We can definitively say that we are living in a current zeitgeist fueled by personal vanity. These days, it’s all about selfies, endless grooming, plastic surgery, Instagram/Facebook getting likes, and attaining followers. For the most part, almost everyone tries to live up to the highly unrealistic standards of the models and celebrities they see every day. But the truth is we idolize images that have been augmented and we tend to forget this fact. With airbrushing images to plastic surgery, we almost never get ahold of the raw footage.
Models do go through a lot to look as flawless as they do, and they get paid a pretty penny for their troubles. In the following article, we take a closer look at the highly lucrative modeling industry and shine the spotlight on 10 of the biggest players in this glamorous field.
10 Ivan Bart
If there was ever a person in the modeling industry that could be called a “model whisperer,” it’s the head executive Ivan Bart at IMG models. Because of him, IMG has some of the biggest names in the game on their roster. And what’s most impressive is that they have a wonderful mix of established models and new faces too. Some of these names include: Gisele, Carolyn Murphy, Kate Moss, Gigi Hadi, Joan Smalls and Kate Upton. Ivan was a psych major in college and this probably comes in very handy for massaging the huge egos of all these stars he has to juggle.
9 Sean O’Pry
At the young age of 25, male model Sean O’Pry has already established himself as one of the biggest names of the modeling world. When luxury brands want to get their brands noticed, he is the model they usually call up. He has appeared in campaigns for brands like Versace, D Squared, Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein and many more. He has also appeared in a couple of videos too. One for Madonna’s “Girl Gone Wild” and most recently for Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” video. In 2013, Forbes reported that he was earning about $1.5 million, and that number has surely climbed higher with his increased visibility.
8 Gisele Bundchen
Recently Gisele Bundchen announced that this will be her last year on the fashion runway. With almost 20 successful years of flaunting her stunning beauty in the fashion world, the 34-yr-old Brazilian beauty is claiming that her body is telling her it’s time to hang it up. She has a net worth of over $300 million and she is still one of the most recognizable female models in the world. She is known for her work with ultra-luxury brands like Chloe, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Versace and of course Victoria’s Secret. It’s quite simple really; if you’re a luxury brand and you want to get noticed, Gisele is the model you book.
7 Madisyn Ritland
She may still be in her early 20s, but the young, entrepreneurial-minded Madisyn Ritland is causing quite a stir in the fashion industry. She’s originally from Colorado, and she started off as a model herself. However she soon decided that she wanted to control her own destiny and co-founded a new modeling agency called The Lions in 2012. Late last year, Ali Kouvassi, a former top agent at Women Model Management decided to join her. Since then, there has been a major influx of talent to The Lions including big names like Anne Vyalitsyna, Angela Lindvall, Jessica Hart and Sports Illustrated model, Frankie Rayder. In a couple of years, Madisyn Ritland will probably be a breakthrough, fashion modeling mogul.
6 David Gandy
Most times, when the biggest fashion publications like Vanity Fair and GQ talk about the best dressed male celebrities, one of the names that often get mentioned is the handsome David Gander. He is 35-yrs-old and is originally from the UK. He has appeared in campaigns for brands like Gant, Hugo Boss and 7 For All Mankind. In 2007, he became the well-known face for Dolce & Gabbana, and he shot the iconic ad for D&G’s Light Blue cologne that ended up becoming a huge billboard in Times Square, NYC. In 2013, Forbes reported that he earned $1.4 million. Even though that’s not as much as female models earn, it’s a hefty sum indeed.
5 Marilyn Gauthier
When fashion week comes around and designers are looking for sexy and recognizable models to put in their shows, they have to contact the gatekeepers. These gatekeepers happen to be huge international modeling agencies that have access to the most influential models around. One of the biggest agencies around is the Marilyn Agency. It was founded in 1985 in Paris by Marilyn Gauthier and became established in NYC in 1998. Some of the huge models that have been represented by Marilyn include Adriana Lima, Stella Tennant, Lily Donaldson and Naomi Campbell.
4 Simon Nessman
If there was anything comparable to a male super model, it would probably be the Canadian-born, Simon Nessman. But moving on, Nessman has had an incredible amount of success in a relatively short period of time. He’s still only 25-yrs-old and he’s already one of the main campaign faces for Giorgio Armani and Michael Kors. He has also been booked for other huge international brands like Calvin Klein and Versace. In the years to come, he’s probably going to get even bigger on the fashion and modeling scene.
3 Sarah Doukas
In addition to the Marilyn agency and FORD Models, one of the most influential modeling agencies is Storm Model Management based out of London. The matron behind this organization is Sarah Doukas, and she has a very impressive resume indeed. She is the one who discovered mega modeling stars like Kate Moss and Jourdan Dunn, and she has also represented other established talents like Behati Prinsloo (Adam Levine’s wife), Devon Aoki, Alexa Chung, to name a few. Even though her agency was first formed almost 30 years ago, it continues to be one of the top modeling firms in the world.
2 Adriana Lima
When you talk about the biggest female models in the world, you have to mention the striking Brazilian beauty Adriana Lima. In 2014, Forbes reported her earnings to be the second overall for all female models at a stunning $39 million. She only came in second to her fellow countrywoman Gisele. She’s only 33-yrs-old, and she looks just as fresh-faced as all the upcoming models half her age. You can bet all your money that she’s going to continue being a huge earner for many years to come.
1 Jon Kortajarena
Another model who is a major player on the men’s side of the fashion scene is the handsome Jon Kortajarena. His face is highly recognizable for appearing in campaigns for huge brands like Diesel, Guess, H&M, David Yurman and Tom Ford. At the tail end of last year, he was also in the tabloids quite a lot, because he was rumored to be the new boyfriend of Hollywood leading man, Luke Evans. He has already appeared on the Forbes list for top paid male models in the fashion industry, and at the young age of 29, his clout is sure to keep on growing.