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Today's best paid female models

Modelling is a lucrative career, if you happen to make it to the top. But, what makes a successful model apart from having the right face, figure, and exposure? Hefty contracts, endorsements, and catwalk ventures are a few of the factors affecting the success or failure of a mannequin. Being one of the best paid female models of all times means sizeable yearly incomes and high hourly wages.

Highest earners

Forbes makes a list of the best paid female models based on estimates of salary earnings, modelling and endorsement contracts, and other ventures.

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  • Gisele Bundchen

Bundchen, 31, has held the top spot of the best paid female models since 2004. Gisele has hugged the limelight with roughly $45 million in form of contracts, endorsements, and modelling campaigns. Well-known brands such as Esprit, Pantene, Versace, and Ipanema flip-flops are a few of her sources of income.

  • Kate Moss

Famous for her waif like look, the 38-year old British model has lucrative contracts from Longchamp, Vogue Eyewear, Rimmel and Mango. Kate has also a long running collaboration with Top Shop making her still a great fashion icon and a top earner.

  • Natalia Vodianova

The Russian supermodel mother of 3 is ranked third amongst the top earners. She is currently designing lingerie for Etam and lives in London.

  • Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio

Brazilian models, Lima and Ambrosio are on the top list of best paid female models. Lima is a Victoria's Secret Angel and a Maybelline spokesperson. Ambrosio is also a Victoria's Secret Angel and was the first spokesmodel for the "PINK" collection.

  • Doutzen Kroes

Dutch model Kroes, is another Victoria's Secret Angel. She also did modelling stints for L'Oreal, Tiffany & Co, and Repeat.

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Other notable names in the prestigious roll include Miranda Kerr, Lara Stone, Carolyn Murphy, and Candice Swanepoel. These models' estimated earnings range from $3 to $8.6 million.

If you're wondering where Heidi Klum is, the former Victoria's Secret model is also one of the best paid models of all time, but has since switched from modelling to show business hosting Project Runway and Germany’s Next Top Model.

Future contenders for the top spot

The list of best paid female models changes each year as contracts end or start. At the moment, Bundchen leads the pack, but there are younger models on the list predicted to topple the Brazilian knockout in the coming years. These young models include the 23-year old South African stunner Swanepoel and Kate Upton, cover girl of Sports Illustrated.

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