There have been a lot of successful models since women and men walked the runways and represented the most prestigious of fashion houses. Then in the 80s, the term supermodel was coined when models like Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Tatjiana Patitz and Naomi Campbell took the world by storm. The individuals we have listed below are some of the world’s most recognizable and highest-earning models. They are in our top-6 list for the personal fortune they have amassed over the years.
6. Tyra Banks
She broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman of African American descent to grace the cover of GQ and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She was also a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 1997 to 2005.
Born December 4, 1973, this supermodel does not seem to have aged a day past 30. Supermodel, actress, television personality, producer, businesswoman, Banks started modelling at the age of 15. She got her start in acting on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and her film debut in Higher Learning in 1995. You will remember her in the box-office hit Coyote Ugly (2000).
On the runway, she has walked for Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Anna Sui, Christian Dior, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Perry Ellis, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Herve Leger, Valentino, Fendi, Issac Mizrahi, Giorgio Amani and many other luxury fashion brands. On the covers of glossy magazines, she has the face of the covers of Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Spanish Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen and Teen Vogue.
You would also have seen her in the very successful American’s Next Top Model and her own talk show The Tyra Banks Show.
She is estimated to have a personal fortune of some $90 million.
5. Christie Brinkley
The face of CoverGirl for over 25 years, Christie Brinkley has been a cover girl also for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit and US Vogue, Newsweek, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Glamour to name but a few. In fact, she has graced the cover of more than 500 magazines.
Some 30 after her cameo in National Lampoon’s Vacation which launched her career in modelling and acting, Christie Brinkley is still going strong.
While Brinkley has walked for some of the world’s most famous and iconic fashion brands, her career has been more of endorsement for various brands, and ad campaigns. However, in 2019, Christie Brinkley at age 65 returned to the runway with her daughter Sailor Brinkley Cook on Day 1 of New York Fashion Week.
On the acting front, she has appeared in NBC’s Mad About You, hosted Celebrity Weddings In Style and made her stage debut as Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago.
Brinkley’s wealth was not made from modelling and acting alone. She’s somewhat of a property tycoon in the Hamptons where her financial holdings are said to be valued at about $80 million.
Christie Brinkley, born February 2, 1954, is thought to be worth $100 million.
4. Cindy Crawford
Crawford was one of the original supermodels of the 80s and 90s which included Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Tatjiana Patitz and Naomi Campbell. She first modelled for a clothing store during her high school years and was persuaded to enter the Elite Model Management Look of the Year contest at 17. After high school, although she won a place to study engineering at the prestigious Northwestern University, she dropped out after one semester to pursue full-time modelling.
Like the other original supermodels of her time, she has represented numerous brands and walked the runways for all the big fashion houses and graced the covers of numerous fashion magazines. She was also prominent for her marriage to actor Richard Gere.
Today Crawford spends her time designing and promoting her furniture and home accessories business called cindycrawfordHome.
Born February 20, 1966, Cindy Crawford has built for herself a personal fortune of over $100 million.
3. Heidi Klum
Heidi Klum took part in a national modelling contest in her native Germany in 1992. Out of 25,000 contestants, she emerged the winner. After graduating from the equivalent of high school in Germany, she accepted a modelling contract offered to her earlier by Thomas Zeumer, the CEO of Metropolitan Models, New York.
She first became popular after appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Since then, Klum has been featured on the cover of French, German, Portuguese and Spanish Vogue, as well as Elle, InStyle, Marie Claire, Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar. She had a long working relationship with Victoria’s Secret, having been one of their most prominent angels for 13 years.
Heidi is also instantly recognizable to non-fashionistas for her role as host on Germany’s Next Top Model and Project Runway. Since leaving active modelling, she has become more a businesswoman. Being a spokeswoman, designing clothing lines, creating fragrances, television reality series, and appearing as a judge on American Idol, replacing Sharon Osborne, from seasons 8 through 13 are some of her business ventures.
She is reportedly worth some $120 million.
2. Gisele Bundchen
Popularly known as Queen of the catwalk, Gisele Bundchen made an emotional farewell to the catwalk at the 2105 Sao Paulo Fashion Week. In characteristic style, she stomped down the runway with her signature “horse-walk”, where she walked and kicked up her knees slightly to step down with a stomp.
Hers was one of a storied modelling career taking runways by storm from Sao Paulo to New York and from Paris to Hong Kong.
Gisele’s modelling figure was markedly different from the emaciated look of the other models who came before her. She adopted a healthy sun-kissed beach look.
Aside from being a glossy magazine cover girl (for over 1200 covers), representative of luxury and fashion houses, she also endorses numerous brands and designs apparels, like her famous Ipanema sandals. She is married to NFL quarterback Tom Brady.
In the 2006 The Devil Wears Prada, she had a supporting role. In 2016, she appeared in the Emmy award-winning documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously with Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the same year, she also appeared at the Macarena Stadium at the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics.
Born July 20, 1980, in Brazil, she is thought to command a personal fortune of $400 million.
1. Kathy Ireland
Like her other supermodel sisters, Kathy Ireland has done it all, from representing fashion houses and gracing the covers of the world’s most authoritative fashion magazines, to hosting reality TV programs and endorsements.
However, where this supermodel is different is that she has created a brand marketing company which licenses her name and image to thousands of brands worldwide. In 2019, Kathy Ireland Worldwide grossed sales of some $2.6 billion. And it is no wonder she’s at the top of the list with approximately $500 million to her name.
She was born on March 20, 1963.