Forbes Top Earning Supermodels 2012
Gisele Bündchen Still Is The Catwalk Queen
Forbes magazine just released its highly anticipated list of the world’s Top Earning Models of 2012. An ultra exclusive elite group, that is shining brighter than ever due to the rarity of an incredibly small group that would hardly lose its luster. But how rare is a supermodel? According Ed Razek, chief marketing officer of Limited Brands, “discovering a true supermodel, with all of the requisite gifts, is a daunting task. In the entire history of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, 140 separate women have walked that runway. There are seven billion people on the planet. That makes each of them not one in a million, not one in five million, not one in ten million. That literally makes them one in 50 million humans”. Finding a model is a hard work itself not only because of the physical requirements of the industry but the attitude and charismatic factors that are not so obvious at first sight and no scale could determine, so finding a supermodel is an impossible task that only few people could possibly do.
And 140 women are all that have participated in the show over the last 15 years. The elite list of models Forbes has compiled is even more rarefied company — and they’re paid handsomely for their talents. Over the last 12 months, the combined earnings of the top ten highest-paid models, from Gisele Bündchen to Candice Swanepoel, totals just under $100 million. But half of those earnings belong to Brazilian Bombshell who has earned a stunning sum US $45 millions last year, US$35.8 Millions more than runner up Kate Moss, who earned US$ 9.2 Mills, but is not even a fourth of Bündchen’s earnings.
These lists practically remain the same year after years, with some going up and some going down, but the real shocker this year is Heidi Klum who is nowhere to be seen in this list. If you look at Last Year’s list, German supermodel Heidi Klum ranked number two overall, after Bündchen, and her $20 million in earnings this year would have placed her comfortably into the same spot this time. However, Forbes determined that, like Tyra Banks before her, Klum has graduated from model to mogul. Since ending her 13-year run as a Victoria’s Secret Angel in 2010, Klum has become more of a businesswoman and multi-media personality. Klum still endorses products, like Coca-Cola in Germany, but a large portion of her earnings comes from hosting popular television shows like Project Runway and Germany’s Next Top Model. She’s also partnered with companies to start her own business ventures. Klum has worked with New Balance and Amazon to create her own clothing brand and launched a jewelry line on QVC in September 2011. She even has her own micro-site within AOL for advice on everything from fashion to parenting.
Looking ahead, it’s tough to see anyone who might be able to dethrone Bündchen in the near future, given her sizable earnings lead. But there are young models coming up who may eventually challenge for the top spots. Candice Swanepoel, while only ranked 10th, is the youngest supermodel on the list. The 23-year-old South African has become a staple in Victoria’s Secret advertising. Same with Erin Heatherton, another 23-year-old who just missed the list.
Or perhaps it will be someone like Kate Upton, the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model. Until now, Upton has found more mainstream fame, especially online, than traditional modeling opportunities. But the 20-year-old has plenty of time to capitalize in that direction. That would be an interesting an Odd twist, I do not see Upton topping this list, but if Kim Kardashian was on the top 10 of the most powerful celebrities of this year, anything can happen.
Gisele Bündchen For Versace Spring 2012
1. Gisele Bundchen - $45 Million
Just like last year, the Brazilian bombshell Bündchen leads the pack with a stunning $45 million in earnings (all estimates from May 1st, 2011 to May 1st, 2012). Even in her early thirties, Bündchen remains an unparalleled force within the fashion world. As the world’s most powerful supermodel, she racks up modeling gigs, spokesperson deals, and independent licensing ventures at every turn. The veritable endorsement queen shills for brands such as Pantene, Esprit, and Versace, and makes a percentage of profits on Ipanema flip-flops and other products bearing her name. While in the United States many know her as the wife of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Bündchen’s effect as a spokesperson, especially in her native Brazil, can make a huge difference. Bündchen’s success combining business with modeling is influencing young, ascendant models. “The ones that are coming up, their model for excellence is Gisele. They’re looking at her and saying ‘that’s what I want to shoot for,’” Razek said.
