For nearly a decade-and-half Gisele Bündchen was the most profitable, highest paid model on the planet. During this unprecedented run the Brazilian beauty, for whom the term “Ubermodel” was created, amassed a small fortune and also used her growing popularity for humanitarian efforts. For this she was acknowledged by the U.N. as well as named a Goodwill Ambassador for the Environment by UNEP. But according to Forbes’ Highest Paid Model report released this week, Kendall Jenner takes the lead for earnings in 2017. Earning $22 million as opposed to Bündchen’s mere 17.5 million for the past year (yes all of our heart’s are bleeding for Gisele’s monetary downturn!), Jenner is presently the high-paid model on the planet.
Jenner poked her way into the Forbes Highest Paid Model list two years ago; she made $4 million in 2015. But with 85 million Instagram followers, connections with brands like Adidas and Este Lauder, and walking every haute couture runway that matters Jenner now tops the list. Gisele made the #2 spot this year, while Chrissy Teigen made the Forbes list for the first time, at #3, with an estimated earnings of $13.5 million.
Ashley Graham became the first plus-size woman to make the annual Forbes list, in 10th place. Graham actually seems to be a model acquiring lots of ‘firsts’ in the past few years.
If Kendall Jenner can retain her highest-earner spot into the next year, let alone if she could hold on to the crown of Forbes’ top model for fourteen years, is anybody’s guess. The moda world is a different one these days than it was at the beginning of the decade when Gisele was staking her claim. For this year though, Jenner is queen and will no doubt see her fortunes, and popularity (not to mention Instagram followers) increase in 2018.
In total, the world’s 10 highest-paid models earned $109.5 million in 2017 before taxes and fees.