When you see models strutting down the runway, gracing the covers of magazines, appearing in television ads and captured in paparazzi photos, the one thing that probably grabs your attention first is their beauty, right? The modeling industry is solely based off of the physical appearance of a model, but there is much more to these beautiful ladies than just their pretty faces and their flawless physiques. Many models spend their time away from the runway working on their hidden talents, perfecting their skills, and pursuing some interesting hobbies that would really blow your mind.
Back in the day, models were mostly seen but never heard. Outside of photoshoots and runway presentations, the public was never really granted access into models’ private lives. We were all in the dark when it came to discovering how these gorgeous models spent their time away from the bright lights of the modeling industry. But these days, models are more comfortable than ever to reveal their surprising hidden talents with the entire world. From Olympic-bound equestrians to beatboxing pros and models with angelic singing voices, we have rounded up a list of models that have some amazing talents that will leave you speechless.
So the next time you come across one of these super hot models on the Victoria’s Secret runway or on the cover of Maxim magazine, just remember that there’s more to them than what meets the eye.
Keep reading to see our full list of 15 supermodels with some pretty surprising hidden talents.
15. Kate Grigorieva – Ballroom Dancing
You may recognize Kate Grigorieva as one of the industry’s hottest models. The Russian-born model grew up in a military family, but she wasn’t looking to follow in her parents’ footsteps. She received her start in the industry after appearing on the fourth season of Top Model po-russki – the Russian version of America’s Next Top Model. Later, she caught Victoria’s Secret’s attention and was crowned a Victoria’s Secret Angel, but when Kate is not parading gracefully down the runway in skimpy lingerie, she’s working on her hidden talent.
Before she made it big in the modeling industry, Kate was focusing on her education. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Murmansk State Technical University in Russia, but her hidden talent has nothing to do with being book smart. In fact, the supermodel’s talent is none other than ballroom dancing. Maybe that explains why she walks down the runway so gracefully?
14. Jourdan Dunn – Master Chef
Jourdan Dunn is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the modeling industry. She has walked in various runway shows for some of today’s hottest luxury brands, including Marc Jacobs, and she has appeared in magazine ads for brands such as Chanel. Every New York, Milan and Paris Fashion Week, Jourdan is usually front and center. She has also been able to parlay her modeling career into some fashion endorsements of her own, like her very own clothing brand for kids. But aside from her love for all things fashion-related, Jourdan has a hidden talent that will blow you away. The English supermodel has a love for cooking.
Jourdan was able to turn this hobby into a YouTube series called Well Dunn. She was also featured in a culinary special called How It’s Dunn. When you think of a supermodel, you probably don’t envision a statuesque beauty like Jourdan chowing down on food, right? This is exactly why her hidden talent is so surprising.
13. Hana Jirickova – Painter
Czech supermodel Hana Jirickova’s jaw-dropping beauty leaves us in awe. She has modeled for some of the top designers in the industry, including Calvin Klein, Max Mara and Proenza Schouler. But when Hana isn’t donning luxury duds and gracefully sashaying down the runway, she’s focusing on her hidden talent. Hana is one of the few supermodels who is an accomplished artist, and before making it big in the modeling industry, she perfected her skills at the Prague Institute of Art.
Hana shares her sketches, drawings and paintings with her thousands of Instagram followers, and the modeling industry has even given her a platform to put her artwork on display. In a series of photos called “Painted in Colors” shot by Hunter & Gatti for “Vogue Ukraine,” Hana’s body is used as the canvas as she splatters various shades of paint all over her body. It’s a beautiful piece that just reaffirms Hana’s artistic talents.
12. Sasha Pivovarova – Photography
You may have noticed Sasha Pivovarova from various ad campaigns, including Chanel, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Mulberry and Jimmy Choo. But this blonde bombshell is best known for being Prada’s longest-running fashion model. Even though we can’t imagine the modeling industry without her, Sasha didn’t always have aspirations to become a model.
While studying art history at the Russian State University for the Humanities, her friend’s husband took photos of her and gave them to IMG modeling agency. Almost immediately, Sasha was transformed from a college coed into a well-known supermodel. But the arts have always been in her heart, and in fact, her hidden talent is photography.