2. Kate Moss - $9.2 Million
The super mogul’s fashion icon status makes her a double threat, as everybody wants a piece of her, landing multimillionaire modeling campaigns and designing gigs. Onetime bad girl, supermodel Kate Moss doesn’t let marriage slow her down. She married longtime boyfriend Jaime Hince in July 2011, but kept up her high-flying modeling ways. Moss remains one of fashion’s biggest icons, with big endorsement deals with Longchamp, Mango, Rimmel, and Vogue Eyewear. She also has a lucrative design deal with TopShop going back to 2007.
3. Natalia Vodianova - $8.6 Million
Last year’s number 7 climbs to the top of the list thanks to Fragrance campaigns with Guerlain and Calvin Klein Euphoria. She also designs lingerie collections for Etam and shoes for Centro. The 30-year-old Vodianova was born in Nizhny Novgorod in the Soviet Union. She is an ambassador of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games and founded the Naked Heart Foundation, which builds playgrounds in downtrodden urban areas in Russia. Vodianova, who lives in the UK, has three children with husband Justin Portman, but they are currently separated.
4. Adriana Lima - $7.3 Million
Heidi Klum gets out, Natalia Vodianova climbs up but Adriana Lima remains as No. 4. Adriana Lima made a big splash in early 2012 when she appeared in two Super Bowl commercials, one for Kia and another, more seductive spot for Teleflora. Lima is primarily known as a Victoria’s Secret Angel, which she became in 2000. That deal still makes up most of her earnings, although she also models for, among others, Donna Karan and Mavi Jeans. The devout Catholic announced in March 2012 that she is expecting her second child with her husband, Serbian basketball player Marko Jaric.
5. Doutzen Kroes – $6.9 Million
27-year-old Doutzen Kroes is a powerhouse in the modeling world based largely on her work as one of the Victoria’s Secret Angels. She also works for L’Oreal and Tiffany & Co. Born in the Netherlands, Kroes now has a wax statue in Madame Tussauds Amersterdam. Her passion as a kid was speed skating. Kroes gave birth to her first child in January 2011
6. Alessandra Ambrosio - $6.6 Million
Making $1.1 million more than last year, ending up at No. 6, supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio has become a familiar star as a Victoria’s Secret Angel since she emerged into the modeling world as part of the late 1990s Brazilian invasion. She was the first spokesmodel for the company’s Pink line. Ambrosio also models for leading Brazilian fashion brand Colcci, with Ashton Kutcher, and Brazilian jewelry company Vivari. The 31-year-old gave birth to her second child in May 2012.
7. Miranda Kerr – $4 Million
Mother of Hollywood Super Star’s Kid Orlando Bloom, another tabloid favorite, Australian model Miranda Kerr won the Dolly Magazine modeling competition before she left high school in 1997, but returned to finish her studies. She burst onto the top levels of the modeling scene in 2008 with Victoria’s Secret, where she’s still one of the company’s vaunted Angels. Unhappy with existing organic skin care lines, Kerr launched her own brand of products, Kora Organics, in 2009. Many cite her prominent dimples as one reason for her success.
8. Lara Stone - $3.8 Million
The curvilicious High Fashion “It Girl” and Francisco Costa’s obsession, Lara Stone is the second Dutch supermodel among the top ten highest-paid. She was discovered in the Paris Metro at age 12 and competed in the Elite Model Look competition when she was just 15. Her gap-toothed smile and stunning curves have set her apart from other models. Stone has contracts with Versace, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Prada, and Mercedes Benz.
9. Carolyn Murphy - $3.5 Million
Former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover girl Carolyn Murphy has been the face of Estee Lauder since 2001. She also has contracts with Ann Taylor Loft and Tom Ford, among others. Born in Panama City, Florida, Murphy was discovered at the age of 15.
10. Candice Swanepoel – $3.1 Million
South African model Candice Swanepoel, 23, is the youngest model on Forbes’ top ten highest-earning list. She was first spotted in, of all places, a flea market. Swanepoel has since become one of the highest paid models in the world, mainly based on her work with Victoria’s Secret. She’s one of the most active of the company’s young angels.
Read The 2011 List