Leni Klum feels right at home on the runway. Given that she’s watched mom Heidi Klum strut her stuff for years, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the 17-year-old model feels all calm, cool and collected on the catwalk.
Such was the case for her first major fashion show, the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda presentation in Venice back in August. “I honestly wasn’t that nervous,” she told Elle in a Wednesday, December 15, interview. “I sort of just winged it.”
While she had the utmost confidence in her walk, there was a bit of angst surrounding a potential wardrobe malfunction. For the show, Leni had to balance a very heavy crown atop her head. “I was scared it was going to fall off, so they ended up sewing it to my hair,” she told the outlet.
In the end, the show went off without a hitch — and the star had her 48-year-old mom cheering her on all the while. But Heidi’s support has been a long time coming. The former Angel didn’t want her daughter to jump into the modeling world at a young age.
“My mom wouldn’t let me [model],” Leni said, noting that she first expressed interest when she was 12. In a September interview with Rollercoaster, Leni recalled being approached to do a Brandy Melville campaign.
“I was freaking out because I loved the brand. And I was shopping with my mom that day so I was like, ‘Mom, please, I’m begging you! I’ve wanted to do this for so long. You can do it, why can’t I?’”
At the time, Klum told her daughter she was “too young” for the gig. But after years of “begging and begging,” Leni has finally landed in the spotlight — and she’s a natural.
“She knows how to walk in heels,” Heidi told People. “She’s been walking in the craziest heels that she found in my closet since she basically started walking. And because she grew up with cameras around her, she doesn’t really get that intimidated with that kind of stuff.”
A lot of her confidence may be a result of her upbringing, but some of it can be chalked up to Dance Moms coach Abby Lee Miller. “There, you have to learn really hard routines and you have to dance in front of all the judges,” Heidi said following the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show this summer. “She’s performed before so for her, I think this was just like, ‘Okay, I walk and I pose.’ There’s not too much to memorize.”