Heidi Klum gets real online

There's no stopping Heidi Klum. Model, mum, fashion creator and host of the popular Project Runway television show on cable, the German supermodel is on to her next project — a new AOL site aimed at women.

In the past decade, Klum has gone from modelling lingerie for Victoria's Secret to putting her name on maternity wear and running shoes. Not that she's exactly become a slouch in the hot-body department: At age 38 and with four kids, she's still showing up in paparazzi photos wearing a bikini.

But like Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey, she's also working at becoming a brand, spinning her good looks and affable personality across a variety of categories.

Klum is working with Full Picture Entertainment to create content for heidiklum.aol.com, which covers style, beauty, parenting, fitness, nutrition, relationships, entertaining and decorating.

In a telephone news conference, Klum said the website aims to answer the questions people always ask her about how she runs her life: What's her exercise routine? How does she make sure each of her children gets quality time? What fashion trends is she loving?

To the latter question, Klum said she's trying to post a photo of herself every day — often with her hair a bit straggly and wearing no makeup. It's a little shocking — and maybe refreshing — given that Klum is usually so picture-perfect.

It's self-indulgent to be sure. But is it any worse than Winfrey and Stewart splashing themselves all over their magazines and websites? A nice change of pace at Klum's site is that she brings the mum quotient into the picture.

Klum said she relies on a large group of people in both her personal and professional lives to keep her rolling, and she's having them share tips, tricks and routines.

There are makeup artists, hairstylists and a clothing stylist; fitness experts in Los Angeles and New York; a home organiser; interior decorator; party planner Mindy Weiss; and even her children's arts-and-crafts teacher, a woman named Shakuntala Zakheim.

''They are like the umbrella, and I'm the stick,'' she said.

Klum said she's planning to start a running program this month and will be posting updates about her progress. ''I want to get women off the couch and do this run with me,'' she said. And, ''If you can't run, then walk.''

She and her team have taped 50 videos and will be adding ones as topics arise. She says her product suggestions are a combination of high-end and affordable ideas.

''Sometimes I wear jeans from Gap, sometimes they are way overpriced,'' she said, noting that one of her favorite recent purchases was ''an awesome'' snake print belt from Banana Republic that cost $40.''

The modern woman isn't head-to-toe in designer brands, ''and style doesn't have to be a matter of how expensive it was. It's more about what looks good on you.''

She said she's looking forward to doing more about children's issues, and will offer ideas about healthy snacks and mealtime suggestions. And to that earlier question, how does she manage to give kids personal attention? Klum and her husband — the singer Seal — rotate through the ranks, alternating nights so each child gets regular ''special snuggle time'' before bed.

So when does she get a chance to relax? Klum said she listens to music when she exercises ''and goes into the zone,'' but she doesn't often feel the need to escape.

''I'm not someone who puts herself in a spa for a day or two. I've never done that. I enjoy my work and all the people I work with — we just laugh."

''It's the same at home. We cook, we're in the garden, we jump on the trampoline, we have two new German shepherds. We like to hang around at home. If you pick something you actually enjoy doing, you have fun every day of your life.''

New York Times

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