Claudia Schiffer’s Stylist Shares Her Fashion Tips
Claudia Schiffer’s Stylist Shares Her Fashion Tips

Claudia Schiffer’s Stylist Shares Her Fashion Tips

Stylist and fashion editor Lucie McCullin has worked with some of the biggest names in the business – but she’s probably best known for being Claudia Schiffer’s style director, working with the model across numerous events, creative partnerships and collaborations. Here, we sat down with her to talk all things fashion – from favourite labels to the everyday pieces she relies on…
By Elaine Lloyd Jones

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I’m anti-trend. What’s so great about fashion now is you can be creative and the editor of your own style. Take a bit of a risk, wear something you think may not suit you, add a pop of colour or a vintage piece you have treasured for years. It will give you such confidence. 

My go-to outfit formula is a soft cotton shirt by WNU, jeans by Raey, cowboy boots by Khaite and my vintage Rolex men’s watch. I’m a creature of habit. I always work everything around a great pair of jeans. A slouchy, soft suede tote from Metier (to fit everything from a pair of heels to a passport) is another essential, and I like to have a cosy cashmere sweater to tie around my shoulders that can double up as a scarf. 

My favourite jeans are by Raey. I’ll wear them with chic little kitten heels, an oversized white shirt (unbuttoned a bit) and some gold jewellery. But the high street does denim brilliantly, too. Mango is great and my teenage daughters just got me into Subdued, which they no doubt borrow. 

What’s so great about fashion now is YOU CAN BE CREATIVE and THE EDITOR OF YOUR OWN STYLE.

I like to update my denim every season. I like the Nili Lotan jeans with patch pockets on the front – that detail is so flattering. The Schon style is cool and looks chic with a 90s high-neck sleeveless vest, thin belt and ballet pumps. I also wear black or brown tortoiseshell Ray-Ban Wayfarers with everything – they’re timeless.

Accessories are what define a look. As I’m mostly in jeans and t-shirts, I love brands like Milne-Watson Jewellery for adding texture and colour. The designer, Emma, is one of my oldest friends – she has such a great eye. I always layer her designs with some of my existing gold chains which I’ve collected over the years.


I have a closet full of trench coats in different lengths and colours. My vintage Burberry trench was bought from a fellow fashion editor at Elle in the early noughties – it’s quite 70s, so I wear it with flared jeans and a soft, skinny rollneck with jewellery worn over the top. My favourite trench is a tan, mid-length collarless one by Isabel Marant – I wear it with long cowboy boots and a Khaite knitted dress. I also have an oversized bottle green trench from Zara which I like to wear with baggy jeans and a tee. 

Tweed blazers are something I wear year-round. Two of my most worn are by Margaret Howell and Isabel Marant. I always wear them with a chunky sweater in the winter, but for spring I’ll throw them on over a fine cotton tank with a woven leather belt to cinch them in, with the sleeves pushed up. I use woven leather bags or raffia baskets throughout the year to add interest and texture, too. 

Layers are key for me, whatever the weather. Thankfully, there are now plenty of luxury, lightweight fabrics available on the high street. I like to wear a sheer knit over a tank or a chiffon shirt over a camisole in the evening. For spring, I tend to put away my thick woollen scarves and add a cotton neckerchief by Marni or Louis Vuitton – or even a vintage Hermès silk scarf. 

A trouser suit is an easy way to look pulled together. I love Blazé Milano’s oversized cream trouser suit with a block heel sandal – or Bella Freud has a beautiful light pink one that also comes in navy twill. On the high street, Sézane updates the same style in new colours every season – right now, I have my eye on the cyan blue.

The one piece in my wardrobe that works with anything is my Blazé Milano blazer. I bought it from Alex Eagle. It still has her name tag inside. I love how I feel when I put it on. I’ll add a vintage Cartier ring and my pearl, moon and star earrings by Harris Reed x Missoma if I want to transition the look from day to night. I just know I will wear it forever and pass it on to my daughters one day. 

