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As a ’supermodel’ she has graced most major catwalk shows and magazine throughout the world.

Claudia Schiffer, the Comeback Queen, has been named as the latest ‘supermodel’ to become the ‘face’ of Yves Saint Laurent.

claudia schiffer

The German star follows in the stiletto heels of Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen and the flame-haired Brit, Karen Elson, all of whom have been hand-picked by YSL’s creative director, Stefano Pilati, to front the brand’s major advertising campaigns.

The new campaign featuring Claudia Schiffer was shot in the iconic Hollywood Hills by the photographic dream team of Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, and will begin appearing in January when the February editions of the glossies hit the newstands.

The exclusive shot, pictured above, is the first to be released and is the image Pilati has selected as the cover of his fourth fashion mission statement, the Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto, which will be distributed worldwide on February 14th, 2009.

Schiffer’s fame dates from the late 80’s when she was discovered in a Düsseldorf nightclub at the age of 15. She became an overnight sensation when fellow German, the couturier and designer Karl Lagerfeld, dubbed her the ’new Bridgette Bardot’ and sent her down the Chanel catwalk in Paris as the new face of the brand.

Although her walk was criticized as less than graceful, she was an immediate hit and her global appeal was assured when she appeared in a Guess? jeans advertising campaign. She became the first model to make the covers of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone magazine, the New York Times and People.

After a decade as a supermodel, she gradually took on fewer and fewer modelling assignments. She married the British film producer-director Matthew Vaughan in 2002, who gave her a tortoise instead of a wedding ring.  The couple have two children and an Elizabethan mansion in Suffolk, as well as homes in London, New York, Germany and Monte Carlo.

She made a spectacular return to the international fashion scene when she rejoined forces with Karl Lagerfeld as the face of this year’s Chanel Spring/Summer campaign.

Now 38, she says: ”I know one day I’ll be considered too old. But I think 40-year-old women actually look more healthy and fit than some girls in their 20’s. I’ve met women who have way better bodies in their 40’s because they’ve been working on them for all these years.”