The model, TV host and entrepreneur fronts INC's spring campaign ad for its 30th anniversary

By Sarah Kinonen
Updated December 01, 2020 08:02 PM

Years before earning her wings as a Victoria’s Secret Angel, tapping into her entrepreneurial side (she has a line of activewear, a children’s clothing collection and multiple fragrances all under her belt) and producing an Emmy-nominated TV show (Project Runway!), Heidi Klum was simply a model. And one of her first jobs? Working with the fashion brand INC (sold exclusively at Macy’s) in the late ’90s. Now, 18 years later, Klum is fronting the brand’s latest campaign in honor of its 30th anniversary — and we’ve got the exclusive scoop on the partnership.

Credit: Courtesy INC

Courtesy INC

Before becoming the face of multiple brands, Klum worked with INC in 1997, appearing in a TV commercial for the label (which you can check out below), and again in 1999, posing in the brand’s campaign ad.

“My favorite part about my INC ads from 1999 are the memories they bring back. There’s something very nostalgic about looking through these photos,” she told PEOPLE. “I was 26 years old when they were shot, so it was still very early in my career. I remember being really excited to work with a big brand like INC and to be associated with Macy’s, the biggest department store in the country.”

And some of the clothing Klum wore in those early campaigns (think: sleeveless turtlenecks and white capris) could easily be worn today. “The clothes in my past INC campaigns were very fashion-forward for the late ’90s, but were also very wearable and accessible to all women,” she shared. “When shooting a campaign, I like to think about who the clothes are made for and who that customer is. And the INC woman is very relatable for me — she’s busy, she balances her career with her kids, she loves fashion, and she wants clothes that make her feel confident, sexy and empowered.”

But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t appreciate today’s styles. “Looking at my new campaign for INC’s 30th anniversary makes me appreciate how much I’ve accomplished and grown since that first shoot, personally and professionally,” she explained. “And naturally, the fashion trends have evolved, too!”

Her favorite piece from the shoot? A bold coverup. “There’s a bright red trench coat that I fell in love with while shooting the March campaign,” she said. “It’s a classic trench cut, but the color makes it really stand out. It’s a great statement piece that won’t go out of style.”

Kristy Hume

Courtesy INC

Klum isn’t the only supermodel the apparel brand has worked with over the years. Fellow Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrósio, Helena Christensen, Trish Goff and Kirsty Hume (photo above), also starred in INC ads early in their careers.

“INC has worked with so many big names throughout its history, and a lot of the girls that I’ve worked alongside for many years also modeled for INC, like Alessandra Ambrósio, Anne V, Karolina Kurkova and Shalom Harlow,” he said. “These women have gone beyond just being models — they’ve become iconic personalities with huge, successful careers.”

What do you think of Klum’s INC partnership? Sound off below!

–Sarah Kinonen