Claudia Schiffer: I was told my career would end at 30
The model is still working at 47.
Claudia Schiffer has recalled how she was told her modelling career would end when she turned 30.
The catwalk star, who is still working at the age of 47, said the industry “programmed it in” that she would not be able to work past a certain age.
She told fashion magazine The Edit: “When I started [modelling], they used to say: ‘At 30, your career is over.’
“They used to programme that in. It felt normal.”
Thanks to @netaporter’s The EDIT for making me their latest cover star! ⚫️⚪️⚫️ It was a lovely shoot modeling the iconic polka dot prints and chatting with their team about my current projects, celebrating 30 years in Fashion, the big Versace runway moment... and so much more. X #THEEDIT #CLAUDIA30YEARS #ClaudiasBeautySecrets #ClaudiaSchifferForAQUAZZURA #claudiaschifferlegs 📸: @nicobustos Styling: @raquelfranco_ Hair: @sebastienbascle Makeup: @kirstinpiggott @claudiaschiffermakeup @aquazzura @kunertfashion
She said the industry has changed a great deal over the last 30 years, and that social media has brought with it huge benefits but also considerable drawbacks.
“It’s very much about the model of the moment, with constant change. It’s much more fast-paced.
“Fundamentally, fashion is the same, but when I started out I didn’t even have a mobile phone.
“You were able to concentrate creatively much more, because there were no distractions. Now, there’s added pressure.
“If you want to have success, it’s not just about your fashion pictures, or how many fashion shows you do, or who you are working with.
“You have to be much, much more. You have to stand out, and how do you do that? Through digital [social media].”
She said she is relieved she did not have to face that challenge adding: “I don’t think I would have been able to do it. You have to reveal so much about yourself, and I’m a very private person, and quite shy.
“I do a little bit of Instagram, I enjoy it, but it’s limited to what I want to reveal. And if I did any more, I don’t think I would have time for anything else, because it’s a full-on job.”
Schiffer continued that she feels maternal towards some of the younger models breaking on to the scene now and particularly Kaia Geber, the 16-year-old daughter of Cindy Crawford.
She said: “I knew Cindy from the beginning, when she was really young, and Kaia’s like a mini version of her.
“It’s not just her face but her voice, her mannerisms, the whole package. She’s so sweet.”
The supermodel said she is now conscious of “passing the baton” to the next generation, saying: “It would be wrong if you didn’t [bow out gracefully], or ended up like one of those stories about old actresses who can’t let go, and are really bitchy because they’re so unhappy.”