Forbes: The World's Top-Earning Models

The modeling industry has been hard-hit by the economic crisis, but the value of the beauties at the top is as strong as ever.

Less than two years ago, Claudia Schiffer declared that the age of the supermodel was over. Magazine covers and beauty contracts had become the province of celebrities. The industry's newest generation had not quite attained the international, first-name basis fame that Naomi, Cindy and Christy had pioneered.

A lot has changed in two years. While fashion magazines and retail brands still market their wares with stars from music and movies, models have moved off the runway in equal measure, expanding their brands into fashion, entertainment and philanthropy. The age of the multi-hyphenate model has replaced the age of the supermodel, giving the top girls more earning power than ever before.

A perfect example is the No. 2 earner on our list, Heidi Klum. While still a successful model at the age of 35 after having three kids, the majority of Klum's earnings are driven by her TV and endorsement career. Klum remains a member of the Victoria's Secret angel entourage as well as host of Project Runway and Germany's Next Top Model. The German beauty also designs a line Birkenstock sandals and has endorsement deals with Diet Coke, Volkswagen ( VLKAF.PK - news - people ), McDonald's and LG. Last year, she came out with her own skincare line, In An Instant.

Returning at No. 1 this year is Gisele Bündchen, who earned an estimated $25 million in the last year from numerous campaigns including Versace, True Religion jeans, Dior ( CHDRF.PK - news - people ) and Ebel watches. The Brazilian model has rare range--from high fashion to mass market--and measured impact on the success of the brands she represents. She also has her own Brazilian shoe line and tabloid fame on par with movie stars.

The models on our list were ranked according to estimated earnings from June 2008 to June 2009.



1. Gisele Bündchen - $25 Million

The Brazilian beauty has retained her ranking as the world's top-earning model. Though she's no longer the body behind Victoria's Secret, the 28-year-old added Rampage to her list of campaigns this year. She continues to promote Versace, True Religion jeans, Dior and Ebel watches. Bündchen landed her second Vanity Fair cover amid extraordinary press attention following her private marriage to football beau Tom Brady in February.



2. Heidi Klum - $16 Million

While still a successful model at 35 with three kids, the majority of Klum's earnings are driven by her TV and endorsement career. Though she's currently expecting baby No. 4 with husband Seal, Klum remains a member of the Victoria's Secret Angel entourage as well as host of Project Runway and Germany's Next Top Model. The German beauty also designs a line of Birkenstock sandals and has endorsement deals with Diet Coke, Volkswagen, McDonald's and LG. This past year, she came out with her own skincare line, In An Instant.



3. Kate Moss - $8.5 Million

The return of lost contracts and the success of her Topshop line marked a successful year for Moss. The 35-year-old icon has been attacked for getting old and heavy, but regardless, she's enjoyed remarkable success in the last year. She's the face of Versace, Longchamp and David Yurman, among others. Her line for British retailer Topshop, which moved stateside earlier this year, continues to do well.



4. Adriana Lima - $8 Million

The new icon of Victoria's Secret continues her rise to the top of her industry thanks to her mass sex appeal. Though her Maybelline contract will lapse later this year, Lima continues to climb to the top of her career thanks to the support of Victoria's Secret. The Brazilian bombshell got her start as the winner of the Ford model competition "Supermodel of the Year." She also appeared on the small screen last September with a guest appearance on Ugly Betty. This month, she announced she's expecting a baby with her husband, basketball player Marko Jaric.



5. Doutzen Kroes - $6 Million

Though her contract with DeBeers lapsed, the 24-year-old promptly replaced it with a campaign for jeans company Seven For All Mankind. The Dutch model known for her lips was named the latest Victoria's Secret angel last fall. Doutzen is also the face of cosmetic company L'Oreal and the fragrance Calvin Klein Eternity.



5. Alessandra Ambrosio - $6 Million

This Victoria's Secret angel returned to the catwalk just three months after giving birth. Another Brazilian model on the list, Ambrosio first made her name as the spokesmodel for Victoria's Secret PINK line and is now one of the brand's angels. Last fall, the 28-year-old gave birth to her first child. Only three months later, she appeared on the catwalk for the VS runway show. She is also on contract with European retail outlet C&A and Mexican department store Liverpool.



