When you really think about it, it’s a little unfair that models have somehow been blessed with the physical attributes and features that most women only dream about and have the privilege of getting paid for it – and in the case of these models, being paid top dollar. But being a successful model who aspires toward longevity takes hard work and severe dedication. So these top 10 highest paid models of 2013, according to Forbes magazine, have definitely worked their way to bringing in the big business.
No. 10: Lara Stone
Lara made us take note of her in 2010 when she signed an exclusive deal with Calvin Klein that put her in campaigns for Calvin Klein Jeans, ck Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein Collection; the first time in years that a model appeared in ads for several of the company’s brands simultaneously. Although she still models for the brand, her total earnings dropped this year due to the time off she took before the birth of her son. Her trademark is the gap between her two front teeth, which has become not a flaw but a unique and sexy asset.
No. 9: Candice Swanepoel
Our very own South African beach babe, Candice was discovered in a flea market at the age of 15. Our pouty export has become an integral part of the Victoria’s Secret Angels elite gang and she has also become an Internet sensation by being an Instagram-selfie addict. Candice’s contract with the brand is her biggest earner, but work from Versace, Juicy Couture and Max Factor has helped move her up to number nine on the top model list this year. You might have also seen her in the Woolworths ad campaigns, which were shot in Cape Town, for her own line of shorts. Candice is definitely one to watch and she certainly has made us proud!
No. 8: Joan Smalls
Joan is a newbie to the list of highest paid models this year. But the Puerto Rican stunner found fame in the industry long before. Joan’s career began in 2010 when she was selected to walk exclusively for Givenchy. Since then, she’s had the opportunity to pose for Chanel, Lacoste, and Calvin Klein Jeans and has also appeared on the cover of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and GQ. She has one of the most enviable and unique faces ever; strong and delicate at the same time, she is striking on every catwalk she walks and in every photo she shoots. Among the other Estee Lauder beauties, she’s the first Latina ambassador for the brand and is one of the most prominent faces in their campaigns.
No. 7: Carolyn Murphy
Carolyn’s characteristic American-girl features have enchanted the fashion industry since she first began modelling at 17 years old in Panama City. Carolyn has been an Estee Lauder regular since 2001 and she still appears in the brand’s advertisements today. She’s been quite fortunate in her career in having worked with some great and renowned talents in the fashion industry; from Steven Meisel and Mario Testino to Karl Lagerfeld and the late Helmut Newton. You might not know Carolyn’s name, but you definitely know that face when you see it.
No. 6: Hilary Rhoda
This 26-year-old is currently in her seventh year with cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, an endorsement that has only grown more valuable and profitable through her loyalty to the brand. But still working outside the cosmetics company, Rhoda has scooped up deals with Nike and Hugo Boss, and is still in high-demand for high-profile clients like Ralph Lauren and Victoria’s Secret.
No. 5: Liu Wen
Liu was China’s first major supermodel export who is becoming an even bigger name internationally as she helps to bring her country’s booming fashion scene to the rest of the world. This 25-year-old is definitely carving a name for herself and going beyond boundaries. She was the first Chinese model to ever model in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and has a bevy of modelling and endorsement deals with some of the biggest fashion and beauty brands in the business; H&M, Estee Lauder, Calvin Klein, and Hugo Boss, being some of them.
No. 4: Kate Moss
Kate Moss needs no introduction and has become a brand all on her own through the years. The expiry date for models can arrive rather quickly with the fashion world being quite moody and temperamental; but not if you’re Kate Moss. At 39 years old – yes, really – she is still bagging millions each year courtesy of a dream-come-true multi-year Vogue Eyewear contract, endorsements for cosmetics company Rimmel and contracts with Italian designers Versace and Liu-Jo. Next, Kate is all set to pose topless for Playboy magazine to celebrate their 60th anniversary, and her 40th birthday. She certainly does things all out.
No. 3: Adriana Lima
Adriana has been a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 2000, making her the longest-running Angel in the brand’s history. And that’s really no surprise. Her larger-than-life success as a model and Angel comes with a larger-than-life contract, with most of her income coming from the lingerie super-brand. She also manages to rake in endorsements for brands like Miu Miu, Donna Karan, Mavi Jeans and Metrocity. Adriana is a staunch Catholic and a mother to two daughters with Serbian basketball player Marko Jaric. She keeps wowing us every year as she steps onto the Victoria’s Secret ramp with her exotic looks and amazing body – this year having done it just a few months after she gave birth!
No. 2: Miranda Kerr
This Australian beauty has become one of the most valued and loved Victoria’s Secret Angels since she signed on in 2007. Miranda also owns a cosmetics line, Kora Organics, which she launched in 2009. She forms the other half of a power-couple as the wife of Orlando Bloom and manages to juggle it all as she continued to bring in the money with old endorsements as well as new ones – Mango, David Jones, Lipton, and Quantas. Miranda’s loved for her unique look and appeal that is girl-next-door meets sultry bombshell – the chubby cheeks, tousled hair and that smelting dimpled smile.
No. 1: Gisele Bundchen
Her endorsements might have wavered a bit this year, but the 32-year-old is still one of the most powerful, recognizable and sought-after supermodels in the world. She recently replaced Beyoncé as the face of H&M, reportedly beat out Rihanna for Chanel and took over David Yurman from Kate Moss; and this all in the same year she gave birth to her daughter Vivian, her second child with quarterback husband Tom Brady. Gisele is definitely a supermodel slash supermom who epitomizes the dream model career.