Iconic British model Kate Moss got her start in the industry after being scouted by Storm Model Management founder Sarah Doukas in JFK Airport. Kate’s attitude and demeanor led her to stardom and designers from Balenciaga to Versace and Givenchy couldn’t get enough of her. However, Moss has been at the center of many substance abuse scandals, and has even been accused of having eating disorders, which she has vehemently denied. The model turned entrepreneur has many business ventures, giving her a net worth of $70 million.
British born Rosie was bullied at school for having full lips and a double barreled name but the beautiful blonde got the last laugh when she was given a contract by modeling agency Profile. Rosie became an international model for Victoria’s Secret and Burberry before transitioning to acting in blockbuster movies.
German born Heidi Klum was discovered through a modeling contest. Heidi stood out and beat off the 25,000 other girls, competing for the modeling contract prize worth a whopping $300,000. Heidi then relocated to New York where she posed for Sports Illustrated, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. The Victoria’s Secret angel went onto become the host, judge and executive producer of the reality show Project Runway, winning numerous Emmy awards. Her $70 million business empire and marriage to now-estranged husband Seal made her one of the most successful models.
After numerous failed attempts at being signed to a modeling agency due to being “too ethnic”, Tyra was signed to model agency giants Elite Model Management in 1990 as a teenager. Tyra swiftly rose through the high fashion ranks to become one of the world’s top and most in-demand supermodels. Tyra began venturing into movies and took up cameos in films including Love & Basketball and Coyote Ugly. Banks later expanded her empire, branching out into reality TV and even had her own talk show.
Namibian model Behati Prinsloo got her big break after being discovered on vacation with her grandparents in Cape Town. She recalled, “We went to the grocery store after church and this guy came up to me and asked if I was a model and wrote his number on a piece of paper.” Since then, Behati has fronted the best fashion shows and campaigns worldwide. Prinsloo was later signed by Victoria’s Secret and her fame led her to meeting now-husband, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.
As a member of the Kardashian/Jenner family, Kendall Jenner knew fame from a young age. Kendall was signed by Wilhelmina Models in 2009 at age 14 after gaining contacts through her notorious family. Kendall went onto become a sought after name in high fashion, walking in Paris, Milan, London and New York fashion weeks for designers including Balmain, Givenchy, Chanel and Fendi. Jenner was dubbed “the Instagirl era” by Vogue magazine, using her name and status to elevate her position in modeling.
Canadian model Coco Rocha grew up as a dancer until 2002, at an Irish dance competition, agent Charles Stuart approached Rocha and asked if she would consider going into modeling. Rocha got her big break in 2006 when she opened the Christian Lacroix couture show in Paris and after that, her career boomed. Rocha appeared on many international Vogue covers and walked in the most famous fashions shows. Coco also turned to advocacy work and spoke out about eating disorders in the modeling industry.
Australian Elle MacPherson was scouted for modeling when she was on vacation in Aspen, but only started modeling to pay for her law school books. In 1982, Elle’s television commercial for Tab made her career boom. Elle moved to New York and became a covergirl for fashion magazines including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. Her most memorable covers were for Sport’s Illustrated in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1994 and 2006, earning her the nickname ‘the body’. Elle walked for every high fashion catwalk and later ventured into her own businesses.
After struggling in school while in her teens, Cara decided to drop out at 16 and follow her sister Poppy’s footsteps into modeling. Cara’s first time in front of the camera came at age 10 when she modeled for Vogue Italia, so she was already a natural. Cara was quickly snapped up by Storm Model Management and began modeling for the very best of high fashion catwalks. Cara’s talent and charisma led her into movies where she took up roles in Paper Towns, Suicide Squad and Pan.
Brazilian bombshell Adriana Lima is one of the most world’s most gorgeous models but at age 13, she was just a regular girl shopping in her native country of Brazil when scouts approached her. Two years later, Lima won Brazil’s Ford supermodel search of the world. She began modeling for the likes of Fendi, Vera Wang, Gucci, Balmain and Louis Vuitton, but her position as Victoria’s Secret angel propelled her celebrity to new heights. Lima now earns an average of $10 million a year.
Claudia Schiffer initially had aspirations to work at her father’s law firm but at age 17, she was scouted by head of Metropolitan Model Agency, Michel Levaton outside a Dusseldorf nightclub. Schiffer quickly became one of the worlds most successful models, appearing on over 1,000 magazine covers, more than any other person. Schiffer has many lucrative endorsement deals and even had cameos in several hit movies. Using her own experiences in fashion, Claudia started a fashion line and her net worth is estimated to be $55 million.
British born Ratajkowski got her big break in Robin Thicke’s controversial music video for “Blurred Lines” and the attention from the video helped Emily’s career take off. Emily appeared in Sport’s Illustrated‘s swimsuit issues in 2014 and 2015 and then made her catwalk debut for Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week in 2015. The brunette has also walked for Miu Miu and Bottega Veneta at Milan Fashion week. Emily also tried her hand at acting, appearing in We Are Your Friends and the Entourage movie.
