Claudia Schiffer Q&A
Do you have anything exciting coming up / in the pipeline?
I’m very lucky to love what I do, so design collaborations and curating roles felt like a natural next step for me; I have a glassware and ceramics collaboration with the heritage Portuguese brands Vista Alegre and Bordallo Pinheiro. The collections are inspired by my love of nature and launched globally last year, with new ranges coming out next year.
I’m curating an exhibition called “Captivate! Fashion Photography from the 90s” with Kunstpalast Düsseldorf featuring a host of incredible photographers from Helmut Newton, Corinne Day to Richard Avedon and Herb Ritts. This has been a journey of discovery and rediscovery as I edited hundreds of photographs spanning fashion stories, campaigns, runway and backstage. I think the images in Captivate! really sum up the 90s and yet are timeless. That was my criteria. I am so happy that the exhibition will be attracting people back into the museum after so many months of lockdown. Photography and fashion are powerful connectors.
There’s also a beautiful linen bound coffee table book, which I’m in the process of editing. Both launch this September and really bring to life that game-changing decade of reinvention, (rebellion) and innovation and there are other projects in the pipeline, that I’ll be excited to share soon.
London or Paris?
Paris is where I started my modelling career and comes with many fond memories, but I feel at home in London. It’s where I fell in love with my husband and where we started a family. I adore going to amazing restaurants, museums, art shows and plays. With its handsome architecture and sense of style, it’s one of the most beautiful cities I have had the privilege to live in and it is so dynamic with ever more aspects to explore.
This summer you’ll find me…
My summer dreaming is all about being with friends and family on a boat, swimming, reading, talking and drinking cold rosé and watching the sunset.
Songs I have on repeat are…
Elton John’s classics such as “Rocket Man”, “Tiny Dancer” and “Your Song”. I listened to his music a lot when my husband, Matthew Vaughn was producing Rocketman, but I also grew up with his music in the 80s. His songs are anthems, so emotive and it’s great to finally understand through the film the life and perspective behind the lyrics.
What should be on our Summer reading list?
Carole Bamford’s A love for Food: Recipes from the Fields and Kitchens of Daylesford Farm. Over the years I’ve become more and more passionate about good nutrition and a healthy, natural and organic lifestyle. Carole Bamford, who I met 18 years ago, is a pioneer in this field and a wonderful, inspiring woman.
Disco or dinner? Definitely, dinner at home with my husband, our three children and friends with good food, wine, conversation, games and dancing.
What’s your favourite Cecile piece and why?
My everyday “uniform” tends to be denim coupled with slender jumpers or blouses and great accessories, so the “COUCOU” skinny knit quickly became one of my go-to pieces. I love outfits that feel effortless, but that can take me from the school run to meetings and onto dinner with friends.
Tee time... classic cut, oversized or cropped?
Classic cut and oversizes – bien sur! These are the clothes I grew up in and still love today. For this collection we really looked at classic utilitarian items such as the Breton tee, sweatshirts and knits and re-worked the shapes, adding playful design twists including motifs, typography and slogans. The CouCou sweater is a favourite – it makes everyone smile.
Tee time… If you were a slogan t-shirt, what would it say?
Follow your instinct.
On Sundays, you’ll find me…
..gathering friends and family. On the weekends, we’ll have great lunches and dinners, watch a film, play cards, backgammon, or chess by the fire in the drawing room. In the summer, it’s long walks with the dogs, tennis, and a long-drawn-out game of croquet.
What I most love about Cecile is…
..its everyday cool, French-girl aesthetic with a great sense of flirtatious humour.
The Cecile woman is… a vibrant, confident woman who loves fashion and wants to wear pieces that are luxurious, well designed, vital – never dull.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…
...be yourself. Karl Lagerfeld told me when I was starting out in my teen year as a model that I should just be myself and not worry about what anyone else wanted me to be. Throughout my career, I’ve cherished his advice and trusted myself and my instincts.
…be scared to make mistakes; as long as you always learn from them. Part of life is about falling and having the courage to stand up again.
Trust your instincts - Your intuition is always right and the older you get the harder it is to listen; wisdom, opinions and experience can get louder but I recommend going inside and listening. And marry your soulmate and your best friend.
Coffee or tea?
Decaf organic coffee with fresh almond milk made at home combined with dates. It’s the sweetest wake up.
Favourite London (or other city) spots are…
La Petite Maison - it has a great atmosphere and delicious simple dishes like truffle scramble eggs with French fries, Nobu on Park Lane for Japanese food – my pick is always yellow tail sashimi and Indian Noor Jahan on Bina Gardens - the best dish is the lamb pasanda.
Alfies Antiques Market is a must-see for vintage emporium. I can happily spend a few hours looking at their mid-century accessories and furniture and I always end up being seduced by something.
Sadie Coles on Davies St is a fantastic independent gallery in the centre of London. I like to pop in when I can and check out the latest from some of the best contemporary artists. Coles, who set up her gallery in 1997, brings art alive in her gallery and there is always a new perspective to dive into and explore.
Cecconi’s on Burlington Gardens in Mayfair does the best passionfruit martinis! I’ve been going for years as a treat after a busy day and it’s walking distance from the Ham Yard Hôtel, which is a home away from home. Late night bowling in the basement is brilliant end of night pastime.
Who or what inspires you?
My children, they see the world for what it should be, they have no prejudice and just a true desire to make the planet a better place to live.
Top three style icons?
I admire the effortless look of the 60s and 70s style icons, for example, Jane Birkin, Lauren Hutton and singer, Sylvie Vartan. They are individual but totally at ease with their sense of self. The trio were a strong inspiration behind our collaboration.