Some girls never can say goodbye

Claudia Schiffer has said she's quitting the catwalk. But don't panic, it's not the first time.

Fashion models love manipulating the press, and none more than Claudia Schiffer. Last Friday, on the first day of the Milan spring/ summer collections, the 28-year-old German blonde did her catwalk thing for a little-known designer called Giorgio Ferrari. Shortly afterwards she announced to Rome newspaper Il Messaggero: "I love fashion, but I never really liked the runway. I am never going to model on the catwalks again."

This was done for reasons best kept to herself. One possibility is that the model finally realised her Barbie Doll looks are out of fashion. A booking for a Giorgio Ferrari show is not a successful way to spend Milan fashion week. In Milan, the most lucrative city of the fashion calendar for models, the top catwalks to appear on are Versus, Versace, Prada, Dolce Gabbana, Jil Sander or Gucci. An appearance at one of these shows could mean a booking for a subsequent - even more lucrative - advertising campaign. It also results in almost continuous glossy magazine coverage.

But the real bonus of appearing on a Milan catwalk, of course, is kudos. Being in Milan means simply that you're "in", or at any rate famous enough to bring the press to the designers. It is no coincidence that Kate Moss made her second catwalk appearance of the season at Donatella Versace's Versus show on Sunday. Her first was in New York for Calvin Klein, for whom her contract includes catwalk appearances. Both strolls along the runway are likely to have paid her enough money to buy a house.

Kate Moss doesn't spout off when she's in a bad mood, indeed her response to the whole retirement business is spot on. She has said: "I'm not going to retire. If people are still willing to pay me money to model, then I'll keep doing it. A lot of us aren't doing the shows any more because we want to slow down and choose exactly what we are going to do." Naomi Campbell echoed these sentiments by saying: "I have no time limit, and I'd never make an announcement that I might [retire from the catwalk], only to back down from it later."

Claudia Schiffer should have taken notes from these two women. She hasn't really made a memorable appearance on a runway for two years, so there is not a whole lot of point to announcing the end of her catwalk career.

Schiffer's publicists, Hoffman Media, must have agreed: they hastily issued a damage-limiting statement on Sunday in which she announced: "I'm not quitting. For me, the runway work was only a small part of my modelling career... For almost two years now, I've only done fashion shows occasionally and for special causes, for example, for Valentino."

And it's not the first time Claudia's publicists have been involved in frantic back-pedalling. Rewind one year, and surprise, surprise - Claudia was making the same threat. She's leaving the catwalks. She's concentrating on being in the movies, or starring in a car advert (she's under contract to Citroen) or saying, "Because I'm worth it," for L'Oreal.

The attitude displayed by Claudia Schiffer echoes British model Sarah Thomas - who caused a mini-kerfuffle last month when she announced she was quitting the catwalk, because she didn't like being prodded and poked, and treated like a bit of meat. She was applauded for her strength of character. But hold on a minute... last week, during London Fashion Week there she was, calmly and beautifully modelling for Pearce Fionda.

Schiffer joined with Elle MacPherson, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell to front the Fashion Cafe, but last month she left after a much publicised row in which she said of Naomi Campbell: "Instead of promoting our cafes, she only thinks about collecting lovers."

Claudia Schiffer is beautiful. Untouchable even. She is part of the breed of model who found fame in the late Eighties alongside Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford and was given the term "super". Only problem is, the original supers are too perfect in today's climate.

As one fashion insider put it, "Claudia is one of the original blonde divas. Her look is completely different to the current breed of girls. In their heyday, the supermodels were treated like princesses, but today's successful models are better known for their personalities, and are treated as part of the team. The modern model does not want to be pampered. She's cool and she's fun."

Schiffer's career began 11 years ago, at 17, when she was discovered in a German disco by photographer Ellen Von Unwerth. Months later she gained notoriety when Von Unwerth shot her for the Guess? campaign, in which she looked like a young Brigitte Bardot. Throughout her career she has appeared on more than 600 magazine covers, notably Vanity Fair, the only magazine with an editorial policy that generally refuses to place a model on its cover. She is also the first, and only model to have a wax likeness placed in the Grevin Museum in Paris.

Once Schiffer had wised up to the world of modelling, her girl-next-door appeal vanished. In its place was a ruthless businesswoman who in 1990 launched an on-running swim-wear calendar. Shortly afterwards she popped up first on the arm of Prince Albert of Monaco - many called her the new Grace Kelly - and then as the fiancee of millionaire magician David Copperfield.

Well-informed gossip-mongers took great delight in claiming that Schiffer was engaged to Copperfield as part of a deal to improve his kudos. From that moment Schiffer tumbled from the hot seat.

The downward spiral had begun. In 1996, after several years as the face of Chanel and bosom buddy of fellow German designer par excellence Karl Lagerfeld, she was dumped by the fashion house in favour of British aristocratic model Stella Tennant, a woman known for her realistic attitude towards fashion and modelling. Lagerfeld's attitude toward Schiffer was summed up perfectly when he said of her: "Claudia would have been a wonderful Hollywood silent star."

In a curious twist of fate, Schiffer has assumed this mantle. She is the current "face" of the Citroen Xantia, and has appeared in a couple of straight-to-video films, one of them The Blackout by Able Ferrara was instantly forgettable.

In the unlikely event that Claudia holds to her threat to abandon the catwalk, we shouldn't mourn her passing - she certainly won't. Last year, while on assignment in Lima, Peru, she told reporters she would like to be cloned, as "I could send them out to work instead, and have more time to myself".

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone