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The World's Top Earning Models


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The World's Top-Earning Models

Kiri Blakeley 04.30.08, 11:00 AM ET

1. Gisele Bundchen

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$35 Million

The 27-year-old continues to bag new contracts, noticeably with Pantene and a cosmetics giant yet to be named. Her face graces ads for Disney, Nivea, Vogue eyewear and Aquascutum, the U.K.-based luxury line. Her line of Grendene sandals, Ipanema by Gisele, banks her about $6 million a year. And her romance with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady keeps her in the tabloids--she even escaped being blamed for the Patriots' loss to the Giants.

2. Heidi Klum

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$14 Million

The 34-year-old model and mother of three (hubby is singer Seal) has renewed her Victoria's Secret contract, heads up the hit Bravo (soon to be Lifetime) reality fashion show Project Runway and Germany's version of America's Next Top Model. She designs three lines of Mouawad jewelry and a line of Jordache jeans. Then there's new deals with Diet Coke, McDonald's, Volkswagen and Fontanis water. She's also coming out with a skincare line, In An Instant, to be marketed by powerhouse Guthy-Renker.

3. Kate Moss

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$7.5 Million

The 34-year-old ended campaigns with Burberry, Stella McCartney, Dior and Versace. But her retail line with British retailer Topshop, carried in 29 countries, keeps her bank account from starving. Other clients include Donna Karan, Longchamp, Agent Provocateur, Yves Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli and Rimmel.

4. Adriana Lima

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$7 Million

The blue-eyed beauty, 27, lost her Italian phone company Telecom Italia contract, but holds on to bread-and-butter clients Victoria's Secret and Maybelline, for which she just renegotiated a multiyear deal. She also modeled for Mexico City-based department store giant Liverpool and graced the April cover of GQ magazine, her second for the men's mag, and drew a record number of hits to its Web site. Her sexy Valentine's Day Victoria's Secret Superbowl ad was a sensation.

5. Doutzen Kroes

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$6 Million

The Dutch model catwalks into the top five, thanks to being a triple contract threat: She reps fragrance and fashion with Calvin Klein's Eternity and White Label, cosmetics with L'Oréal and lingerie as the newest Victoria's Secret model. And let's not forget diamonds with De Beers.

6. Karolina Kurkova

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$5 Million

If it seems like this Czech beauty has been around the industry much longer than would it would seem for someone only 23 years old--that is because she hit success young, appearing on Vogue at 16 and bagging her Victoria's Secret contract at 21. This year, she renegotiated her contract with the lingerie giant, as well as campaigned for Dell and Mexico City-based department store giant Liverpool.

7. Natalia Vodianova

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$4.8 Million

Vodianova is the exclusive face of Calvin Klein's Euphoria fragrance. She also picked up deals with Paris-based beauty giant Guerlain, Chanel, Versace and Diane Von Furstenberg, and continues to model for David Yurman jewelry.

8. Carolyn Murphy

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$4.5 Million

If you've been in a department store any time within the past few years, you've seen this ubiquitous 32-year-old. The porcelain-skinned beauty is not only the main face of cosmetics powerhouse Estée Lauder, but she adorns ads for Anne Klein, Tiffany & Co., Lord & Taylor and Jantzen swimwear.

9. Daria Werbowy

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$3.8 Million

This striking brunette, 24, is the main visage for beauty behemoth Lancome, but that is far from all. She rotates ad campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Chanel, Valentino, H&M, Missoni and David Yurman jewelry.

10. Miranda Kerr

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$3.5 Million

Kerr is getting a bit of a late start, breaking through in her delectable Victoria's Secret campaigns at the ripe age of 23. However, expect her to remain in angel wings for awhile--the lingerie giant just renegotiated her contract for multiple years. She's also the face of Australian department store David Jones and the face most likely to be seen around town with actor Orlando Bloom. Not bad for an Aussie who only moved Stateside two years ago.

11. Isabeli Fontana

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$3 Million

Fontana, 24, hasn't been around too much lately, as she took some time off to raise her two children. But she's back with a bang, booking campaigns with lingerie lines Passionata and Chantelle, H&M, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Viktor & Rolf fragrance.

and

Gemma Ward

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$3 Million

Tabloids aren't what get Ward, 21, on the list. It's her contracts with Japanese cosmetics giant Kose, Valentino, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Karl Lagerfeld, Swarovski and Louis Vuitton.

12. Selita Ebanks

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$2.7 Million

The 25-year-old was born in the Cayman Islands and lived in New York while contemplating a career in law. Unfortunately for the legal industry, the caramel-skinned beauty went into modeling instead. Last year, she made her first appearance in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. She's been romantically linked to actor Nick Cannon and New York Giants defensive linesman Osi Umenyiora.

13. Valentina Zelyaeva

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$2.3 Million

Besides being the face of L'Oréal fragrances Turquoise and Romance, this 25-year-old is sitting pretty with one of the best contracts in the business. A Ralph Lauren deal, says her agent, Chris Gay of Women Management, "is one of the greatest things you can have." Indeed.

14. Hillary Rhoda

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$2 Million

The stunning 21-year-old former athlete from Chevy Chase, Md., is the heir to the famous faces of Estée Lauder. She's a favorite in the pages of Vogue and made waves as the "new" face of fashion with her curvier (for the modeling world) body.

15. Liya Kebede

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$1.5 Million

This 30-year-old Ethiopian groundbreaker hangs on by her manicured fingernails to the list by virtue of contracts with H&M, The Gap, Anne Taylor and Givenchy.

What do you think??????????????? What happened to Alessandra???

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The World's Top-Earning Models

Kiri Blakeley 04.30.08, 11:00 AM ET

In the words of supermodel and Project Runway host Heidi Klum: In fashion, one day you're in and the next you're out. One could say the same about Forbes.com's 2008 list of the World's Top-Earning Models. Some beauties moved up, some down, some off, a few on.

Then there's Gisele Bundchen, still entrenched firmly in the No. 1 spot with an estimated $35 million in earnings, more than double the $14 million banked by Heidi Klum, who came in second. The 15 models on our list were ranked primarily by estimated earnings over the past 12 months. Where necessary, prestige and relevancy of campaigns, editorials, fashion magazine covers and the opinion of those in the industry were taken into account.

Rounding out the top five are usual suspects Heidi Klum ($14 million), Kate Moss ($7.5 million), Adriana Lima ($7 million) and surprise addition Doutzen Kroes ($6 million). The 23-year-old honey from Holland made a long-legged leap up the charts from her second-to-last position last year. In 2008, the Calvin Klein and L'Oréal face expanded her deals and also hit the modeling mother lode: a Victoria's Secret contract.

"I wish we had snapped her up a long time ago," says Edward Razek, who has been selecting the company's models for a decade. Her agent, David Bonnouvrier, compares Kroes to Christy Turlington, another Calvin Klein muse. "It's that type of beauty," he says.

In Pictures: The World's 15 Top-Earning Models

Bundchen may have ended her Victoria's Secret run, but her $5 million a year record-setting contract didn't expire until the end of December 2007, allowing much of it to be included in this year's tally. Even without the lingerie giant, the Brazilian bombshell continues to bag multiyear, multimillion-dollar contracts, most notably as the new face of Pantene and a cosmetics powerhouse that can't be named until July.

German übermodel Heidi Klum is smiling at No. 2 by virtue of not only her television success as host and executive producer of Bravo's (soon to be Lifetime's) Project Runway, and as the host of Germany's version of America's Next Top Model, but with a slew of campaigns and partnerships including ones with Diet Coke, Jordache and Mouawad jewelry. In her home country, there's new deals with McDonald's (nyse: MCD - news - people ), Volkswagen (other-otc: VLKAF.PK - news - people ) and hair care giant Schwarzkopf.

Waif icon Kate Moss tripped up a bit last year by ending contracts with Burberry, Stella McCartney, Dior (other-otc: CHDRF - news - people ) and Versace. But her eponymous clothing line with British retailer Topshop is a hit in 29 countries, including the U.K., the U.S., and Russia. With a yearly guarantee fee and royalties, Moss' fashion cents banks her in an extra estimated $2 million a year.

Victoria's Secret made millionaires of two newcomers: Miranda Kerr and Selita Ebanks, striking poses at Nos. 10 and 12, respectively. "Selita has a stunning smile and is a great on-camera spokeswoman," enthuses Razek. "Miranda's got the cheeks of a chipmunk, the smile of an angel and the body of a devil."

Fresh to the list is Revlon (nyse: REV - news - people ) model Isabeli Fontana, who, at 24, has come out of semi-retirement after having two children. Fontana also poses for H&M, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana. Rounding up the newbies is Russian Valentina Zelyaeva, the exclusive model for Ralph Lauren (nyse: RL - news - people ) and the face of two L'Oréal fragrances.

A noticeable drop-off is last year's No. 5, Victoria's Secret angel Alessandra Ambrosio, who took a break from bikinis due to her baby bulge. Liya Kebede was edged out of Estée Lauder, pushing her five places down to last place.

Last year, Forbes predicted that the supermodel era might make a bit of a comeback with L'Oréal signing up unknown beauty Doutzen Kroes to appear alongside Hollywood actresses Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington in its ads; homegrown athletic type Hilary Rhoda debuting as the face of Estée Lauder; and Vogue giving Russian stunner Natalia Vodianova its July cover.

It hasn't quite happened. While Kroes, Rhoda and Vodianova remain popular on Vogue's inside pages, no model except Gisele Bundchen has had a cover this year--and she had to share her space with basketball phenom LeBron James. Harper's Bazaar had zero model covers. Talk shows still won't book a girl just because she's pretty. Marisa Miller made the rounds as 2008's Sports Illustrated cover girl, and Karolina Kurkova went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote Victoria's Secret's fashion show, but that's about it.

But keep an eye out. Those who do make it--like Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum with their model-moguldoms, and Bundchen and Kate Moss with their lucrative licensing deals--make it bigger than ever. Young models--the smart, ambitious ones, that is--are no doubt watching, and learning.

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i take umbrage with the calvin klein rep comparing doutzy to christy turlington

doutzy's gorgeous, but shes no christy

sam, i had no idea that karolina was so freaking young!

i had her pegged at like 28-30, shes been around for such a long time!!!

im still hoping hard that u.s mags get back to putting models on their covers

the amount of money a model can earn can go up exponentially when covers are in the mix

you remember when the big boy band craze came about?

i just bided my time, i knew that it had to go away at some point

im hoping that celebs on the covers is just a trend, one that willat some point go away

you asked about alessandra

im not too knowledgable about her --

other than VS,does she have contracts?

~cosmetic,clothing lines, shoes etc??~

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yes of course doutzy's contracts are bigger, shes 20 yrs younger

christy was the most contracted model of her time.

calvin--exclusive contract for nearly 10 yrs

maybelline--shes nearly been contracted to them for 20 yrs

chanel--campaigns with them on and off for OVER 20 yrs

same goes for YSL

escada--new campaign

versace--campaigns on and off from '85 till her campaign with them a few yrs ago

oh and i forgot this stuff

during her travelling all over the world to model, she graduated with honours from new york university

with a bachelors degrees in comparative religion and philosophy, she is the head

of a hugely successful sportswear company <nuala>is constantly involved in giving her time and money

to important causes, plus shes married and has two kids, and still manages

to work for chanel, escada, maybelline and countless others

doutzy seems like an amazingly nice girl, christy is an amazing Woman.

when doutzy reaches those records, then ill concede shes in christy's league ;)

it never hurts to know your modelling history :)

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doutzen isnt christy ..thats right...doutzen is much better :woot:

doutzens contracts are much bigger...and she's worth it :thumbsup:

Doutzen is a great model and deserves every penny :yes: ....That being said, time for one of my tyraids :ninja: .

And the average batter in the MLB today makes more money than Babe Ruth did :rofl: ! But Babe Ruth helped to make baseball mega popular which made the league more money which enabled them to pay each succeeding generation a lot more money. The same principle applies in the fashion industry and everything else.

But though they may make more money, the popularity isn't even in the same league. As a matter of fact, the reason terrible singers and B-list actresses are on the cover of Vogue now is because those in power were threatened by the popularity of the previous generation. Other than Heidi and Gisele...there's probably 1...maybe 2 max (if that) on this list even remotely close to A-list celebrity status in the big picture. Most models today are barely even known by those that aren't into fashion and most are only really known outside of fashion circles when they date or marry a celebrity :ninja: .

In their time, people almost couldn't help but know Turlington, Crawford, Evangelista, Campbell ect. whether you cared about fashion or not.

Didn't mean to rain on the parade Sam12 and everyone. Great thread/article, just had to throw that in :laugh: :ninja: .

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please dont compare doutzen to christy. that would be a slap on christy's face. christy is a fashion icon. will doutzy get to that status? i doubt it.

doutzen is a very pretty girl with great body. but she is not a great model. she is not great on the catwalks. and her editorial works are just plain boring. however she has a great commercial appealing like heidi klum or adriana lima. an average normal person will like her.

regarding high fashion, she is not on the same level as raquel, sasha, gemma, daria(dont even think about the supermodels). but she'll go far as a commercial model

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PLEASE EVERYONE, NO MORE COMPARISONS, just discuss the models on the list.

i take umbrage with the calvin klein rep comparing doutzy to christy turlington

doutzy's gorgeous, but shes no christy

sam, i had no idea that karolina was so freaking young!

i had her pegged at like 28-30, shes been around for such a long time!!!

im still hoping hard that u.s mags get back to putting models on their covers

the amount of money a model can earn can go up exponentially when covers are in the mix

you remember when the big boy band craze came about?

i just bided my time, i knew that it had to go away at some point

im hoping that celebs on the covers is just a trend, one that willat some point go away

you asked about alessandra

im not too knowledgable about her --

other than VS,does she have contracts?

~cosmetic,clothing lines, shoes etc??~

penny, first time I learned about KK's real age I was shocked as well! She was like 16 when she first started walking for VS and even she herself admits that people always thought she was older, thats why she got away with walking for them at such a young age.

I hope the same as you regarding the models on the cover instead of celebs. There are certain mags like Vogue Italia that always use models, but outside of Italy no one cares for it. Anna Wintour needs a smack on her head. She is the ultimate authority and should reinvent her magazine as its starting to become a bore.

Regarding Alessandra I remember she worked for Armani Exchange last year and obviously she had VS. I am assuming they would have payed her more than the lower half of the models on this list, so I am just baffled as to why she did not make the list since its ranking based on money they made last year.

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penny, I think they always make a list about 15 models, so I dont really know who ranks after these 15 top models.

I am assuming Jessica Stam, Julia Stegner, Izabel Goulart, Carmen Kass and Raquel Zimmerman would be ranked had they made a top 20 list.

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Okay, these women are making money, money, money!!

Gisele is not that pretty to me but hey, she's smart and worked her way through this industry. Based upon what I am reading, the best contracts are VS and beauty companies (Maybelline, L'Oreal, Estee Lauder to name a few).

Personally, on this list I like Adriana and Liya-I am partial to beautiful brown and black skin complexion.

I guess we will not see a men's list like this because there aren't many male supermodels. I guess it is different on that side of things. Plus they don't seem to make as much money!!

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VS doesn't have age limits :| ???!!! One of my friends said Miranda was really is 14 :blink: . Is it true :blink: ?

:rofl:

I think only a few years back did they actually start having an age limit of 18. Back in 1999, Adriana was like 16 when she walked also.

No Miranda is not 14 :laugh:

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Okay, these women are making money, money, money!!

Gisele is not that pretty to me but hey, she's smart and worked her way through this industry. Based upon what I am reading, the best contracts are VS and beauty companies (Maybelline, L'Oreal, Estee Lauder to name a few).

Personally, on this list I like Adriana and Liya-I am partial to beautiful brown and black skin complexion.

I guess we will not see a men's list like this because there aren't many male supermodels. I guess it is different on that side of things. Plus they don't seem to make as much money!!

Yeah male models make nowhere near the amount that female models make, but it makes sense since majority of the fashion industry caters to women.

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VS has an age limit of 21. It was started a few years ago from my understanding. I think Miranda is 22. :wave:
VS doesn't have age limits :| ???!!! One of my friends said Miranda was really is 14 :blink: . Is it true :blink: ?

Its 18 I think. Caroline Trentini was 18 when she first walked in 2005. Michaela Kocianova was 19 when she walked just last year. :)

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Yay for Valentina, Daria and Liya! But it's sad she's not with Estee Lauder anymore ;(

Sam, I think Julia could be on the list next year, when she'll be in all these Maybelline commercials lol.

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