Living the model life

Heidi Klum is the host of “Project Runway,” which returns for a sixth season Aug. 20 on, yes, Lifetime; it was shot in Los Angeles. She is soon to be the mother of four with her husband, Seal: according to Klum, her youngest, Johan, will be 3 in November, Henry will be 4 in September, and Leni just turned 5.

Can you tell me a little bit about what’s going on with the new show that follows the lives of the models who appear on “Project Runway”?

It’s an extra show, a half-hour, “Models of the Runway.” They’re all new faces, they’re all new girls, that no one already knows. It’s a great exposure for them. It always has been, in the past -- but no one paid much attention to them.

I hope they’re terribly dramatic and badly behaved.


No. They do cry a lot! Yesterday again, one had to go, and they all feel for each other. They live together, they like each other.

What are you doing through the summer besides, you know, giving birth?

Well, we just shot Season 7, that’s why we’re also in New York; we have our last day on Saturday. Then they have off till February, we’ll do the finale in February. We’re going to go on a holiday for a few weeks. Get the house ready. Get organized. When you’re close to the end -- I wanna rearrange the whole house! I go in nesting mode.

Are you going to go for a Bauhaus super-hippie modernist thing?

No, no! And to be honest, most of the things for the kids are hand-me-down things. There’s a piece Leni had, I took it from her. This piece used to belong to Henry. I was like, “You’re going to get something pink, you’ll be fine.” And we’re not into the pink or the blue.


Really, for a year the baby stays in our bedroom anyway. I just need a crib and a changing table. When you have a newborn, everything becomes very still -- while in a strange way, everything is very loud? Does that make sense?

Wait till you have four in high school.

In September, all three are in school! You sit in another room and they get evaluated, and Johan did all the puzzles. He impressed them.

Does it feel odd to be putting young designers out in the world when the fashion world is in extreme crisis?

I think that everything is kind of in crisis. But what are you going to do? Is everyone going to stop working? I think the best will always succeed in any world. The people who are working hard, I think they will stay out there. In terms of fashion, maybe there are things that are more needed than other things -- and the things that people cannot afford, maybe those things will go. But I don’t think people should stop their dreams. A lot of our designers, people who have been on in the past, not everyone is self-employed. I think the only one who has become successful is Christian [Siriano] -- on their own. I think the others are also successful, not as their own brand. Which I think is also success! They are working under good design houses. Or selling on HSN or Shopping Network.

I was shocked when Christian Lacroix went into bankruptcy.

Very sad. I think those people do have to exist. Those people who have such a fantasy about fashion. . . . I think it all trickles down, from these main designers who are maybe not as wearable, Galliano, all the ones who do spectacular things -- they say, who can really wear that? But they’re the originators of so many things that the person on the street wears. A color, a pattern, the shoulder pads -- they really make it over the top, let’s say really big -- then it trickles down and trickles down and then you can buy really big shoulder pads at Zara.

How are your licensed brands doing?

I do a bit of that. I do want to do more. Some things have started and closed. Like I don’t do the jewelry anymore, which I loved doing. Unfortunately, I did have a partner who . . . maybe wasn’t as knowledgeable in terms of setting up a business. I worked five years very hard on that. But we stopped because we had a lawsuit with Van Cleef & Arpels -- they wanted to have the clover, even though our designs had never matched, I don’t know how may designs I had done in five years, maybe 800 different designs -- but they just wanted to own the clover motif. So they went after everyone who does that -- Louis Vuitton! -- they said, “We own the clover.” And I was like, “Then who’s the person with the clover and the person with the heart?” I think when you’re a small company, which we are, we’re not a Van Cleef -- they have a thousand lawyers. I’m a small fry next to that.

That’s a sad lesson to learn.

But you know what? That’s how life is. You have to set yourself up from the very beginning properly.

You have a gorgeous tattoo. What is that?

It’s my husband’s name. Can you see it, now that you know? Then I have three stars. They have the initials inside, of our children.

You have room for, like, 18 more children!

See, I planned ahead. But the fourth one will be the last one.