SUCCESS Magazine sets down with Heidi Klum this month to capture the Emmy-winning, business mogul’s advice and learn what’s next for her multi-million dollar brand. Klum also discusses how projects are selected, whose advice has been important, off-duty passions, and what has been a cornerstone to her success.
In The Spotlight
Three of Heidi Klum’s television roles include: executive producer of Project Runway, which will start its 14th season in July; the executive producer and host of Germany’s Next Top Model, now in its 10th season; and a judge on America’s Got Talent, entering her third season on the show this summer.
Forecast By Forbes
In 2011, Forbes said that Klum’s $20 million income made her the world’s second-highest-earning model (behind Gisele Bündchen) but observed that Klum was a work in progress, stating that she was continuing “her transformation from supermodel to business mogul.”
Evolution Of Heidi Klum
Her focused efforts have been successful. Klum has parlayed her healthy good looks and playful appeal into a significant brand, a larger public image that encompasses model, Mom, TV personality, product spokeswoman, fashion designer, clothing entrepreneur, and humanitarian.
What Is Next
At the beginning of 2015, she introduced Heidi Klum Intimates for the lingerie company Bendon, making it a stablemate for her own brand, Truly Scrumptious, a line of kids’ clothing and gear that she sells through Babies “R” Us. In partnering with Klum, the New Zealand-founded, Australia-based Bendon ended its 25-year licensing relationship with Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson. The decision reflected not a wish to make a generational change (Klum is nine years younger than Macpherson) as much as a desire to make a Q-rating leap.
“She’s very active in the media today,” Bendon’s CEO Justin Davis-Rice told the newspaper The Australian. “We were looking for somebody who gave us a much larger international reach, and Heidi elevates that.”
Klum tells SUCCESS while at her home in Los Angeles. “I choose things I believe in. Many companies come to me, but I try to limit my involvement to the ones that fit what I stand for or that represent something that interests me.”
In Bendon’s case, Klum shares, it was her familiarity with the brand and the market segment. “I come from the lingerie world,” she says. “I have always been more associated with Victoria’s Secret and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue than the high-fashion world of Paris and Milan.
“I have learned a lot from Tyra Banks… She was much more successful than me when I first started. I admire her business acumen. She would always give me advice, like telling me that I needed an entertainment lawyer instead of a regular lawyer. Tyra also told me about a show – America’s Next Top Model – that she was working on. I was trying to get Project Runway off the ground at the same time. We were doing similar things and sharing our experiences.”
Make It Work
What happens if something is not working? “I try to fix it in the moment. The key is coming up with an improvement. Anybody can say, ‘I don’t like that.’ The trick is to be able to say why you don’t like it and to come up with something that is better.”
How does Heidi Klum accomplish so much? Sheer physical energy would seem to be the essential element to managing it all, but she says the true cornerstone is organization.
“I’m a planner—quite German that way,” Klum says. “I can tell you everywhere I’m going to be for the next nine months.”
Beyond The Spotlight
“When I’m not working,” Klum says brightly, “I drive the kids to school, catch up on email, and go to my home office and start designing.” Noteworthy, Klum has two girls as well as two boys to help keep her busy and inspired.
For more details of the interview by Jamie Malanowski, visit SUCCESS Magazine and pick up the new May issue on newsstands this week.