British Dunn was discovered in a London low cost clothing store Primark in 2006. The very next year, Dunn was walking on international runways with everyone in awe of the fresh faced young model. Dunn went on to star in ad campaigns by Gucci, Burberry, Balmain, Calvin Klein and Saint Laurent, among others. The award-winning model has made waves in the fashion world, being the first black model to grace British Vogue‘s cover in 12 years and even walking the Jean Paul Gaultier catwalk with a baby bump.
South African supermodel Candice Swanepoel can only be described as a blonde bombshell. Candice was randomly discovered by a model scout at a flee market with her mother, and was described as “a beautiful flamingo.” Swanepoel went on to grace the runways of Fendi, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta and Givenchy while appearing on nine international Vogue covers. Candice is arguably best known for being one of the most highly regarded Victoria’s Secret angels which earns her a top place on most beautiful women’s lists.
After inheriting her beautiful looks from her model mother, Yolanda, Gigi Hadid was scouted from a young age after being exposed to the industry. She first appeared in a Guess advertisement when she was two-years-old and went on to walk in all the prestigious fashion weeks for designers including Balmain, Versace, Givenchy, Chanel and Victoria’s Secret. Through her social media outreach, Gigi has become a superstar and has quite the impressive dating history, having relationships with the likes of Joe Jonas, Cody Simpson and Zayn Malik.
Canadian model Linda Evangelista is among the most accomplished and influential supermodels models in history. Evangelista was scouted by Elite Model Management at the Miss Teen Niagara beauty pageant. After being asked to pose nude for a shoot in Japan, Linda refused and flew home, almost giving up modeling for good. The model was talked back in to it years later and went on to cover 700 magazine covers and walk for every high fashion designer, even becoming Karl Lagerfeld’s muse.
Brazilian beauty Alessandra Ambrosio is one of the Victoria Secret knockout models. Ambrosio won an Elite models competition at the age of 14, propelling her to stardom. Alessandra went on to become the face for many notable brands and walking on all the top catwalks. After working with the best designers in the world, Alessandra branched out to create her own line of swimwear which sold out immediately. This together with numerous lucrative endorsement contracts and TV appearances, has led her to become one of the highest paid models.
Outspoken Janice Dickinson has described herself as the first supermodel. After winning “Miss High Fashion Model”, Janice moved to New York to pursue modeling but was rejected by many agencies. It wasn’t until fashion photographer Jacques Silberstein noticed her that she found fame. By the 1980’s, Janice went on to work with Versace, Valentino and Oscar de la Renta and appearing on magazines including Vogue. Dickinson later became a TV personality known for her outspoken comments and fiery personality.
Missy Rayder’s striking feline features led her to being scouted in New York. She began modeling in the mid 1990’s for high-profile designers including Balenciaga, Burberry, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Missoni. Through Rayder’s dedication to modeling, she has often bowed to top designer’s crazy requests including to shave her eyebrows. Her commitment to modeling landed her six Vogue Italia covers between 2002 until 2007. Missy has often collaborated with older sister and fellow model Frankie to front ad campaigns.
The older sister of Cara Delevingne, Poppy was spotted by Storm Model Management founder Sarah Doukas in 2008 and quickly took the eye of respected designers. Poppy has since become a Chanel brand ambassador, the muse of Matthew Williamson and the face of the Louis Vuitton summer 2012 collection. Poppy’s friend group includes the likes of Sienna Miller and Alexa Chung. Just like Cara, Poppy branched out into films and has taken up roles in big budget Hollywood movies.
Brunette stunner Lily Aldridge knew the modeling industry from her childhood as her mother was a Playboy playmate. At 16, she was scouted at a school carnival and began modeling for Abercrombie and Fitch. The following year, her career took off when she appeared on the cover of Spanish Vogue, leading all the top designers vying to work with her. Lily’s work with Sports Illustrated and as a Victoria’s Secret angels has massively impacted her net worth. She is married to Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill.
After having her Olympic equestrian dreams dashed due to her lyme disease, Bella Hadid followed her mother and sister’s footsteps by turning to modeling. Hadid made her New York Fashion Week debut in 2014 and has risen to the top ever since. Bella has walked for designers including Chanel, Givenchy, Dior, Versace and the infamous Victoria’s Secret Show, as well as fronting global advertising campaigns. Bella is often seen in the ‘it girl’ model crew and has dated singer The Weeknd.
Danish supermodel Helena Christensen grew up as a beauty queen which is where she was scouted to model. Christensen has fronted fashion campaigns for the likes of Chanel, Versace, Lanvin, Prada, Hermes, Valentino and Karl Lagerfeld. Helena was cited as part of “The Magnificent Seven” together with Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson and Claudia Schiffer. Helena is among the iconic supermodels and role models through her philanthropic work and widely recognized name.
