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
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Image has been released by the BBC
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Will there ever be a Friends reunion?
TV
News
Harry Hill plays the Professor in the show and hopes it will help boost interest in science among young people
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
A Van Gogh sold at Sotheby’s earlier this month
art
Arts and Entertainment

MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word

Arts and Entertainment
It would 'mean a great deal' to Angelina Jolie if she won the best director Oscar for Unbroken

Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says

Arts and Entertainment
Winnie the Pooh has been branded 'inappropriate' in Poland
books
Arts and Entertainment
Lee Evans is quitting comedy to spend more time with his wife and daughter

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is dominating album and singles charts worldwide

music
Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Midge Ure and Sir Bob Geldof outside the Notting Hill recording studios for Band Aid 30

music
Arts and Entertainment
Look out: Broad shoulders take Idris Elba’s DCI John Luther a long way
tvIdris Elba will appear in two special episodes for the BBC next year
Latest stories from i100
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.

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?