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The 19 richest models in the world - and how much cash they make

It’s a lucrative business is being really, really, really, really, really good looking.

Cara Delevingne interview Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss Source: Ian West


Supermodel Linda Evangelista once said “I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day,” and it looks as if nothing’s changed in modelling.

Models are such business powerhouses today, commanding huge salaries for a single campaign, thanks in part to their personal branding.

Kendall Jenner, the half-sister of reality-TV star Kim Kardashian, has become one the highest-paid models in just one year, and she has millions of followers on social media.

Brands know that if she puts a picture on Instagram or Twitter, she could get the label more exposure than traditional ads.

Modelling for Victoria’s Secret gives models a massive boost to their careers and allows them to command some of the highest pay in the fashion world. Even Kendall Jenner made the Victoria’s Secret runway this month.

We looked at Forbes’ latest data, which covers the June 2014 to June 2015 period, to see who the biggest earners in the industry are.

19. Jourdan Dunn: $3.5 million (£2.2 million)

Burberry Arrivals - London Fashion Week 2015 Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Dunn was discovered in a London branch of budget fashion retailer Primark and ended up securing deals with Maybelline and Calvin Klein. She also models for Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry.

18. Kate Upton: $3.5 million (£2.2 million)

NYFW Spring/Summer 2016 - Harpers BAZAAR Source: AP/Press Association Images


Upton’s earnings halved from last year but her biggest gig was starring in the estimated $40 million Super Bowl advert for “Game of War.”

17. Hilary Rhoda: $3.5 million (£2.2 million)

2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - New York Source: AP/Press Association Images

She’s still one of the highest-paid models in the world, but her earnings have dropped since Kendall Jenner took her contract as the face of Estée Lauder. She is still a model for Via Spiga, Elie Tehari, and Chopard.

16. Kendall Jenner: $4 million (£2.5 million)

kendall Source: Billy Farrell for BFA

The half-sister of Kim Kardashian has carved her own success through the world of high fashion. She enters the list this year after modelling for Estée Lauder, Calvin Klein, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, and Karl Lagerfeld. Her immense social-media presence also helps book her jobs because of the exposure she’d give to a brand.

15. Daria Werbowy: $4.5 million (£2.8 million)

France Paris Fashion Lancome Party Source: AP/Press Association Images

The insanely successful Werbowy has appeared on 50 international Vogue magazine covers during her career. She earns most of her money from being the face of Lancôme makeup.

14. Liu Wen: $4.5 million (£2.8 million)

France Cannes The Little Prince Carpet Source: Joel Ryan

Liu was the first Chinese model to strut down the catwalk for Victoria’s Secret. Liu now makes most of her money from underwear firm La Perla and by modelling for Massimo Dutti, H&M, and MO&Co after she left Victoria’s Secret.

13. Kate Moss: $4.5 million (£2.8 million)

Burberry Arrivals - London Fashion Week 2015 Source: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

The 41-year-old is one of the oldest models in the top-earners list, but she continues to pull in millions from big contracts with David Yurman, Decorté Skincare, and Burberry. She’s also into her 14th year with Rimmel makeup.

12.Carolyn Murphy: $4.5 million (£2.8 million)

Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum - New York

The 40-year-old is nearly double the age of many people on this list, but her wholesome all-American look books her massive campaigns with Estée Lauder, Ugg, and Oscar de la Renta.

11. Karlie Kloss: $5 million (£3.2 million)

Italy Fashion Vogue China Source: AP/Press Association Images

Taylor Swift’s BFF has deals with L’Oréal, Joe Fresh, and Kate Spade after retiring her Angel wings at Victoria’s Secret. Meanwhile she has teamed up with the Flatiron School to create a “Kode With Karlie” scholarship for young female coders.

10. Candice Swanepoel: $5 million (£3.2 million)

2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Runway - New York Source: AP/Press Association Images

Her income has almost doubled from the previous year after she became one of the faces of Max Factor. She also has a Versace fragrance contract.

9. Alessandra Ambrosio: $5 million (£3.2 million)

2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Runway - New York Source: AP/Press Association Images

Most of her income is generated from Victoria’s Secret, but she adds to her wealth with her own swimwear and clothing line with Planet Blue and other modeling jobs.

8. Lara Stone: $5 million (£3.2 million)

calvin Source: Calvin Klein

She was discovered at 12-years-old in Paris and ended up becoming one of the highest-paid models in the world. She has contracts with L’Oréal cosmetics and Calvin Klein underwear, which led to this advert with singer Justin Bieber.

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7. Joan Smalls: $5.5 million (£3.5 million)

Paris Fashion AMFAR Dinner Source: AP/Press Association Images

Smalls has worked for ads with Joe Fresh, Calvin Klein, and Marc Jacobs, boosting her income by $2 million from the previous year. She also walks more catwalks than most of the other models in this list.

6. Miranda Kerr: $5.5 million (£3.5 million)

miranda Source: Reebok

Kerr left Victoria’s Secret in 2013 but has made huge amounts of money from other lingerie firms such as Wonderbra. The former wife of actor Orlando Bloom is also the face of Escada Joyful Fragrance, Swarovski jewelry, and Clear Hair.

5. Natalia Vodianova: $7 million (£4.4 million)

Backstage Gala fundraiser - London Source: David Jensen

Vodianova is the face of Stella McCartney and Theory and makes huge amounts of cash from Guerlain cosmetics and two perfumes: Calvin Klein Euphoria and Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum.

4. Doutzen Kroes: $7.5 million (£4.8 million)

Paris Fashion AMFAR Dinner Source: AP/Press Association Images

Kroes made her name as a Victoria’s Secret model but she now makes her money from contracts with Tiffany & Co., Samsung, and Calvin Klein.

3. Adriana Lima: $9 million (£5.7 million)

2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Runway - New York Source: AP/Press Association Images

Lima is the longest-running “Angel” to model for Victoria’s Secret. She also has secured deals with Marc Jacobs, Maybelline, and Vogue Eyewear.

2. Cara Delevingne: $9 million £5.7 million)

Burberry Arrivals - London Fashion Week 2015 Source: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

Delevingne made her name in high-fashion modelling, but her prolific social-media presence, with 19 million Instagram followers, 3.7 million Twitter followers, and 240,000 Facebook fans, helps her book contracts because of how much exposure a brand would get. She has modeled for DKNY and Burberry, but she’s now moving into acting and will appear in the highly anticipated “Suicide Squad”.

1. Gisele Bundchen: $44 million (£28.2 million)

Brazil Fashion Colcci Source: AP/Press Association Images

Bundchen’s earnings massively outstrip that of her younger peers and that of her American football player husband, Tom Brady. Bundchen retired from the catwalk this year, but she makes most of her money from beauty and fragrance contracts with Chanel and Carolina Herrera and from designing her own shoes for other brands.

- Lianna Brinded

Read: This Victoria Secret model had a great response when asked what she would eat after the show

Read: Leonardo DiCaprio is putting his money into a startup ‘growing’ real diamonds

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