The Slavic supermodel opened an exhibit called “I Spy” in 2008, and she has contributed her own illustrations to books published by Karl Lagerfeld and Miuccia Prada. Her abstract art and sketches have also been used on plates and sewn on collages..
11. Nina Agdal – Golf
Nina Agdal is well-known for her good looks and her flawless physique. She has graced the covers of Elle, CR Fashion Book, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan. When you think of a supermodel, you may not envision someone who is super active and athletic. In fact, you probably just assume these gorgeous beauties are opposed to playing any kind of sports entirely. Sure, they may pose with a football, a baseball or a volleyball for Sports Illustrated, but how many supermodels can you name off of the top of your head that can compete in a sport at a high level? Well, Nina is definitely one of the sportiest supermodels, and her sport of choice is none other than golf.
10. Bella Hadid – Horseback Riding
Bella Hadid’s popularity soared to the top of the modeling industry at a time when all eyes were on her older sister and fellow model, Gigi Hadid. It must have been difficult for Bella to go up against her sister and compete for gigs, but things actually turned around in her favor. Bella’s look is completely different from Gigi’s, and she brings a new element to the industry that designers and creative directors just can’t get enough of. But if all else fails, Bella has a career that she can fall back on and it all has to do with her hidden talent as an equestrian.
Bella has been horseback riding since she was just three-years-old, and she credits riding as a therapeutic form of exercise. She even had plans to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but unfortunately, she had to put her dream on hold. After being diagnosed with Lyme disease, Bella was forced to back out of the Olympics to focus on her health. If things go as planned, perhaps she will be healthy enough to show the world her stuff during the 2020 games.
9. Joan Smalls – Fashion Designer
For Puerto Rican model Joan Smalls, walking the runways in Paris and Milan took a backseat to her education. Prior to being listed as one of Forbes highest-paid supermodels, Joan was dedicating her time to studying psychology at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. Upon receiving her Bachelor’s Degree, she jetted off to New York City to sign with Elite Model Management in 2007.
Joan is another model who has been able to parlay her modeling career into a fashionable side gig to cater to her hidden talent: fashion designing. Back in 2015, Joan teamed up with True Religion Jeans to create a collection of trendy women’s clothing. At the time of the launch, Joan discussed how her love for designing clothes began when she would customize her own jeans at the age of 13. Her customization days may be over, but her True Religion collaboration full of skinny jeans and crop tops has definitely been a hit among her fans.
8. Binx Walton – Dancer
Binx Walton was discovered by a modeling scout while lounging at a swimming pool in Knoxville, Tennessee when she was just nine-years-old. By the time she was 16, she was gracing the catwalks of fashion houses, such as Céline, Chanel and Balmain. In the spring/summer 2016 season alone, Binx walked for 37 different brands; an absolute accomplishment for a newcomer in the industry!
But even if her modeling career doesn’t last very long, Binx has one thing she can always fall back on and that’s her love for dancing. The American model has had 10 years of extensive training in West African and Hip Hop dance. She even showed off some of her moves at the 2015 Coachella event. Although she doesn’t like to toot her own horn, she was quoted as saying, “I dance to express my love of music or to keep my brain busy, but that’s about it.”
7. Kendall Jenner – Bird Calling
Kendall Jenner was destined for a life in front of the cameras. Coming from a family that makes its living off of a reality show, Kendall had bigger dreams than to appear on the next episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Although modeling has always been her dream, and she surely has the looks for it, her hidden talent has absolutely nothing to do with wearing beautiful clothing and giving the camera her best Blue Steel pose.
During a segment with Vogue, Kendall was asked a series of questions, and she revealed her hidden talent to the world: making bird noises. Now, we’re not just talking about a chirp-chirp here and a chirp-chirp there. When Kendall does her birdcall, you will seriously believe there’s a bird flying above your head. Sure, it may not be the most shocking hidden talent on the list, but it’s pretty impressive, nonetheless.
6. Cara Delevingne – Beatboxing
When Cara Delevingne emerged on the fashion scene, her unique look and her bushy eyebrows took the modeling industry by storm. Designers couldn’t get enough of her and she was chosen to appear in numerous Chanel ads alongside Pharrell Williams, and she even appeared in a Burberry campaign with veteran model Kate Moss. As the public became more and more interested in her, Cara slowly began to reveal that she was more than just a pretty face. She actually had a long list of hidden talents that she revealed with the world. From singing to acting to playing the guitar behind her head, Cara is indeed a powerhouse and we’re starting to wonder if there’s anything that she can’t do!
