By Kat Giantis, with reporting by Mary S. Park
Heidi Klum seems to have it all: a busy modeling career, a hit reality show (complete with catchphrase), a devoted husband in Seal and four adorable kids. But it turns out supermodels are just like us: They, too, worry about looking like total schlubs in the morning. Luckily, Heidi has a solution for the sweatpants-sporting masses.
In an exclusive interview with Wonderwall during New York Fashion Week, the "Project Runway" mogul shares details on her new affordable activewear collection, which promises style and comfort. Plus, she reveals her must-have item for fall (think loose and billowy) and declares a pair of pint-size celebrity designers "geniuses." And somewhere in there, she still found time to choose a winning designer for Season 8 of "PR," with a little help from an expectant Nina Garcia, Michael Kors and special guest judge Jessica Simpson.
Wonderwall: Would you ever consider starting your own fashion line?
Heidi Klum: Activewear by New Balance! The line is from $35 to, I would say, $150. It's affordable. You can buy it on Amazon. It will start October 7th.
WW: What is your must-have item for fall?
HK: My favorite would be the line's poncho in rose, a beautiful color. It has silk inserts in the side. It's beautiful. You can wear it with leggings, or you can put it over jeans. It's really nice. So this would be maybe one of the pricier ones, because it's a bigger piece. It's maybe $150. ... This is what you'll be seeing me in very soon.
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WW: What inspires your personal style? Do you have a style icon, living or deceased?
HK: No, not really. [My inspiration] is really from going to schools in the morning because I'm a new mom. My oldest [6-year-old Leni], she's been going for the last 3 years. Even though I love glitzy, glamorous clothes, and I know that I will be doing that, too, down the line, I didn't want to start with that. ... It probably will evolve into other things. I love sexy dresses; I love feminine. I'm sure I'll do all of that, too. But I wanted to start with what I start my day with. Comfort but still cool that you can get caught in and still look good.
WW: So moms are your inspiration?
HK: I really get inspired by a lot of the moms that I see on school drop-offs in the morning, and I wanted to do something for women like me and them and all of us who are very busy and run errands all the time ... I don't want to squeeze myself into anything tight, or it's early in the morning but maybe after I drop my kids off, I go somewhere else and somewhere else after that, and I might not go home and have to change. What can I do, because normally you wear sweatpants or something comfy? You put something on that's maybe not the cutest thing. I wanted to do something that was simple for women. I did great ponchos, great colors, great fabrics, very flattering but comfortable and you can run a few errands and not go home and change and not look sloppy.
WW: What do you think of celebs and their fashion lines? Do you like Ashley and Mary-Kate's The Row or Elizabeth and James?
HK: Absolutely amazing. I wear a lot of their clothes. I love their clothes. I think that those two girls are geniuses. They really are. I really do. I think they're really, really good. They are really trendy, but it works. It's not so trendy that it's, 'Oh my God, I could never wear that,' because I don't always think that I'm super trendy from head to toe all the time. I love things that are basics. But they're basics that are really twisted. They're really cool. You can mix and match. I have a lot of their things.
WW: Which items from their line do you wear and really like?
HK: They do great blazers. They do great blouses. They do great pants. Across the board, they're really good.
WW: Which line, The Row or Elizabeth and James?
HK: I like both. I love a lot of their dresses. Their black, really tight dresses that they make. Really nice, good fabrics. Also because they're really involved, too. You have to be involved to be successful. I think sometimes there are a lot of people out there who try but their hearts aren't really in it. [Mary-Kate and Ashley's] hearts are really in it, those two girls. They go and look at all the fabrics.
WW: Do you know them?
HK: I've met them a few times. I know they go to Italy to look at fabrics. They design. They're hands on. They're good.