Kate Upton grew up competing in equestrian shows, but it took the model by surprise when she was scouted at a horse show, aged 12. Upton got her big break in Sports Illustrated‘s swimsuit issue, but it wasn’t until a video of Kate, dancing in a bikini, was posted online by controversial photographer Terry Richardson that she was propelled to stardom. Kate went on to appear in editorials for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ and Esquire as well as appearing in advertisement campaigns for Victoria’s Secret and Sam Edelman.
Italian-French model Carla Bruni was signed with City Models in 1987 when she was only 19. She was discovered after president and creative director of Guess? Inc., Paul Marciano, stumbled across her aspiring model polaroid and chose her for their new campaign. From this, Bruni worked with designers including Christian Dior, Givenchy, Saint-Laurent, Chanel and Versace, making her one of the highest paid fashion models by the 1990s. Carla’s beauty attracted the attention of French President Nicolas Sarkosy and they have been married since 2008.
Brazilian bombshell Gisele is no doubt one of the iconic supermodels. Gisele was discovered in a Sao Paolo shopping mall when she was 14 years old. Gisele got her big break in 1996 at New York Fashion Week, going on to appear in campaigns for Missoni, Chloé, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Gianfranco Ferré, Ralph Lauren, and Versace. The model became the superstar that she is from her contract with Victoria’s Secret. The model is married to NFL quarterback stud Tom Brady.
Child star and model Brooke Shields began her career at just 11 months old and quickly became the most successful child model under agent Eileen Ford. By 1980, Brooke had appeared on the cover of Vogue at age 14, the youngest model to ever do so, leading her to front controversial Calvin Klein ads. Brooke went back into TV and movies, starring in NBC’s award-winning series Suddenly Susan and then took to Broadway, performing in several theatre productions.
Busty brunette Ashley Graham is amongst the most successful plus-size models, taking the modeling industry by storm. Graham was discovered while shopping at Oak View Mall in Omaha, Nebraska and began rising to the top. Graham was one of the first plus-size models to appear on the pages of Sport’s Illustrated. The model has graced the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. Ashley is striving to fight back against those putting down plus-size women on the catwalks.
Arguably the most famous supermodel of all time, Cindy Crawford got her start when a local newspaper photographer spotted her and encouraged her to model. Crawford went on to walk the catwalks of every famous designer from Chanel, Versace and Dolce and Gabbana to Valentino, Dior, Hermes, Balmain and Oscar de la Renta. Crawford was named the highest paid model on the planet by Forbes and she has also majorly influenced the fashion industry. Her children have followed their mother and become models.
Dutch beauty Doutzen Kroes had dreams of being a speed skater but everything changed when she sent polaroids to a modeling agency in the Netherlands. Kroes had never heard of Victoria’s Secret when the brand asked her to try out to be an angel. This event propelled Kroes to the top of the industry and she began walking the catwalks in fashion week and fronting ad campaigns worldwide. Kroes is estimated to earn $8 million a year and has a wax model in the Amsterdam Madame Tussauds museum.
Karlie Kloss was a poised ballet dancer from a young age and her ability to move helped her with modeling. When Karlie was asked to model in St. Louis charity fashion show in 2005, she obliged but that very show happened to be attended by Jeff and Mary Clarke, of Mother Model Management. Kloss was signed at 13-years-old and went on to become a catwalk staple for high fashion designers. The Victoria’s Secret angel has graced every famous cover and been dedicated to charity work throughout her career.
Miranda Kerr was discovered at the young age of 13 when her friends entered her into the Dolly/Impulse Cover Girl competition. Miranda went on to become a Victoria’s Secret angel and won many lucrative endorsement deals, boosting her profile. Miranda has posed in campaigns for the very best of fashion and eventually branched out into writing books and designing, making her one of the highest paid models. The Australian beauty is divorced from actor Orlando Bloom and now married to Snapchat creator Evan Spiegel.
Daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin, Hailey was just 16 when she was spotted by a modeling agency. Baldwin made her catwalk debut for Topshop in 2014 and the following year, she found herself gracing the pages of Vogue. Hailey began scoring deals with Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Philipp Plein which led her to big catwalks, walking with the likes of Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio and Jourdan Dunn. Hailey’s group of friends includes fellow models Kendall Jenner and Gigi and Bella Hadid.
Latina beauty Joan Smalls pursued modeling in her native Puerto Rico but she wasn’t truly discovered until she moved to New York in search of a contract. Joan was signed with IMG Models worldwide when Riccardo Tisci noticed her and put her in the Givenchy runway show. Small’s career took off thereafter and she then walked for every high fashion designer. Smalls has worked with the best of the fashion industry and landed the cover of every magazine, putting her on Forbes’ “World’s Highest-Paid Models” list.
British model Naomi Campbell was one of the most in demand supermodels of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Campbell got her start when she was scouted by talent agent while shopping in London’s Covent Garden. Campbell later saw international success with every designer desperate to work with her, appearing on the cover of American Vogue twice. Despite her global success, Campbell has had her fair share of scandals with an assault charge and alleged involvement with a blood diamond scandal.