It’s been 30 years since a 17-year-old Claudia Schiffer was discovered in a discotheque in Dusseldorf, Germany, and she recently celebrated the career milestone by releasing a coffee table book. Schiffer was one of the original ‘90s supermodels, but according to The Telegraph, she laughed when she first heard the word “supermodel.” Later, she realized it made sense. “There I was playing at being Superman, hiding behind the make-up and hair, when in real life I was actually Clark Kent, quite shy and introverted.”

Her new photo book, Claudia Schiffer, was published by Rizzoli in September. Schiffer has appeared on more than a thousand magazine covers and worked with countless famous photographers, and she shares her all-time favorite images of herself in the book.

Schiffer bears a strong resemblance to French sex symbol Brigitte Bardot, and in a new Vogue interview, she admits the comparison used to bother her. She told the magazine, “In the beginning, I wanted to establish who I was, not be compared to other people. A few years after that I suddenly realized it’s extremely flattering that someone is comparing you to someone who is so beautiful and well-known and successful.”

Although Schiffer no longer does much runway modeling (aside from the supermodel-packed Gianni Versace tribute during Milan fashion week), she has plenty of other things going on. In addition to her book, she has a new makeup line and a new shoe collection with Aquazzura. She recently told W magazine, “If someone had told me 30 years ago when I first began modeling that I would still be working in this industry and loving what I do in 30 years I would never have believed them.”

Schiffer is married to Matthew Vaughn, who directed Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and she co-created the movie’s “beauty bot” character. The robot’s appearance and movements are inspired by Schiffer’s, and she also provided its voice.

Despite the futuristic feel of that project, Schiffer says she’s glad she became a model before everything turned digital. In the Vogue interview, she said, “I think what’s really different nowadays is the much faster pace. It makes it more difficult; I’ve read some interviews where models are described as ‘supermodel of the moment.’ You have to work so much harder, I think, in comparison.”

She told Vanity Fair, “I love Gigi and Bella, they’re incredible, and it’s amazing that they have these huge followings. It’s very difficult to compare [us] because they have their own level of digital success today. And it’s harder for the girls because there’s so much more competition. But thank god for [social media] because now they have a platform where you can really show who they are and create a platform for themselves. But, yes, I’m very happy to say, ‘Off you go, this is yours now.’”

Schiffer may be ready to pass the torch to the next generation of supermodels, but she looks gorgeous in her latest Instagrams:

Au revoir Paris! 🇫🇷 #CLAUDIA30YEARS #PFW

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good night, NYC✨💋 X #CLAUDIA30YEARS #NYC

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