Forbes Magazine has put together a list of the “Top Earning Models in the World” according to estimated earnings over the past 12 months. Ranking at #11 is 29-year-old Ethiopian beauty, Liya Kebede, with $2.5 million earned. A ground-breaker best known as the first black model in EstÃ©e Lauder’s history, Ms. Kebede, though not as high-profile as her counterparts, has maintained a successful career appearing in campaigns for brands as diverse as H&M, the Gap, Anne Taylor and Givenchy.
Top models like those on our list still bank millions, but only once a multiyear contract is secured. The days of $10,000 runway fees are over. Top models don’t even do runway. It’s considered an internship process for the hundreds of anonymous 15- and 16-year-old foreign girls who swarm the runways of New York, Paris and Milan each season. They do 70 shows in six weeks and are paid about $250 an hour their first season.
A good hardworking model can make $200,000 a season. But chances are that model, once the season is over, will never be seen or heard from again. – Forbes
To compile it’s list, Forbes also took into account the “relevancy” of the model–determined by recent campaigns, editorials, fashion magazine covers and the opinion of those in the industry. Gisele Bundchen tops the list at $33 million, with Kate Moss ($9 million), Heidi Klum ($8 million), Adriana Lima ($6 million) and Alessandra Ambrosio ($6 million) rounding out the top five slots.