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Supermodel Heidi Klum is a front row fashionista in New York

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Sporting a panelled leather and shearling gilet, plunging white shirt and velvet flower-adorned jeans, Heidi Klum looked every inch the style queen as she stepped out at New York Fashion Week. And in a sure sign that she has moved on from a tough year that saw her split from her husband of seven years Seal, the 39-year-old's glow was undeniable as she struck her best supermodel pose for the flashbulbs in the Big Apple.

The Project Runway star, who was recently honoured at the amfAR gala for her charity work, was lending her support to the Kenneth Cole show that was supporting AIDS research. For every @Kennethcole follower who tweeted using the #KCRUNWAY hashtag, Kenneth Cole Productions donated $1 to amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. Joined on the front row by Social Network star Arnie Hammer, American model Elizabeth Chambers and actress Brooke Shields, the German-born beauty, who is now dating her former bodyguard Martin Kristen, cast a discerning eye over the designer's new wares. After a seven-year hiatus, designer Kenneth was making a return to fashion week with a collection inspired by 'liberation'. He was also celebrating his 30th anniversary in the fashion world. Along with creative director Kobi Halperin, he created a line with a decidedly downtown vibe – a subdued colour palette of black, grey and metal were incorporated into leather, cosy knits and shearling jackets.

Layering was a major trend – loose silhouettes were complemented by tweed jackets, jumpers and gilets. Kenneth bought his company back from investors last year, and now he is fully in charge. Talking to reporters backstage, he revealed that he now feels "energised", in contrast to how he felt when he pulled the plug on the catwalk seven years ago. The designer started Kenneth Cole Productions 30 years ago in a trailer outside an industry shoe show in Manhattan. He wasn't able to obtain an official licence for the event, so he got a film production permit and showed the attendees his shoes instead. In the two and a half days, he sold forty thousand pairs of shoes, while chronicling the beginning of the company on film. In 1994, Kenneth went public, and has been included on Forbes annual list of 200 Best Small Companies four times.

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