Top 15 Popular and Most Well-Paid Models

most well-paid models

A model’s work is not just to look good for the photo shoot, fashion show, project runway, or on the magazine’s front cover. A top model would have to look good, the moment she steps out of the house.

Even while gymming, she has to take care about how she looks as she would be wearing some brand and indirectly promoting it. You would be seeing the model’s social media posts highlighting a brand logo because it’s their work, and it’s not easy to get into the list of most well-paid models.

During the fashion week and fashion month, when new collections are launched, they’re exhibited by the people of the modeling world on a runway. Well, the ones pursuing the modeling career do not have just to walk the walk. They have to present themselves to stand out from the crowd and be seen by more brands.

There are a few models who have succeeded in coming above the pack and are considered the highest-earning models. Let’s have a look at the most well-paid models.

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1) Kendall Jenner

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Kendall Jenner, topping the list of most well-paid models, achieved fame as a reality star of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. A brand ambassador of Estee Lauder, she started modeling at the age of just 14. From number 16 on Forbes magazine’s Top-earning models in 2015 to being the world’s highest-paid model by Forbes in 2018, she’s walked her way through several fashion weeks like New York, Paris, Milan, and also several cover shoots for LOVE and Vogue.

Kendall has walked for Chanel, Donna Karan, Sherri Hill, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Versace, Dior, and lot more. Her estimated net worth is $30 Million. She has been nominated and also won several awards and is also active in social cause and business.

2) Karlie Kloss

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Having estimated earnings of $13 Million, Karlie Kloss has walked her way in the summary of most well-paid models. By the time she was just 16, she had already walked 64 runways and was declared among the list of Top 30 models of the 2000s at age 17 by Vogue Paris. She has been a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 2013 to 2015.

Outside the modeling world, due to an interest in technology and to attention young girls in STEM fields, she’s founded a camp called “Kode with Klossy”. 

Karlie Kloss has been in a lot of advertisement campaigns for Rebecca Taylor, Lacoste, Scotland, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, and so many more. She has walked for varied designers and appeared for many editorials. Her runway walk is considered very powerful, and she describes her runway walk as a “moody gait”.

3) Chrissy Teigen

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Debuting through a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, Chrissy has made her place in the highest-paid models’ list. Among the most well-paid models, she stands out as outside of modeling; she is a cook and a published author. Her book, Cravings: Recipes of All of the Food You Want to Eat, became a New York Times bestseller and also the second-best cookbook of the year. She even launched another book as Cravings and eventually has launched a cookware line with name Cravings.

As a model, her advertising campaigns include Gillette Venus, Nike, Skullcandy, Olay, XOXO, and others. In 2019, she got announced as a judge of comedy competition series called Bring the Funny. Her estimated net worth is $11.5 million.

4) Gigi Hadid

most well-paid models

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With an Instagram following of 55.2 Million, Gigi is one of the most well-paid models who is signed to IMG Models. With a spectacular eye-color of blue-green, her modeling career started at just a tender age of 2 years with Baby Guess. She’s been a brand ambassador for an Australian Fashion Swimwear Seafolly and also for Maybelline.

Along with lots of project runway, front covers, advertising campaigns, she also starred in the music video of Taylor Swift song.

She has been a global brand ambassador for Tommy Hilfiger and has also hosted award shows. In 2018, she did some high fashion campaigns like Valentino, Moschino, Fendi. She has declared to work with UNICEF to help the children of the world. She even collaborated with Reebok to design sneakers. She sure deserves to be one of the highest-paid models.

To see moments of Gigi Hadid in music video’s, check out the video.

5) Rosie Huntington

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This model stands out in the list of most well-paid models as she has kept her charm even after being a mother. As a model, she’s best known for being a Victoria’s Secret Angels and for being the face of Burberry’s 2011 fragrance. To show her artistic side, she collaborated with Paige, which is a brand focused on designing a varied range of pieces of denim.

She became extremely loved for her role in Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Mad Max: Fury Road. At age 16, she had signed her first modeling commercial with Levi’s. She, being the bold one, has even posed nude for Pirelli Calendar. Rankin, who’s a well-known fashion photographer, has devoted an entire book to her called Ten Times Rosie. She’s described as the “quintessential” English rose.

6) Cara Delevingne

most well-paid models

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Having earnings of $10.5 million, which brings her in the list of most well-paid models, Cara Delevingne has won Model of the Year two times at British Fashion Awards. For New York Fashion Week, she had walked for nine shows at a time and also walked for six shows in Milan fashion week. Ending the fashion month season by walking seven shows in Paris Fashion Week, she has walked for fashion houses and brands like Donna Karan, Fendi, Blumarine, Dolce & Gabbana, Nina Ricci, Kenzo, Chanel, and others. 

During the fashion month, walking for over 20 shows, she had gained a lot of media attention and was called THE Girl of the season—all of this between 2012 and 2014. And for the next season, she walked for over 50 shows.

After that, she had become very selective of the shows she appeared for and decreased her appearances saying, she’s becoming more open to other opportunities. Even her acting career shows a radiance of different roles which have been appreciated. She also is a singer and plays guitar and drums.

7) Joan Smalls

Cara Delevingne

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A supermodel of Puerto Rico, Joan smalls entered the Forbes magazine list of most well-paid models in 2013. Being a first Latina model for Estee lauder cosmetics, she’s currently ranked to be New Supers and Money Girls. She is also an early Puerto Rican model who’s been chosen for advertising campaigns by brands like Gucci, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Mercedes-Benz, H&M, Gap, Versace, Bloomingdale’s and others. 

She was appointed as the first-ever Global Fashion Innovator by W Hotels in the year 2017. She has appeared in many shows and has even designed a denim collection.

8) Bella Hadid

most well-paid models

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Sister to Gigi Hadid, Bella was among the eight young models to feature for Topshop’s Holiday campaign. During May 2016, she was announced the brand ambassador for Dior makeup. And along with that, she starred in a web series called Dior Makeup Live with Bella Hadid. She has walked for Sies Marjan, Anna Sue, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Alberta Ferretti, and others. 

Recently during February, she was announced as a new brand ambassador for Bulgari and a new face for TAG Heuer. This 23-year-old model is among the most well-paid models and has achieved a model of the year award five times by different awardees.

9) Lui Wen

most well-paid models

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Being China’s first Bona Fide supermodel and first East Asian to walk for Victoria’s Secret and also a First East Asian model who worked as a spokesmodel for Estee Lauder, Lui Wen has become the first-ever Asian model to make a space in the Forbes list of most well-paid models. 

Her advertisement campaigns include Calvin Klein, Roberto Cavalli, Hugo Boss, DKNY Jeans, Diesel, Gap, Dolce & Gabbana. Her editorials include Vogue Germany, Vogue China, Vogue Italia, British Vogue, Pop Magazine, GQ, Allure, Interview, and W. She is the highest-ranked Asian model and is tagged Supermodel since 2015.

In the Vogue China issue of 2014, she showcased an Apple Watch on the magazine cover and is said to be the first-ever person in the world to do that.

10) Adriana Lima

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A beautiful Brazilian model, Adrianna, has been famous for being the Victoria’s Secret Angel for the period of 1999 to 2018. She is the most valuable and longest-running Victoria’s Secret angel. No doubt that she is among the most well-paid models. Since the year of 2014, she’s the world’s second-highest-paid model.

For fashion week and project runway, she has walked for great designers like Joan Vass, Liverpool Fashion, Versace, Sean John, Marc Jacobs, Richard Tyler, Fendi, Emilio Pucci, and the list goes on and on.

Even the list of brands and covers she has worked for, highlight very famous brands like Armani and Cosmopolitan. She was also seen in a commercial of Palms Casino Resort along with Cardi B and Rita Ora.

11) Emily Ratajkowski

most well-paid models

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Debuting her cover appearance with ‘Treats!’, which is an erotic magazine, she then appeared in the 2013’s number one song Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. She also starred in sports illustrated swimsuit edition. Her runway debut was for Marc Jacobs in 2015 in the New York Fashion Week. She’s been a spokesperson for various brands like Paco Rabanne and DKNY.

Before modeling, she had started her acting career as a child artist in Nickelodeon’s iCarly series. And after that appeared for many roles. She is currently an advocate for women’s health issues, being a spokesperson for Planned parenthood. 

12) Ashley Graham

most well-paid models

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“These Bodies Are Beautiful for Every Size” was an issue of Glamour editorial on which she had appeared as a plus-size model in 2009. This plus-size model has made a place in the most well-paid models’ list after walking runways for designers like Gurung, H&M, Dolce Gabbana, Christian Siriano, and others. She even designed a lingerie line for Canadian plus-size retailer of clothes known as Addition Elle.

Swimsuitsforall featured her in a campaign advertisement of #CurvesInBikinis. This made her one of the first plus-size models to appear in the Swimsuit Issue and the first one to appear on its cover page in 2016.

She has also released a book in 2017 with the title, ‘A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power look like.’ She has always been a propagator of body positivity and has also given a TED talk on the topic of self-acceptance.

To listen to her empowering TED and thoughts when she was featured in Swimsuit, check these videos.

13) Doutzen Kroes

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A brand ambassador of L’Oréal Paris since 2006 and among the most well-paid models earning around $3 Million, Doutzen is dubbed as “Helen of Troy of advertising”. This dutch model is a mother to two children. Frisian language, being her mother tongue, she is the part of its official campaign. There even is her wax statue in Amsterdam’s Madame Tussauds museum. In 2016, she was announced the spokesmodel of Hunkemoller.

 As a philanthropist, she’s involved with an NGO Dance4Life. This organization has a unique way of educating about HIV and AIDS through music and dance.

14) Gisele Buendchen  

most well-paid models

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Not only a model, but Gisele Buendchen is also an environmental activist and author. She’s been among the most well-paid models since 2001. She has been Victoria’s Secret Angel from 2000 till mid-2007. She had signed Victoria Secret’s biggest contract to the date. A new type of model walk named “Horse Walk” was pioneered by her.

Her versatility has made her appear on over 1200 magazine covers and worked with lots of brands and designers. As an activist and social worker, she is the Goodwill Ambassador since 2009 for the UN’s Environment Program.  

15) Bar Refaeli

 Victoria's Secret Angel from 2000 until mid-2007

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According to Forbes Israel, in 2015, she was the most well-paid Model of Israel. Her estimated net worth is calculated to be USD 20 million. She had commenced modeling at the age of eight months with commercials. Lots of runways, brand campaigns, advertisements, representing designers, have made her the most internationally successful Model of Israel. 

She has hosted a lot of shows as co-host and primary host, including the main event of Eurovision Song Contest 2019. 

Know the net worth of the highest-paid models of 2020, here.

These models have become the most well-paid models not just by looks, but also by perseverance through lots of years. As it is said, it might be easy to achieve success, but to maintain and digest it is a tougher job.

After working hard for years and achieving success, they still strive their best to keep up their position along with other side ventures and social work. As the most well-paid models, they understand their social responsibility and are working towards it. 

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