(Elle) Heidi Klum is jumping like a maniac. Not little bunny hops, either. She’s getting air, maybe two to three feet of it, with every single leap—all while maintaining the cheeriness of a toddler in a bouncy castle who doesn’t get that jumping is just exercise in disguise. It’s worth mentioning that Klum is doing this while wearing heels the approximate size of an ice cream cone. And she’s not just going straight up and down. Her feet fly back to meet her butt, then swing out for a split; her heels click together like she’s in a production of Newsies.
Rankin, the British fashion photographer and her longtime collaborator (he did both of her photo books), lies on the floor in a draw-me-like-one-of-your-French-girls pose, clicking his camera each time Klum reaches her maximum height. After maybe 20 leaps, Klum suddenly stops, I assume to catch her breath, as she just did a workout most people would pay upwards of a hundred bucks to have a trainer force them to do. But no, she has an idea. “Ooh! I think we should listen to ‘Elevation,’ by U2!” she exclaims in her perfect German lilt to a guy on a laptop. “This will be good, ja?” she adds, noting the song’s very literal tie-in to her current activity. She starts leaping again.
If you’re not caught up with the times, Heidi Klum, once a superfamous supermodel, is still a superfamous supermodel, but she’s added a fair share of other titles to her résumé in the last 10-plus years: cocreator, cohost, and executive producer of Project Runway (for which she’s won an Emmy); host and EP of Germany’s Next Topmodel; judge on America’s Got Talent; creative director of Heidi Klum Intimates and Heidi Klum Swim—not to mention mother of four (Leni, 14; Henry, 12; Johan, 11; Lou, 8).
With a dizzying number of jobs comes a dizzying income, reportedly well into multimillions of dollars, but it also means shoehorning, say, three of her jobs into one normal person’s workday, even occasionally overlapping a few of them. Like at today’s shoot, which started at 7:30 a.m. (though Klum was up at 6 a.m. to make breakfast for her kids): She’s both the model and the designer.
The shoot is for Lidl, a German chain of budget grocery stores—think Trader Joe’s, but with household items added to the mix. The retailer, which already has a handful of U.S. outposts and is set on further expansion this year, signed an exclusive deal with Klum for a line of affordable womenswear. The fifth collection of Esmara by Heidi Klum will launch in September. After she models each look, she takes on yet another role—the shoot’s artistic director—walking over to the monitor to select the photos she wants to use in the promotional materials.
There’s an hour to kill after the Lidl shoot wraps, and then Klum has to leave for her next event: an America’s Got Talent panel at the Television Academy in North Hollywood. She swiftly changes into a jewel-studded Saint Laurent top and Veronica Beard skirt, and snacks on kettle corn as she tackles some of the day’s quicker tasks. She pages through a preliminary lookbook for her latest swim collection. “I love prints,” she says as she holds up a page with a beach cover-up in a bright palm-frond pattern. “Prints are so inspiring.” She checks out a digital copy of the May cover of Sky, Delta’s in-flight magazine, featuring her on the cover. She zooms in on her face, then offers up a simple “They could have lit that better.”
It’s so nonchalant it doesn’t even come off as a criticism, but rather a plain fact as undeniable as “It’s 70 degrees in Los Angeles today.” Her rep pulls up a press photo of all the AGT judges, which requires her approval. She looks at it, nods, and then zeroes in on the waistline of Simon Cowell, who is wearing a navy suit with a light brown belt. “What belt is he wearing with this? I’m sorry.” She tsks, her inner Project Runway judge coming out. “You don’t wear that kind of belt with that outfit. I would have made that dark.” I don’t offer up my thoughts on the matter, mostly because I don’t really have any, so there’s a brief silence Klum maybe mistakes for a fearful deference to Cowell. “Since the day I met him, everyone was always like, ‘Simon’s coming!’ Very afraid of him,” she says, bemused. “I just went up to him and said, ‘So, Simon, when are we going to do a makeover?’”