! Fashion Photography From the ’90s” edited by Claudia Schiffer is published by Prestel successful hardback and disposable from Jan. 25, 2022, $69.95.  The accumulation curated by Claudia Schiffer volition beryllium astatine Kunstpalast Düsseldorf done Jan. 9, 2022. For much information, delight visit