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".

Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

Arts and Entertainment

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
Arts and Entertainment
The audience aimed thousands of Apple’s product units at Taylor Swift throughout the show
musicReview: On stage her manner is natural, her command of space masterful
Arts and Entertainment
Channel 4 is reviving its Chris Evans-hosted Nineties hit TFI Friday

Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade (1989)

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
A Glastonbury reveller hides under an umbrella at the festival last year

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Miles Morales is to replace Peter Parker as the new Spider-Man

Arts and Entertainment
The sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, has stormed into the global record books to score the highest worldwide opening weekend in history.

Arts and Entertainment
Odi (Will Tudor)
tvReview: Humans, episode 2
Arts and Entertainment
Can't cope with a Port-A-loo? We've got the solution for you

FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets

Arts and Entertainment
Some zookeepers have been braver than others in the #jurassiczoo trend

Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant

Arts and Entertainment
An original Miffy illustration
Arts and Entertainment
Man of mystery: Ian McKellen as an ageing Sherlock Holmes
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Kitchen set: Yvette Fielding, Patricia Potter, Chesney Hawkes, Sarah Harding and Sheree Murphy
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans has been confirmed as the new host of Top Gear
Arts and Entertainment
Top of the class: Iggy Azalea and the catchy ‘Fancy’
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map