One of her more unknown hidden talents is probably the most interesting if you ask us. While interviewing with U.K. television host Graham Norton, Cara revealed she was also a beatboxing pro. She was given a microphone and within seconds, she was wowing the crowd.
5. Amanda Murphy – Radiologist
When models receive lucrative modeling contracts, many of them drop everything they’re doing in order to travel the world, appear in ad campaigns, and to walk in runway shows. Their schedules become so busy and hectic, they literally live and breathe all things modeling-related. But for Amanda Murphy, she wasn’t ready to leave her old life behind once the modeling industry came knocking.
She has regularly appeared in Vogue magazine and she has walked the runways of Prada and Céline, but away from the glitzy industry, Amanda’s a regular girl with a hidden talent in the medical field.
Growing up, she never really knew what she wanted to major in when she went to college, but she did realize that she didn’t want to work in nursing to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Instead, she went with radiology and she still works as a radiology technician at a Chicago clinic to this day.
4. Cindy Crawford – Expert Typist
Cindy Crawford may have slowed down a bit when it comes to her modeling career, but she is still known as one of the most iconic models of all time. The American beauty was valedictorian of her high school, but when it came time to attend college, she dropped out of Northwestern University’s chemical engineering program after the first quarter. But thankfully, she had other plans in place. She moved to New York City in 1986 and signed with Elite New York modeling agency. Today, she is an international superstar with a unique look that has forever changed the modeling industry.
Cindy’s hidden talent is quite surprising considering she spent the last few decades of her career traveling the world. Computers weren’t readily available, but even if they were, it’s not like Cindy actually had time to sit down and practice her typing skills. But her hidden talent, according to her husband Rande Gerber, is that Cindy can type without looking at the computer screen. Pretty impressive, right?
3. Edie Campbell – Horseback Riding
Growing up in Westbourne Grove, London, Edie Campbell never dreamed she would model for Chanel, Hermes, and Burberry. But after a chance encounter and a photo spread shot by famed photographer Mario Testino, Edie found herself in a Burberry ad campaign alongside Kate Moss.
Now that she is represented by VIVA Model Management, Edie is in high-demand and every brand is dying to have her as the face of their designs. But the modeling industry is quite fickle, so what’s hot today may not necessarily be hot tomorrow. Fortunately for Edie, she has a backup plan and it’s her hidden talent as an equestrian. She has had a very accomplished career and it also helps that she has been horseback riding for most of her life. She has competed in tournaments for showjumping, dressage, cross-country and eventing. How much would you pay to see Edie and Bella Hadid go head-to-head in a horserace?
2. Natasha Poly – Singer
With her striking good looks, it’s pretty evident that Natasha Poly has a face and body that the modeling industry craves. She began modeling in Russia at the age of 15 and she made her runway debut for Emanuel Ungaro in 2004. These days, she has walked in hundreds of runway shows for major brands, such as Victoria’s Secret, Nina Ricci, Jil Sander, Balmain and Givenchy.
In 2015, Natasha was given the opportunity to fuse her love for modeling with her hidden talent: singing. Growing up, her family was very involved in music and one of her cousin’s would routinely go to voice lessons. Natasha always wanted to participate in vocal lessons as well and she would literally beg her mom to sign her up.
1. Karlie Kloss – Software Coding
When Karlie Kloss isn’t rocking the Victoria’s Secret runway or appearing in ad campaigns for Kate Spade, the American model is doing what she loves: coding. In 2015, Karlie enrolled in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study of New York University to learn about all things coding. And now, she’s an avid programmer and she wants other young women to join her in her hidden passion.
In order to encourage more women to learn coding, the model created a scholarship named “Kode with Karlie.” 80 girls from the model’s hometown of St. Louis, Missouri will be awarded with scholarships to attend the camp. She has also setup a summer camp for girls between the ages of 13 and 18 to learn the trade.
In Karlie’s eyes, coding is not only fun, but it’s something that’s necessary for women to be competitive in their careers. The model was quoted as saying, ”If you can learn how to write code, or at least gain an understanding of how it works at a high level, then you open yourself up to more opportunities in your career and life.” We definitely agree!