6 Supermodels Who Fight For Women’s Empowerment

Whether they’re entrepreneurs, philanthropists, authors or activists, these models challenge traditional stereotypes about the fashion industry, and bust the myth that models are “just a pretty face”. These women are redefining what it means to be a model, by using their fame and success to fight for female empowerment.

By Phoebe O’Halloran

1. Cara Delevingne


Agency: IMG Worldwide, Scoop Models

Date of Birth: 12th August 1992

Nationality: British

Why we love her: Model, actress, activist and author, Cara Delevingne was propelled into fame in 2013 after her first runway show at London Fashion Week. She is known for conveying a unique energy in her modelling campaigns and acting work. Having suffered from depression as a teenager, Delevingne now uses her fame as a platform to advocate for mental health awareness, and fight for women’s empowerment. She recently became the frontwoman for Puma’s “Do you” campaign, which aims to prove that there is no correct way to be a woman, and encourages women to stay confident and true to themselves.

2. Clémentine Desseaux and Charli Howard


Clémentine Desseaux

Agency: MUSE
Date of Birth: 8th July 1988
Nationality: French

Charli Howard

Agency: MUSE
Date of Birth: 6th April 1991
Nationality: British

Why we love them: Model Charli Howard rose to prominence in 2015 after her agency fired her, labelling her as overweight at a size 6. The following year she teamed up with body positive model and blogger Clémentine Desseaux to launch the All Women Project. The campaign aims to challenge the notion that high fashion models must be of one body type, and advocates for diversity in the fashion industry. The campaign started with an #IAmAllWoman movement on social media, which encouraged women of all ages, ethnicities, and body types to post their own inspirational messages and fight for women’s empowerment. The organisation now runs self-esteem building events and workshops in schools to promote self-love and body positivity.

3. Ebonee Davis


Agency: The Lions, MC2 Model Management, SMG Models

Date of Birth: 16th November 1993

Nationality: American

Why we love her: Seattle model Ebonee Davis achieved activist status after she wrote an open letter to the fashion industry voicing her concern about police brutality against African Americans, and urging the fashion industry to address its own systemic racism. After the letter gained momentum and ignited discussion across the globe, Davis gave a Ted Talk in February 2017 discussing her experiences and mistreatment as an African American model. Davis uses her platform as a successful model to fight for female empowerment and inspire other young women of diverse ethnicities to be themselves, even in the face of an industry which conventionally has a narrow definition of what a model should look like.

Watch her Ted Talk here.

4. Karlie Kloss


Agency: IMG Worldwide, 2pm Model Management

Date of Birth: 3rd August 1992

Nationality: American

Why we love her: One of the world’s most esteemed supermodels, Karlie Kloss has used her influence to empower women and girls to learn to code and become involved in information technology. In 2014, Kloss launched Kode With Klossy, an organisation that runs a girl’s summer camp teaching participants how to code, as well as awarding career scholarships to young female developers. Kloss believes that “women are essential in forging digital progress.”

5. Adwoa Aboah


Agency: The Lions, DNA Model Management, VIVA Model Management, TESS Management

Date of Birth: 18th May 1992

Nationality: British

Why we love her: Adwoa Aboah captured the spotlight when she appeared on the cover of Italian Vogue in 2015, and began her activist work not long after. After struggling with depression and addiction, Aboah established GURLS TALK, a forum where women can share their own experiences with these issues and support one another. The aim of the network is to create a safe space that promotes solidarity, gender equality and female empowerment. The initiative now undertakes workshops in schools where students are encouraged to speak up without fear or judgement.

6. Avery McCall


Agency: Ford Models, Special Management

Nationality: American

Why we love her: Still a student at Stanford University, Avery McCall can already call herself an esteemed activist and model. McCall has used her power as a successful model to assist people affected by crisis, victims of sex trafficking and refugees. As a teenager, McCall served as an advisor to the United Nations Foundation’s ‘Girl Up’ Campaign, which seeks to provide girls in developing countries with adequate education, healthcare and safety. When she was in just eighth grade, she gave speeches at UN events across America.


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