Off-duty models have always been a source of inspiration for me. I used to love the way they would turn up for shoot castings when I worked at Elle. Because of the way models live their lives – running between jobs, jumping on planes or going to the shows – they had to have the ultimate capsule wardrobe that could be instantly elevated by a cool statement accessory or a piece of interesting jewellery. These outfits would always trigger new ideas for me to style up my own wardrobe.


It’s good to think about what you want your clothes to say about you. When I’m defining style for a client, I try to work out what they are trying to communicate about themselves or the event they are going to, then I build on that. My objective is to plant visual clues through their outfit to reinforce their brand. 

I definitely want to be a Chloé girl again. After watching the recent shows, I just fell in love with Chemena Kamali’s collection. It’s so effortless and cool. I know I have pieces in my closet that I can reinvent in a similar way. Other pieces I’m loving right now include the Tod’s leather waist bag – it’s my new take on an evening bag and I’d wear it over a pencil skirt – and an Alaïa corset belt, which will add interest to every LBD. I’m also on the hunt for a fringed tan suede jacket.

OFF-DUTY MODELS have always been a SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR ME. I used to love the way they would turn up for shoot castings.

Some lesser-known brands I love are XirenaApiece ApartMasscob and Sessun for loose shirts in pretty colours. I also love the edit in KJ’s Laundry. I just took my daughters to Paris and we wandered around the Left Bank boutiques – Mes DesmoisellesLe Bon MarchéVanessa Bruno and Smallable

Suits and western boots are classics for me. I still love my vintage snakeskin cowboy boots which I bought from Rokit 20 years ago. I also have some kitten-heel brown snake boots by Jimmy Choo and a pair of ankle-length cowboy boots with a snake imprint by Gianvito Rossi. With an oversized trouser suit, they’re heaven. 

For the evening, I love a 90s-inspired kitten heel slingback. I recently bought a pair by Rupert Sanderson which are cut low on the toe. Or I’ll pull out a Mary-Jane. I have a navy velvet pair by Gina at the back of my closet; they’re probably 25 years old but they still look new. I love the brand Le Monde Beryl, and Gianvito Rossi for 70s-style woven ballet flats.



As for knitwear, I like to keep it soft and classicLoulou Studio’s knits are among my favourites – the Bruzzi sweater is perfect for everyday – and you can’t beat Khaite’s midi-length knit dresses for the evening. Suzie Kondi also does great printed chunky knits, and Laura Dalgaard is a favourite for one-off designs and patterns.

If I’m going to a red-carpet premiere or black-tie event, I’ll often hire a look or buy something pre-loved. My Wardrobe and Reluxe are my go-tos. For my clients, I’ll look at Shrimpton Couture, or ask a brand to create a custom design or open their archives. I was recently invited to a Studio 54 party, so I went to Reluxe and found the perfect Georgia Hardinge pleated, silver lamé, bias-cut dress. I wore it with black opaque tights, Saint Laurent tribute sandals and huge diamante hoops by Isabel Marant. I was channelling Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface

My favourite looks are the ones that can take me from day to night. It’s taken years of working in the fashion industry, but I’ve found a formula that works for morning press events and running around fashion shows, and that can also take me out to a glam dinner or a fabulous party. I recently picked up a vintage Stella McCartney mid blue linen suit from a friend’s closet sale and I managed to find a backless waistcoat in a similar blue weave. I’ll wear it with mesh ballet flats by Alaïa for work appointments and meetings during the day, then in the evening I add some heels, layer on some necklaces and take the jacket off to show a bit more skin. 

I like to keep visual references. When I worked at Elle, I used to strip off in the fashion cupboard and try on all the looks before every shoot. I’d restyle everything, edit and then photograph each outfit. I still photograph my clients and give them a style guide each season, so they have an organised selection of looks to choose from. 

Finally, always invest in the right underwear. We are so lucky to have so many options available nowadays. The right underpinnings are a game changer. Some of the brands I rate include CommandoSkims and Spanx. For comfy loungewear and underwear, I love the cotton pointelle pieces from CouCou Intimates.

Follow @LucieMcCullin on Instagram.


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