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Forbes World’s Top-Earning Models

November 20, 2011
The economic recovery has been good for the world’s top-earning models. With consumers again cautiously spending on luxury goods, the 10 top-earning female models on the planet made a combined $112 million in the 12 months to May–up 30% from a total of $86.5 million over the previous year.

Most of this gain was enjoyed by the top three: Gisele Bündchen, Heidi Klum and Kate Moss. The trio have transformed themselves from supermodels to business moguls, stepping off the runway and into the role of designers, entrepreneurs and pop icons.

Find out which beauties have taken home the biggest pay-packet this year, courtesy of Forbes World’s Top-Earning Models list.

1: Gisele Bündchen made $45 million

Gisele Bündchen was the face of H&M, Dior and Versace in the past year. Her stint as the face of Pantene was credited with raising sales in Brazil by 40%, plus a endorsement deal with Ipanema flip-flops which carry Gisele’s name reaped significant rewards. Bündchen had the added bonus of being paid in euros and Brazilian reals, resulting in an increase in earnings as both currencies appreciated against the dollar by double-digit percentages over the last year.

2: Heidi Klum she made $20 million

Heidi Klum ended her 13-year Victoria’s Secret career last autumn, but her earnings climbed to $20 million with TV projects, fashion lines and big brand endorsements. A design deal with New Balance, TV work including Project Runway, upcoming 20-episode show called ‘Seriously Funny Kids’, and Germany’s Next Top Model helped top-up her funds.

3: Kate Moss she made $13.5 million

TopShop design deal, campaigns for Dior cosmetics, Vogue Eyewear and Cidade Jardim. Other endorsements include Longchamp, David Yurman, Rimmel and YSL.

4: Adriana Lima she made $8 million

Victoria’s Secret catalogues and catwalks, Loewe campaign, and ads for Brazilian fashion brand Forum.

5: Alessandra Ambrosio she made $5 million

Another Brazilian Victoria’s Secret Angel. Campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, Brazilian sportswear brand Colcci (with Ashton Kutcher), and Carlos Miele jeans.

6: Daria Werbowy she made $4.5 million

How: Big contract with fragrance and makeup giant Lancôme Paris, plus deals with Hudson Bay, Stefanel, Joseph, Oroton and YSL. Other contracts include Lancôme, Versace and H&M.

7: Lara Stone she made $4.5 million

How: Big contracts with Calvin Klein, Versace, H&M, Forum, Prada and Donna Karan. In autumn of 2010 the Dutch model became the exclusive face of Calvin Klein Inc.

8: Carolyn Murphy she made $4.3 million

How: Big Estée Lauder deal, campaigns including Iceberg, Fashion Island and Peek & Cloppenburg. Contracts with Tiffany & Co., Tom Ford and more. Also tried her hand at acting, appearing in Barry Levinson’s Liberty Heights.

9: Natalia Vodianova she made $4 million

How: The Russian model is the face of, and designs her own line for, lingerie company Etam as well as starring as the face of a Guerlain fragrance.

10: Candice Swanepoel she made $2 million

How: The 22-year-old South African beauty is one of Victoria’s Secret’s newest Angels. Swanepoel scored an Italian Vogue cover and shoot this year and starred as the face of True Religion.

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