7. Natalia Vodianova - $5.5 Million

The new hire of French lingerie company Etam still works for mother Russia through her charitable foundation. Vodianova is one of the clearest examples of rags to riches: She was raised in an impoverished family in Russia before becoming an international model. In addition to her work for Calvin Klein fragrance Guerlain and jeweler Jacob & Co., the 27-year-old signed a three-year contract with Etam. She is the brand's ambassador and will also design a collection each season. She runs the Naked Heart Foundation, a charity that raises money to provide playgrounds in Russia.



8. Daria Werbowy - $4.5 Million

The model who started her career with a modeling contest victory is now the face of major brands from Lancome to Louis Vuitton. The Polish-born Canadian is known for her doe eyes, which are the charm for campaigns for Balmain, H&M, Vogue Eyewear and Roberto Cavalli. Last June, Werbowy was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame along with musician K.D. Lang and filmmaker James Cameron.



9. Miranda Kerr - $3 Million

This Aussie model is best known for being a Victoria's Secret angel, though her profile is on the rise. The first Australian addition to the cast of angels for Victoria's Secret got her break as the face of Maybelline. Last year, she signed a contract with XOXO. Earlier this year, she lent her legendary dimples to help those affected by the Australian bush fires as a participant in the Australia Unites fundraiser.



10. Carolyn Murphy - $3 Million

The sole American on the list, the 35-year-old maintains her place on the list thanks to a lucrative Estée Lauder contract. Murphy has become an iconic American face. At 35, her Playboy and Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue days may be behind her, at least for now, but she is still incredibly successful as the longtime face of Estée Lauder. As well, she has valuable contracts with Banana Republic and Lord & Taylor.



11. Emanuela De Paula - $2.5 Million

Nicknamed the "next Gisele," De Paula is the newest addition to our list. The biracial Brazilian model has a lucrative contract with British retailer Next, a contract that once belonged to Alessandra Ambrosio. She's also a prominent new face of Victoria's Secret.

The modeling industry was hard-hit by the economic crisis. Prominent fashion labels canceled or downgraded their runway shows, leaving models hoping for a break with fewer opportunities. Declining revenues at major beauty and retail companies left agents with less leverage to bargain for their clients.

But, the economy has increased the value of the versatile yet trademark beauty of those at the top of the industry. "After a few years of mixed results where the sole obsession was attaching the biggest name or celebrity to your brand, companies are searching for that face that won't muddle their message," says Chris Gay, president of Marilyn Agency, which represents Adriana Lima. "The models that possess that beauty are the faces everyone wants right now, but that's a rare beauty."
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The most successful models, including those who have cycled on and off this list, are able to evoke an emotional consumer response. While celebrities hawk everything from cotton underwear to Smart Water, only professional models can walk the Victoria's Secret runway with inimitable perfection and enough accessibility to get plain Janes across the world into the stores. While the uber-successful make millions, the majority make very little compared to the impact they have on the retail economy.

"These are young business professionals at the height of their game, rarer than superstar athletes, who are in an incredibly competitive environment and who have to deliver their skill set at any time day or night," says Ed Razek, president and chief marketing officer of Limited Brands ( LTD - news - people ), the parent company of Victoria's Secret. "These are people who can connect to consumers and move product."

As with years previous, the changes on the list illustrate the cyclical nature of the modeling business. The loss of a major contract can have a huge impact on overall earnings, as in the case of Karolina Kurkova, who dropped off our list after her Victoria's Secret contract expired.

Bündchen, though still No. 1, earned $10 million less with the loss of Victoria's Secret and other contracts. Kate Moss' earnings climbed $1 million based on the continued success of her clothing line for the British chain Topshop and several deal renewals.

This year's new girl is Emanuela De Paula at No. 11, who broke through as the face of U.K. retailer Next and is featured prominently in Victoria's Secret campaigns.

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