The Real Heidi Klum
By Andrew C. Stone
From Victoria's Secret Vixen and Sports Illustrated cover gal to entrepreneur, reality-TV pioneer and mom, Heidi Klum has the Midas touch. Her fashion-competition series, Project Runway—which she created with Desiree Gruber and Harvey and Bob Weinstein—is one of the genre’s most influential success stories and has spawned a companion series, the upcoming Models of the Runway. And though Project Runway’s leap from Bravo, its original cable home, to Lifetime was bumpy—complete with a highly publicized legal battle—it has finally returned to the small screen. The show doesn’t only have a new network, it also has a new backdrop: This season, the hit show is based in LA. And this reality juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down—it’s up for an Outstanding Reality-Competition Program Emmy, while Klum is in the running for Outstanding Reality Host.
Add to that her own line of beauty products (In an Instant), various design projects and endorsements, movie and TV guest spots and a hosting gig on Germany’s Next Top Model by Heidi Klum, and you’ve got one busy renaissance woman. Oh yes, there’s also a sexy TeNeues coffee-table book called Rankin’s Heidilicious and a Heidi Barbie coming out, too. Whew! Despite everything going on in Klum’s hectic life, her family—which consists of crooner husband Seal and three kids, with a fourth on the way—always has and always will come first.
We caught up with Klum to talk about motherhood, the Emmys and her long-awaited return to the runway (Project Runway, that is).
LOS ANGELES CONFIDENTIAL: We can all breathe a sigh of relief because Project Runway is back.
HEIDI KLUM: It was quite a wait. We’re all very excited! It was annoying.
LAC: It’s nice for people to finally see season six, which was filmed in LA for the first time.
HK: It is! The contestants worked really hard. I like all the people who come on the show, and I really empathize with them. They’re with us five to six weeks—including all those people who get my auf Wiedersehen early on. When they get voted off I feel for them even more, because they can’t be on the show and they can’t go home.
LAC: It seems like everyone involved with Project Runway has to be very committed.
HK: Season seven, which airs in January, filmed in New York for six weeks, so I had to move my whole family back to the East Coast. But while the contestants are sewing, I am off. I’ll be with my kids on the top of some double-decker bus thinking, Those people are still at Parsons!
LAC: So season six is in LA, season seven is in New York, and season eight will be back in LA?
HK: Right. The great thing about shooting in LA is that we get more big-time celebrities on the show. Our designers get so hyped up when we bring out these international superstars.
LAC: Are you happy with the show’s new home at Lifetime?
HK: It’s been great. They really wanted Project Runway to come on, and the lawsuit put a downer on things for a second, but they’re excited to have us. They’re very accommodating, particularly where food is concerned [laughs]. Food is so important when you’re on a set. People are working from seven in the morning to nine or 10 at night, so it makes a huge difference if there’s random mush or something really great. Maybe because I was pregnant, they always had doughnuts.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MATT JONES / TRISH SOUTH MANAGEMENT / TRUNKARCHIVE.COM