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Did you know that in 1992, no European clients would give Heidi Klum the time of day? The German supermodel chats to Vogue Australia about accepting her self as a commercial model, longevity, and how to book the best jobs.

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You have to be super fit because you have to look good all the way around. You have to be firm and tight. You might have been the most beautiful girl in your hometown and now you are a beautiful fish in a big pond of a lot of beautiful girls, and in order to get the greatest jobs, you have to look amazing. You have to exercise and eat right so your nails are beautiful, your skin is beautiful, your hair is beautiful. Otherwise you will get mediocre jobs. If you want to get great ones, wear lingerie, or swimsuit jobs, your body has to look accordingly – the way the clients want it.

When I started in ’92, I went to England and Paris and Milan and I really couldn’t get a job anywhere there because everything was so waif and heroin chic – so the opposite of how I look! […] Then I went to America and I found my path which was more of a commercial route. I always did more commercials, catalogues and that type of work and slowly morphed into doing a lot of things on television, which was great in the end. In the beginning I was always a little sad because I wanted to do cool stuff – walk the cool fashion shows and have amazing photographers shoot me. But 20 years later I’m still here and a lot of the girls that were really cool then, you don’t see them anymore.
It’s not about looks necessarily, always, it’s also about having the package so you can sell products. The world of modelling has shifted so much since I started 20 years ago. You didn’t have to do TV shows, no one asked your opinion, or what hairbrush you use. Now, if you want to be a successful model, you have to be more versatile.
You either meet the right people or you don’t. I feel like I got lucky and I met the right people and I showed up when I was supposed to, and stayed longer than most would. I think when you do a bit of extra work, that helps. A lot of the girls would look at the clock and go ‘I want to go home’, ‘can this be the last shot?’ or whatever, and then people don’t want to book you again.

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