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Heidi Klum

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AOL Seeks Heidi Klum's Advice in Million-Dollar Content Deal


AOL began publishing its content partnership with fashion model Heidi Klum today, AOL's latest celebrity acquisition and a key part of CEO Tim Armstrong's strategy to attract more female readers. As a sign of Mr. Armstrong's eager interest in celebrity-branded content, Ms. Klum is expected to reap an upfront salary close to seven figures and will also take a 50% stake in ad revenue generated from the venture, according to people familiar with the matter.

AOL would not comment on financial terms.

Ms. Klum, along with Full Picture Entertainment, will program video content focusing on advice covering a range of areas, from fashion and beauty to parenting, relationships and lifestyle. Ms. Klum has enlisted a stable of what she calls her experts to answer questions from readers as well as develop new how-to videos on an ongoing basis.

Ad Age recently spoke to Ms. Klum about the partnership.

Ad Age: What led you to this deal?

Heidi Klum: I've been doing my job for over 18 years now, and most of the time people want to know how: How you do this, and how do you do that, and how do you juggle a family life, and what are the fashion trends, with what comb do you brush your hair with ... all kinds of questions from relationships to beauty and lifestyle.

Ad Age: So...lots of questions.

Ms. Klum: Questions beyond questions. And it's not really that I have all the answers but I kind of gathered a team around, what I call my experts, and they've helped me. And what I thought would be a good thing to do is team up with a company like AOL, because AOL is my audience. Now I have a bigger platform to share my experts with.

Ad Age: Can you talk about some of the experts you'll be bringing into this new area of AOL?

Ms. Klum: Definitely. For example, my art teacher. Actually, she's my children's art teacher for the past five years, and we do all kinds of things together. Seasonal things. Like, for Halloween, we'll dress pumpkins together. We made these videos so women can look what can you do with your family. I think these kinds of things are important for women.

Ad Age: I can understand how women would be interested in seeking your advice on fashion or beauty, but why should they come to you for advice on parenting or crafts, or anything else?

Ms. Klum: Maybe they don't. I don't know. I feel like I know a lot of great people, and they are experts in what they do, and that's why I have all these people to help me. It is my world -- I call it my world -- it is really for women who have all different things they're interested in doing. And I think it is up to them, whatever they want. What they want to get from the site. Some people don't want to get makeup -- they couldn't care less -- and maybe they'd rather know how they can improve their home and how to make their home more beautiful.

Ad Age: Where do you go online when you're looking for advice on fashion or parenting?

Ms. Klum: When I was pregnant, I would go to different baby blog sites just to see where I'm at when I was four weeks in my belly -- what I should look out for. What I should and shouldn't eat. I always found that interesting. And in terms of fashion, if there were shows I couldn't attend myself, I would to Style.com. The great thing about me for fashion, I still do a lot of shoots, and we're going to do something everyday on the site where we put up a new photo of me with a new look, and we'd do something on how you can get the same look for less.

Ad Age: You've been a one-woman brand for a while, and while other top models have gone on to be more product-oriented, you've staked your claim on the media side of businesses. What led you to that?

Ms. Klum: I don't know. I've done interviews since I started more obvious things like Victoria's Secret or Sports Illustrated, or if I hosted different shows like [on] MTV or "Project Runway." The more I've become public, the more questions I would get. What is the best shampoo? What is the best comb? Why not have a place where people can speak to the horse's mouth? They can speak to my experts.

Ad Age: Alright, so what is the best comb to use?

Ms. Klum: Mason Pearson. I love it. It is an expensive brush, but I if you take care of it, it will last forever.

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Well, it was right next to the Whitney Museum's annual spring bash on 15th Street. Is that where you were?


Yep that's where I went. I am kicking myself because one friend was like lets go but another one was like lets just go this party. OH well. That's New York for you. It look like it was a great party but Milk is always a ZOO.

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Heidi also did a press event for her new perfume, Shine, when she was in NYC this week, although I haven't found any pictures:


Heidi Klum's New Fragrance

There's just something about Heidi Klum, isn't there? She's obviously beyond gorgeous, but so are lots of models. Maybe it's because she's also smart and funny. Maybe it's because Seal's cool. Maybe it's because she's a model who actually smiles. Whatever it is, I've always liked her—a feeling that was confirmed this week at the launch event for her new fragrance, Shine, a sultry floral-oriental that's out in September. Klum was passionate, charming—and looking as fierce as ever (how has the woman had four kids??!?).

Here's what Klum had to say about Shine to the beauty-editor crowd who gathered at the Mondrian Hotel in New York City:

The scent: "I didn't want something that was super-sweet. I wanted sensual. That was my main word. I didn't want clean. I want to smell like a woman. I wanted something that is long-lasting but not hovering."

The process: "It's been a lot of back and forth [with the perfumers] because I'm quite anal. I couldn't really describe it as flowers. It was more emotions, feelings."

The name: "Why did I call it Shine? My husband had a little bit to do with it. I get dressed a lot for my husband. A lot of times he'd say, 'You're beautiful. You shine.'" It's a very beautiful word, a positive word."

On fragrance in general: "It kind of completes your look, even though you can't see it. It's kind of like the underwear you [wear that people] can't see."

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Happy Birthday Heidi Klum.


Here are some interesting facts about her :

In July 2007, having earned $8 million in the previous 12 months, Klum was named by Forbes as third on the list of the World's 15 Top-Earning Supermodels. In 2008, Forbes estimated her income at $14 million, putting Klum in second place. For 2009, Forbes estimated her income at $16 million. Klum is signed to IMG Models in New York City.

Klum has two fragrances, called "Heidi Klum" and "Me". She designed makeup for Victoria's Secret as part of their "Very Sexy Makeup Collection", titled "The Heidi Klum Collection". The first run debuted in Fall 2007. A second run was released in Fall 2008.

Read more about her here :

Heidi Klum

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