Who Are the 6 Most Successful Female Supermodels?
Supermodels aren’t just found on the runways and covers of magazines—more and more often they appear on TV, in movies, in music videos, and at football games. These six supermodels come from all over the world, and for the most part, are retired from their modeling careers.
While modeling work might only last 10–15 years, these women have created sustainable businesses to prolong their earnings power. And it's that business savvy that makes these women the six most successful female supermodels in the world today.
6) Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks was one of the first African-American supermodels. Since posing for the covers of GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, Banks has also walked hundreds of runways, been in Victoria’s Secret fashion show, and appeared in movies and on TV.
Non-fashionistas will recognize Banks either from her wildly successful TV show "America’s Next Top Model," which has aired 24 seasons or from her popular talk show "The Tyra Banks Show." Banks doesn’t spend all her time earning money; she also founded the charity called Tyra Banks TZONE, which is aimed at helping teenage and preadolescent girls with their self-esteem and body image. Tyra Banks has an estimated net worth of nearly $90 million.
5) Christie Brinkley
Almost 30 years after that famous cameo in "National Lampoon’s Vacation," Christie Brinkley is still going strong. Brinkley's big break came in 1976 when she began her decades-long spokesperson contract with CoverGirl. She was on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition for three consecutive issues.
Brinkley has supplemented her income with numerous acting roles, books, and a skin-care line. However, the majority of her net worth is from real estate investing, including in The Hamptons. Brinkley's real estate holdings are estimated to be $60 million while her overall net worth is estimated to be $100 million.
4) Cindy Crawford
Cindy Crawford, the engineering student, turned model, has been active in the industry since her teen years. Cindy gained popularity with her Pepsi and Clairol campaigns.
After appearing on countless magazine covers, exercise videos, and runways, Cindy now spends her time designing and promoting her furniture and home accessories business. In 2015, Cindy wrote a book about her story called Becoming, which was published by Rizzoli International Publications. Cindy Crawford's net worth is estimated to be more than $100 million.
3) Heidi Klum
Heidi Klum won a modeling contest in her native Germany in the early 1990s. Following her win and subsequent modeling contract, she appeared on multiple magazine covers including the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, a publication of Time (TIME). She also has runway experience as one of Victoria’s Secret's most famous Angels.
Klum graduated from runways and cover shoots to work as a spokesperson, actress, and designer. Young people today likely recognize her from her stints as a host on "Germany’s Next Top Model" and "Project Runway" as well as her role as a judge on "America’s Got Talent." Heidi Klum has an estimated net worth of $120 million.
2) Gisele Bündchen
Gisele Bündchen is arguably the most famous supermodel of our time. Originally from Brazil, Bündchen allegedly created the “horse walk” runway step, which is walking while raising your knees and kicking out. For nearly a decade in the 2000s, Bündchen was the highest-paid model in the world.
Aside from magazines and runway shows, Bündchen–who's married to NFL quarterback Tom Brady–also earns money as a spokesperson. Gisele gives back by being in involved in numerous charities in Brazil and the United States. Gisele Bündchen's net worth is estimated to be nearly $400 million.
1) Kathy Ireland
Kathy Ireland is the richest supermodels in the world by far. After a successful modeling career and three famous Sports Illustrated Swimsuits Edition covers, Ireland turned to public speaking, exercise videos, acting, reality TV, and endorsements.
Ireland amassed her fortune by lending her name to thousands of products created by Kathy Ireland Worldwide (kiWW), a multinational company with $2 billion in sales. Ireland's company has products in every industry, including media, furniture, toys, jewelry, and books. Kathy Ireland has an estimated net worth of nearly $500 million, which makes her the most successful female model in the world today.