Pity the poor supermodel. A decade ago she was stomping her way to $50,000 a day on the runways of New York, Paris or Milan. Today, all but the cream of the crop are likely to slink from the flashbulbs with little more than taxi fare and a few pairs of Manolo Blahniks. As for cosmetics contracts, long the province of names like Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington, those are going to Hollywood types like Scarlett Johansson and Eva Longoria, both with L’Oréal.
Fortunately, pretty faces never go out of style. A popular model with a few contracts under her belt can slap her name on fragrances, clothes, shoes and skincare lines. “Brands are still looking for that beautiful face or body,” says Ryan Schinman, chief executive of Platinum Rye, which represents corporations that partner with celebrities. “Older models with household names are making more than they ever did as supermodels in the 1980s or 1990s. They are at the height of their earning potential.”
In Pictures: 12 Supermodels Turned Moguls
10 MODELS. 10 WEEKS. 1 HOUSE. 1 WINNER
10 gorgeous girls in one house, all competing to become Asia’s next big modeling sensation. What can possibly go wrong? Join the girls on their journey to fame as they pout and strut their way through weekly challenges and elimination rounds.
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The highest-paid supermodel in the world, with an estimated $35 million in earnings last year, is also an astute businesswoman. Last year, Gisele reportedly began demanding to be paid in euros instead of the ever-shrinking dollar. And even though she has over 20 modeling contracts, the biggest payday comes from her licensing deal with Brazilian sandal-maker Grendene. The model’s line, Ipanema by Gisele, is sold worldwide and accounts for 20% of the company’s shoe sales, or about 30 million pairs last year. Gisele’s annual royalty stream: about $8 million. Tom Brady’s gal pal has also recently licensed her name to Luxottica’s Vogue Eyewear for her own line of sunglasses called “Gisele’s Selects.” Oh, yeah, and she’s in the hospitality business to boot, as the owner of Brazil’s successful Palladium Executive hotel.