Fashion

Heidi Klum on underwear, social media and why cleavage isn’t dead

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Campaign images for Heidi Klum Intimates.

She’s a supermodel, business woman, TV host, producer, mother-of-four, and now Heidi Klum is venturing into underwear design. We caught up with the 41-year-old during her visit to Auckland to launch her new Heidi Klum Intimates line with Bendon.

You’re obviously very experienced when it comes to wearing lingerie, how important is it for you to find the right bra?
It is nice when you find something that is sexy and comfortable at the same time. I’m not so much of a cotton, comfortable bra kind of girl, so I always want to have a sexy bra. I kind of got rid of all the bras that are just pure comfort, because I want something that is sexy so when the clothes come off, there’s something nice to see. But obviously we always want to have a great fit, and in this range, there’s really something for everyone – from cotton, lace, push-up, more of a soft bra, triangle bras, garter belts, a little bit of everything.

At Chanel’s most recent show, Karl Lagerfeld said the stomach is the new cleavage. Do you agree?
I think cleavage will always win over the stomach. It is really tricky to have your midriff showing. Recently, I wore this beautiful black and pink midriff dress from Versace to an event, and it’s great when you stand, but as soon as you sit, it’s just really hard because you have to suck in. You can be so fit and train all the time, but it is a really hard thing to wear. Maybe for 15-25 year old girls, but it gets very tricky, and I think a beautiful cleavage is much easier and much more beautiful to show. And I love a woman’s curve, and to show that is beautiful. I think the chest will always win over the midriff.

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As someone who started modelling in a fairly traditional way, what do you think about the latest wave of social media models landing huge contracts?
The times have changed, but I think big clients also love working with models who have been self-made through social media. It helps their brands too, so I understand why they do that. Twenty years ago, on magazine covers you would see mainly models. Now, even 10 years ago, it would be hard to get on covers because a lot of actresses are there instead. So there’s always an evolution and always a change, so you’ve just got to go with it. I think about if I had social media 20 years ago, when I started, it would have been amazing. So many things happened, we were on so many trips, so many amazing backstage things. If we had Instagram then, it would have been so much fun to show everyone that. I think it’s positive at the end of the day. They’re beautiful girls and you get more of an insight of what happens in someone’s life, what happens backstage. It’s the same with the TV shows that are on the air now, like Germany’s Next Top Model or Project Runway. Before, people would never really see how an outfit is made or what goes through a designer’s head when they have to create something. With all these shows now or with social media, you get an insight into what a job is really like.

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Heidi Klum in Auckland (L) and in Sydney. Photo/Getty

Why did you want to do a line with Bendon as opposed to a brand like Victoria’s Secret, which you’ve already been connected to?
My role is really more of a designer. I wanted to part with Victoria’s Secret way back because I didn’t want to do the fashion shows anymore, and I love being a designer and creator. I’m quite innovative and I have a lot of ideas and I love designing, so this was a perfect combination. It’s also a brand that has a lot of heritage – for 25 years they have been doing really well, so that stands for the quality of their products. They make beautiful quality lingerie, and I haven’t really done that with anyone. You know, companies come to me and say, ‘Can we put your name on this?’ or ‘Do you love this product?’, and most of the time I really don’t, because the product is not great or I don’t really stand for what the product is. But with this I thought it was the perfect fit.

How will your designs for Bendon differ from the Elle McPherson line?
I’ve been looking for different laces, and trying to come up with different patterns. I am not the biggest fan of bows everywhere – I think a bow here and there is nice, but sometimes I think there are too many. Or maybe doing some straps with stones, or using three or four straps instead of one. So there’s many different ideas.

How much does the right bra affect the look of an outfit?
If you’re wearing a beautiful lacy dress or a blouse, I think it’s nice to have a pop of colour with it. I was wearing this dress the other day and I put a bright orange bra beneath it to show a hint of what’s underneath. Sometimes it’s nice rather than having anything flesh coloured.

Do you have any pet peeves with how some women wear bras?
I think a lot of women do wear the wrong bra size. They’re like, “I have all this back fat here”, but usually you actually don’t, it’s just they’re wearing the wrong bra. So when the bra is too tight, it creates that. I am quite fit, but even if I was wearing the wrong bra, I would get the same thing.

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