Project Heidi

Heidi Klum talks about her latest role as a maternity wear designer.

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Heidi Klum is one busy mama! This “momtrepreneur” has had successful careers as a supermodel, actress, spokeswoman, television host and producer (Project Runway) and fashion designer—all while enjoying family life with her husband, Seal, and children Leni, Henry, Johan and Lou. Klum spoke to Fit Pregnancy about her most recent fashion design projects, maternity collections for A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity.

Q: Is it true that you had planned to go to fashion school before deciding to start your modeling career?

A: Yes! That was my passion from the time I was a little girl, when I would make clothes for my Barbie with my mom. A lot of my dreams have come true. For example, Mattel made a Heidi Barbie after me later on and I got to design clothes for her, so it’s all come full circle for me.

Q: Do you get any inspiration for your maternity lines from watching contestants on Project Runway?

A: I should say yes, but I don’t. Because when you are designing for a pregnant woman, you have to think about what her needs are. It’s just different from high fashion, when you suffer for a cool, hip thing, but it doesn’t necessarily work for your day-to-day life. But you do still want to be hip when you’re pregnant, and I want to give women the same type of trends so they can stay current; but, foremost, I’m designing for comfort.

Q: So you are very involved in the design process then?

A: Oh yes, absolutely. To start, I went into my closet and looked for things I loved. When I was pregnant I would think, ‘I wish I could still wear this,’ but a skirt or top gets a little too short, for instance, when your bump gets bigger. I wished so many times that my favorite blouse would go a little longer.

I tried to see what was missing in maternity, and I wanted to do something different with cool shapes and patterns. I have some things that are very loose and feminine and some dresses that are super tight for the bold pregnant person who wants to show some curves. I want to give everyone something. I also wanted easy, loose jackets that you can wear over tops, such as a solid white T-shirt, because by the ninth month you start to feel really bored. It’s nice to have something you can layer because you’re rotating the same things all the time.

I made the pieces so you can wear them when you’re pregnant or not—even my jeans don’t look like maternity jeans. Because you don’t necessarily want to wear maternity clothes after you’ve had the baby, but you don’t fit into your normal clothes right after.

Q: What made you decide to create your maternity collections?

A: I think pregnant women are so beautiful. My husband always gave me the best compliments when I was pregnant. I love pregnant women, and I think they should feel great. It can be hard because your body’s changing and you’re trying to find something to wear.

Q: You have two collections, Lavish by Heidi Klum for A Pea in the Pod and Loved by Heidi Klum for Motherhood Maternity. Could you tell me your inspiration for each?

A: Lavish is for the glam mom and the mom who can spend a little more. The design isn’t necessarily different, but you can choose different fabrics—more silks and knits with cashmere in them. Loved is more for the mom who runs around and is going to the supermarket and the playground. But it has evening dresses, too. I wanted to give her embellishment.

Q: What types of clothing did you gravitate toward during your pregnancies?

A: There was not so much around when I was pregnant with my oldest, Leni, so I wore a lot of overalls. I actually brought back overalls for Lavish. I would just wear oversized T-shirts or maybe a men’s T-shirt—I didn’t know about stores like A Pea in the Pod. Or I would wear stretchy dresses. Later, I was on Project Runway when I was pregnant again, so I had to be more stylish and think outside the box. I would wear really blousy tops with tight jeans; or a tight dress, but with something cool about it like a special fabric or a great print. When I’m pregnant, I don’t want to be too sweet— I like to rock it a bit.

Q: What are the most important maternity items a pregnant woman should have in her wardrobe?

A: A great pair of jeans or “jeggings,” long and short shorts, pants and a lot of cute different tops that you can wear with the bottoms and not get bored. Also, a beautiful loose dress and fancy tops for when you go to dinner. You buy everything for daytime, but I think you should have a few nighttime things, too, because you do go to dinner and then you look in your closet and you don’t have anything to wear.

Q: What types of accessories would you recommend during pregnancy?

A: Bigger belts. They work for when you’re wearing a really blousy top and want it to go under the belly.

Q: What’s the secret to looking fabulous all nine months?

A: It’s nice to have style during your pregnancy. You don’t have to go into a slump and just wear sweatpants; there are alternatives now. Look for cool and affordable things so you can have a really beautiful, stylish pregnancy.

Enter to win our cover look. Both pieces are from Loved by Heidi Klum for Motherhood Maternity. Click here to enter.

Check out our picks from Heidi's fall collections for A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity.