Gone are the days when models were seen as nothing more than pretty clothes horses. In 2019, models are breaking out into the world of business, making fortunes from sandals, candles, skincare and maternity wear. Even those that choose to focus solely on smiling for the camera are still earning healthy fortunes, with multimillion contracts on the table for anyone with a photogenic smile and a zero percent body fat. Here, we take a look at 20 of the richest models of all time.
20. Linda Evangelista Net Worth: $25 million
At the height of her career in the 1990s, Canadian supermodel Linda Evangelista uttered the unforgettable line “We don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day”. While it may seem boastful, it’s probably not far from the truth: as the longtime muse of photographer Steven Meisel, Evangelista holds the record for the number of appearances on the cover of "Vogue Italia", and has worked extensively with everyone from L’Oréal to Prada. At the age of 54, she still makes enough guest appearances on the world’s most prestigious runaways to keep her net worth at a very respectable $25 million.
19. Doutzen Kroes Net Worth: $32 million
Dutch supermodel Doutzen Kroes makes it to our list with a net worth of $32 million. After leaving The Netherlands for New York, Kroes quickly found work with Victoria’s Secret, earning her first set of wings in 2008. Since then, she’s graced the cover of numerous publications, including Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, and W, and starred in campaigns for the likes of Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, Escada, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Versace, and Neiman Marcus. In 2018, her wealth rocketed after she renewed her contract as the face of the French cosmetics company, L’Oréal, leading to her relatively new ranking amongst the world’s richest models.
18. Christy Turlington Net Worth: $30 million
50-year-old Turlington may not look a day over 25, but her youthful looks belie a career that began all the way back in the early 1980s. As well as making appearances in several music videos of the era (including Duran Duran's 1986 hit "Notorious" and George Michael's 1990 hit "Freedom") Turlington has featured on over 500 magazine covers and several photo books. In recent years, she’s scaled her modeling work back to concentrate on her work as an Advocate for Maternal Health for the international humanitarian organization CARE. Despite the drop off in paying gigs, she’s still worth a very handsome $30 million.
17. Mila Jovovich Net Worth: $40 million
These days, Mila Jovovich is best known as the actress of such films as the "Resident Evil" franchise, "A Perfect Getaway", and "The Fifth Element”. Given the success she’s enjoyed in the latter half of her career, it’s easy to forget that Jovovich actually began her career at the age of 10 as a model, featuring in over 100 magazines (including Seventeen, Glamour, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan) and appearing in advertising campaigns for big-name brands like The Gap, Calvin Klein, Revlon, and Christian Dior. The sum total of her dual career is a net worth of $40 million.
16. Kendall Jenner Net Worth: $40 million
She may be the youngest entry to our list, but 24-year-old Kendall Jenner is making enough money to compete with some of the most well-known veterans of the industry. As one of the new generation of “social media models”, Jenner has made herself a very attractive prospect to some of the most established brands in the world, all no doubt hoping her youthful appeal will increase their hold in the 18-35 demographic. While her modeling career doesn’t quite match up to her youngest sister Kylie’s multibillion-dollar cosmetic empire (which, according to Celebrity Net Worth, it’s still netted a considerable $40 million.)
15. Claudia Schiffer Net Worth: $60 million
After coming to prominence as a cover girl for the likes of Elle magazine, Claudia Schiffer’s career skyrocketed after she became the face of Chanel. Modeling contracts with Guess? Jean, Pepsi, Citroen, and Fanta quickly followed, as did guest appearances on TV shows such as Arrested Development. Today, the German model is worth a mammoth $60 million.
14. Alessandra Ambrosio Net Worth: $60 million
Alessandra Ambrosio can thank her household name status on her long partnership with Victoria’s Secret. After making her breakthrough in the modeling world with the lingerie brand, she’s appeared as an angel in almost every annual Victoria’s Angels fashion event. The end result of the collaboration? A very angelic net worth of $60 million.
13. Naomi Campbell Net Worth: $60 million
She may be known for her fiery temper, but Naomi Campbell will forever be remembered as one of the world's top three models of the late 1980s, and as one of the 6 “original” supermodels of the 1990s. Thanks to featuring on over 500 magazine covers, mentoring on TV series such as The Face US, The Face UK, and The Face Australia, acting in shows such as Empire and American Horror Story: Hotel, and writing books like Swan (1994), Top Model (1994), Naomi (1996), and Naomi Campbell (2016), Campbell now ranks as one of the world’s richest ever models with a net worth of $60 million.
12. Adriana Lima Net Worth: $65 million
Each year, Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima nets a very healthy $11 million, which, thanks to her 19-year long career, has given her an even healthier net worth of $65 million. Lima’s first success as a model came at the age of 15 when she won Ford's "Supermodel of Brazil" competition. After claiming second place the following year in the Ford "Supermodel of the World” contest, she was signed to Elite Model Management in New York City. Since then, her career has gone from strength to strength, seeing her work on campaigns for the likes of Vera Wang, Giorgio Armani, Guess, Massimo, BCBG, and Versace. She’s also enjoyed a high-profile working relationship with Victoria's Secret, having made her first appearance as an angel in 2000.
11. Kate Moss Net Worth: $80 million
Kate Moss came to prominence during the era of the “original” supermodel; despite being several inches shorter and significantly thinner than the popular ideal of the time, she quickly made a name for herself as the face of “heroine chic”. Since then, she’s become one of the most iconic supermodels of all time, and one of the richest. Even when she was being raked over the coals by the press in the early noughties (a situation inspired by a less than ideal relationship and an even less savory drug habit) she was still earning up to $9 million a year.
10. Christie Brinkley Net Worth: $80 million
Since signing to Elite Model Management agency in the early 1970s, Christie Brinkley has enjoyed a long, varied career that’s taken her from the face of Cover Girl to a savvy real estate investor. At the age of 60, Brinkley is still very much in demand as a model, and, as her recent appearance on Dancing with the Stars attests, as an all-round entertainer.
9. Tyra Banks Net Worth: $90 million
Actress, model, TV host, singer, businesswoman… Tyra Banks’ extensive resume is equaled in size only by her giant net worth of $90 million. After beginning her model career while still a high school student, she quickly found work with some of the world’s most notable brands and publications, becoming the first African-American model to appear on the covers of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue and GQ Magazine. She’s since enjoyed success as the creator and host of America's Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show, as well as a judge on TV shows such as Mexico's Next Top Model, Vietnam's Next Top Model, Top Model po-russki, Asia's Next Top Model, Korea's Next Top Model, Australia's Next Top Model, and The New Celebrity Apprentice.
8. Elle Macpherson Net Worth: $95 million
In the 1980s, an elite group of women became the first to earn the tag “supermodel”. Of these, Australian Elle Macpherson has proved one of the most enduringly successful. After spending the 1990s gracing the covers of magazines such as Cosmopolitan, GQ, Harper's Bazaar, Sports Illustrated, and Elle (the latter of which she appeared in every issue for a record 6 years), MacPherson made the move into business in the noughties. Since then, she’s enjoyed huge success with her line of lingerie, fitness wear and videos, and maternity clothing.
7. Iman Net Worth: $100 million
The widow of rock god David Bowie is considered by many to be the first black supermodel, and certainly one of the most successful models of all time. Iman came to prominence in the mid-1980s and enjoyed a stellar career as both a magazine cover girl and fashion house queen.
6. Cindy Crawford Net Worth: $100 million
What do you get if you combine extreme beauty, a world-famous mole, and a razor-sharp business mind? If you guessed correctly, it’ll be no surprise to learn which legendary supermodel comes next. As one of the original late 1980s/ early 1990s supermodels, Crawford has graced the cover of almost every fashion magazine worth it's salt, as well as walking the catwalk at every major fashion event in the world. Since moving into business, she’s launched the hugely successful “Meaningful Beauty" cosmetics company, along with a line of home furnishings for J.C. Penny called "Cindy Crawford Home Collection". The sum total of her achievements? A whopping net worth of $100 million.
5.Heidi Klum Net Worth: $120 million
The German-American model Heidi Klum entered her first modelling contest at the age of 19. Since then, she’s become one of the most recognizable names (and faces) in the world, thanks to a combination of a highly public marriage (and divorce) to musician Seal, a long, illustrious career as a Victoria’s Secret angel, and as the host, judge, and executive producer of the wildly successful reality TV competition "Project Runway”. After 27 years in the business, Klum now ranks as one of the richest models in the world with a $120 million net worth.
4. Juanita Jordan Net Worth: $170 million
At the time of meeting basketball legend Michael Jordan in 1984, Juanita Jordan had been earning a steady income as a model for some years. If the marriage helped her fortune grow, the divorce made it skyrocket: when the couple parted amicably in 2006, she was given the family’s compound (worth an estimated $168 million according to Zimbio as part of the settlement. Today, she’s worth a giant $170 million.
3. Gisele Bundchen Net Worth: $400 million
With a net worth of $400 million, Brazilian supermodel and entrepreneurial force Gisele Bundchen ranks as the 3rd richest model in the world. After getting her first taste of modeling success in her native homeland, Bundchen made the move to New York. Since she made her debut at the 1996 Fashion Week at just sixteen years old, Bundchen has worked with everyone from Versace, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, and Dolce & Gabbana, to Michael Kors, Christian Dior and Victoria's Secret. In addition to the money she’s made as a model, the Brazilian beauty has also netted a pretty fortune as the owner of Brazilian hotel Palladium Executive and the creator of the hugely successful Ipanema line of designer sandals.
2. Kathy Ireland Net Worth: $500 million
American model Kathy Ireland is living proof that models aren’t just pretty faces. In 1993, the model turned entrepreneur decided to capitalize on her fame by launching her own line of socks in partnership with the retailer Kmart. From there, she founded her own marketing firm "Kathy Ireland Worldwide". Since the company moved from marketing other brand’s products to creating its own, it’s grown exponentially, and now sells its line of indoor/outdoor accessories, rugs, baby furniture, bedding, wedding gowns, candles, ceiling fans, fabrics, fine crystal, mattresses, and more besides to 60,000 worldwide locations in 15 countries. For the company, that translates to $1.5 billion in sales. For founding CEO Kathy, it means a net worth of $500 million and the status of 2nd richest model of all time.
1. Slavica Ecclestone Net Worth: $1.2 Billion
Former Croatian model Slavica Ecclestone started her professional career as a model when she was a teenager. After appearing in various fashion shows and editorials, she was hired to model in a Formula One promotional event produced by Armani. It was there she met her future (now ex) husband, Bernie Ecclestone. When the couple divorced in 2009, she received $1.2 billion in settlement, making the divorce the 2nd most expensive in history, and Ecclestone the richest model of all time.
You can also read:
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee