For fashion’s elite, follower count has finally turned into fiscal fortitude. Though Gisele Bündchen still leads the world’s top-earning models with $30.5 million, Kendall Jenner (No. 3) and newcomer Gigi Hadid (No. 5) have risen up the ranks by turning their outsized Instagram followings into multi-million dollar paydays. Gisele remains the woman to catch: The 36-year-old has made more money than any other model since 2002. She banks big from lucrative fragrance and beauty deals with Chanel , Carolina Herrera and Pantene, plus advertisements for Arezzo shoes and SkyTV in her native Brazil. More than a clotheshorse, her own line of lingerie and skincare help set her earnings apart.
Bündchen bests fellow Brazilian Adriana Lima (No. 2, $10.5 million) by $20 million. Lima, the longest-running Angel in Victoria’s Secret history, clocked her largest ever annual paycheck this year from her contract with the L Brands-owned lingerie giant, Maybelline and IWC watches, among others.
Together, the world’s 20 highest-paid models earned a cumulative $154 million between June 1, 2015, and June 1, 2016, before fees and taxes; they boast close to 200 million Instagram followers combined.
The biggest gainer year over year is third-ranked Kendall Jenner, who saw her earnings increase 150% to $10 million in 2016. She has leveraged her huge social presence of 64.4 million Instagram followers—more than anyone else on the list—into million dollar deals with the likes of Estée Lauder and Calvin Klein, who likely see her social platforms as a new media buy.
Tied with Jenner at No. 3 is Karlie Kloss, who doubled her earnings since 2015 by clocking more campaigns than any other model on the ranking. She advertised for 18 different brands in our scoring period, including Express EXPR -0.92%, L’Oréal and Swarovski.
Jenner and Kloss inch just ahead of the two highest-ranked newcomers: Hadid and Brit Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who both earned an estimated $9 million pretax to land at No. 5. Hadid has turned digital fame into dollars, translating over 22 million Instagram followers into contracts with top-notch retailers Maybelline and Tommy Hilfiger all before her 22nd birthday.