The Most Famous Models of All Time

Being a model is not just about breathtaking looks and a powerful walk. What makes a model great is their ability to illustrate a photographer’s vision.

The most famous models of all time have one thing in common, they’re not only incredibly talented, but they’re also hardworking girl bosses.  Here are the top 20 models that made the world their runway.

By Marcela Monasterio

Dorian Leigh


Fashion magazines started to gain momentum in the 1940’s and models were becoming as famous as Hollywood actresses. This decade was a strong foundation of the fashion industry that we know today.

Dorian Leigh was one of the first editorial models to be on the cover of Vogue and to star in major advertising campaigns.

Suzy Parker

Suzy Parker, Dorian Leigh’s little sister, decided to follow her footsteps. Suzy raised the bar for every model of her era, as she became the first model to earn more than 100,000 a year.



With an eclectic style and extra long eyelashes, Twiggy broke fashion stereotypes and redefined beauty standards of the 60’s, replacing curvy icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner.


Somali beauty Iman (Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid) was one of the first black women to dominate the fashion industry in the 70’s. She became Gianni Versace’s muse and was described by Yves Saint Laurent as his “dream girl”. Iman landed magazine covers around the world at a time where black women weren’t represented in the media.

Lauren Hutton


In the early days of her modeling career, Lauren Hutton was told to hide the gap in her teeth with wax. However, That Lauren saw this as an opportunity to embrace what made her different. Years later, she signed a contract with Revlon for $250,000 (equivalent to more than 1 million dollars today). She also appeared on the cover of Vogue 41 times!

Cindy Crawford

Known for her strong eyebrows, athletic body and that signature mole, Cindy dropped out of university to pursue a career in modeling. After becoming one of the most famous models of the 80’s, she expanded her career into fitness videos, TV commercials and clothing lines.

Linda Evangelista

If there’s anyone who has left a legacy in the modelling world it’s Linda Evangelista. Known for her chameleonic appearance, Evangelista was able to transform in front of the camera in ways that no one else could. “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day” became her motto.

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell became the undisputable Queen of the runway. Proclaimed as one of the six supermodels of the 90’s by the fashion industry, Campbell had a career that millions dream of. From appearing in the cover of Vogue’s September Issue – the most important issue of any magazine – to walking for Versace and Azzedine Alaia, Naomi made the world her runway.

Claudia Schiffer


With over a thousand magazine covers under her belt, Claudia Schiffer established her modelling career in the 90’s. The German beauty walked for several fashion houses, including Dolce and Gabanna, Chloé, Balmain and Fendi She was also picked by Karl Lagerfeld to become the new face of Chanel in 1995.

Kate Moss

Kate Moss rocked the early 90’s in ways that no one saw coming. With a different body type, Kate challenged the mainstream aesthetic of the time, where the “waif” look replaced curvier frames.

Elle Macpherson

Aussie model Elle McPherson started her modeling career to pay for her law degree. Little did she know, her career would take an unexpected turn, becoming one of the most famous Australian models. Elle walked the runway for Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Dior, John Galliano and Ralph Lauren.

Tyra Banks

Model, businesswoman, creator and host of America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks became one of the most famous models of all time after becoming the first African-American model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated and GQ.

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum is not just one of the most famous models of all time, she’s also a talented designer and an admirable businesswoman. After retiring from modelling, Heidi Klum became the host and producer of Project Runway.

Gisele Bundchen


Gisele Bundchen brought back the athletic aesthetic, ending the “waif” era. Since 2004, Gisele became famous for her “horse-walk”, and to this day, she is amongst the highest paid models in the world.

Adriana Lima

Brazilian beauty Adriana Lima didn’t have planned to become an international model. In 1996, Adriana was asked by one of her friends at the time to enter a modelling competition, as she didn’t want to do it by herself. After submitting her entry, Adriana was named Ford’s “Supermodel of Brazil”. Fast-forward to 2017, Adriana became the longest-running model for Victoria’s Secret.

Cara Delevingne

From modeling to acting and everything in between, Cara has proved that height means little when you have talent. What makes Cara stand out from other models is her charisma, sense of humour and her ability to adapt in a fast-changing industry.

Kendall Jenner

When a brand signs a contract with Kendall Jenner, they automatically have access to 83 million followers (that’s equivalent to the entire population of Germany). There’s a lot of controversy around Jenner’s career, but there’s no doubt it’s still going strong.

Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid started modelling for GUESS when she was 2 years-old. She decided to focus on finishing school before getting back into modelling in 2011. After several advertising campaigns for major fashion houses and countless magazine editorials, Gigi Hadid is definitely one of the most famous models of all time.

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