A Supermodel and a Top Fashion Designer Tell Us Their Business Plans

Heidi Klum

Age: 29

Nationality: German

Profession: Model

You may know Heidi Klum as Michael J Fox's girlfriend in Spin City, or as the ``face'' of Victoria's Secret lingerie, but she is about to make the most sensible move of her career - a series of business ventures which will give her an income way after the photoshoots and catwalk requests dry up.

First off is Heidi Klum the fragrance, available exclusively on her website (www.heidiklum.com). ``It's very sexy - a lot of bergamot and sandalwood with a little bit of vanilla.'' Next up is Heidi Klum, the footwear. ``The people at Birkenstock kept reading interviews with me where I said I wore their shoes, and so we met.'' Get ready for her customised versions of the classic summer sandal: ``They feature leather studs, rhinestones, prints - they're punkish.''

And finally we have Heidi Klum the jewellery. Each year Mouawad the jewellers creates a diamond-loaded bra for Victoria's Secret: ``I wore one featuring a nine-carat diamond and that's how we met,'' Heidi beams. She explains that 22 different styles of jewellery will bear her name: ``belly chains, ankle bracelets, earrings...fine jewellery from €500 to €100,000.'' It seems this supermodel is nothing if not enterprising.

Giorgio Armani

Age: 68

Nationality: Italian

Profession: Fashion Designer

The front row at the Armani Autumn/Winter 2003 fashion show in Milan looked like a football manager's fantasy. There, with their wives and girlfriends sitting directly behind them, were Christian Vieri and Fabio Cannavaro of Inter Milan, Alex Del Piero of Juventus, Luis Figo of Real Madrid, and Kakha Kaladze and Andrej Shevchenko of AC Milan. No doubt it was Shevchenko who watched the proceedings most intently, as last year he opened a franchise Armani Collezione store in his hometown of Kiev.

Giorgio Armani has the look of a man who is doing well. He's relaxed, fit and affable, but also serious, talking about the current economic climate: "People are right to be concerned - it's not an easy moment." But Armani is bullish. Last year he opened his biggest store ever in Hong Kong, and he will open 14 new stores around the world this spring. They will house different elements of his collection - from the top-end Giorgio Armani line to the more casual Emporio range, the Jeans collection and Armani Casa homeware. Two of the stores will be in China, and he anticipates that he will have about 20 there in the next two to three years. "I opened a store in Beijing a few years ago and I made the mistake of putting in a red door, because I wanted the spirit of the Orient. But they don't want that at all. They want the West: they want my style - the Armani vision." And it looks like they're going to get it.

By Peter Howarth

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