Good looks may open doors, but intelligence and drive keep them open. These supermodels turned moguls have successfully combined ravishing beauty with business savviness to create empires. From fragrances and fashion to sports and media, these stunning women prove to us that yes, you can have it all.
The Sports Illustrated swimsuit model turned Victoria’s Secret Angel hung up her wings in September 2010 after 13 years with the lingerie giant. But the gorgeous German, now 36, is busy as ever (evidenced by her $16 million take-home pay from June 2009 through June 2010). Stateside, Klum hosts the designer reality show Project Runway and, in her home country, Germany’s Next Top Model (Klum gets a cut of all her GNTM discoveries’ revenue.) The mother of four also hawks jewelry; an anti-aging skin care line, In an Instant; two maternity wear lines, Loved and Lavish; and gadgets on her website. In October she launched a line of fashionable sporty clothing with New Balance, sold exclusively on Amazon.com.
This former Victoria’s Secret Angel and wife of NFL quarterback Tom Brady is the mostly highly paid model in the world, earning $25 million a year. She also has both high-fashion clients, like Balenciaga and Versace, and mass retail brands like H&M. Ipanema by Gisele, a line of sandals with Brazilian sandal maker Grendene, is available in 80 countries, (her take from the 30 million pairs sold in 2009 totaled more $8 million.) Bündchen also owns a hotel, the Palladium Executive, in Brazil. Last year she founded Sejaa, an environmentally friendly skincare line.
Überwaif Kate Moss, a scorching trendsetter since her early days as Calvin Klein’s “heroin chic” muse in the early ’90s, teamed with retailer Philip Green to bring her modern bohemian style to the masses via his Topshop franchise. Moss’ line has reportedly pulled in $40 million since launching in 2007; Moss has kept about $2 million. Moss’ last collection rolled out in November, but the hard-partying model, who earns an estimated $9 million a year, is still the face of Versace, Vogue Eyewear and jeweler David Yurman. She also has four fragrances with Coty, a high-end handbag line for Longchamps and, rumor has it, an upcoming jewelry and cosmetics line.
This Victoria’s Secret Angel has also graced the cover of the 2007 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Fashion clients have included Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, DirecTV and True Religion jeans. In 2008 she launched a shoe line with the skateboarder/surfer-oriented company Vans. In 2009 Harley-Davidson made Miller, 32, its first ever brand face, and also has a co-branded clothing line in the works. This past year she became a “First Mate” for Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, (playing the captain’s sexy sidekick in a viral video and commercial) and an NFL spokeswoman. In 2010 she designed a women’s paddle-up board for Surftech; it comes in pink and purple and bears the model’s name.
The former Victoria’s Secret Venus earns roughly $30 million a year, thanks to her several television endeavors. Banks’ production company, Bankable, has developed the prime-time series True Beauty and Stylista. Eight years after its premiere, America’s Next Top Model is still a top-ranked show on the CW network, is licensed by 170 outlets worldwide, and has 17 international editions (including the G
erman edition, hosted by Tyra’s pal Heidi Klum). In 2008 Walmart launched an ANTM-branded line of merchandise. Last year Banks launched an online magazine, Tyra: Beauty Inside and Out. Banks also hosted her own daytime talk show which ran for 5 years.
The 55-year-old Somalian beauty and wife of David Bowie began her career in 1975 when blue-eyed blondes (Farrah, Cheryl) were hot. In 1994 she started Iman Cosmetics for women of color. Ten years later the company forged a licensing and distribution deal with Procter & Gamble, and today the line is sold worldwide. In July Iman launched a home decor line sold exclusively through Calico Corners and Calico Home. She also has a line of clothing and accessories, sold on HSN, and hosts The Fashion Show, which Bravo started as a way to fill the void left when Heidi Klum’s Project Runway defected to Lifetime.
This brunette pixie’s decade as the face of Maybelline is unprecedented. Josie Maran’s other clients include Guess jeans, Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated, but her true passion is promoting a healthy, organic lifestyle. In 2007, while pregnant with her first child, Maran started an eponymous line of nontoxic cosmetics and skincare. It will reap an estimated $10 million (retail) in 2010, of which Maran will pocket about $350,000. Maran credits parading around in lingerie for giving her the chutzpa to start her own business. “Confidence and levity are the keys to success,” she says. Josie Maran Cosmetics is now sold in Sephora, through QVC and online.
Sims got her start as a Victoria’s Secret runway model, but soon transitioned to a Sports Illustrated bikini babe and is best known as a Cover Girl model and for her peppy Old Navy ads. In 2009 Sims launched a line of jewelry, Grayce by Molly Sims, sold on graycebymollysims.com. Grayce has since taken off, and now sells through Henri Bendel and a handful of boutiques, including Scoop, Ron Herman and Matches London. Items in her new collection retail for between $135 and $795 (at full price). Sims also starred for five years on NBC’s Las Vegas, and has appeared in various big-screen titles.
The former Estée Lauder model, now 45, launched Elizabeth Hurley Beach in 2005. The swimwear line has evolved and now includes tunics, sarongs, shorts and kids’ wear. In 2009 she began manufacturing food products with ingredients grown on her 400 acres in the Gloucestershire countryside. Hurley Foods, an organic snack line, is sold at London retailer Harrods. Hurley raises her own pigs, cows and sheep at her farm, and sells their shanks at butchers across Britain. She recently partnered with Prince Charles’ organic food company, Duchy Originals, though the new line has yet to hit stores.
In 1990 Elle “The Body” Macpherson, best known for her record five Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition covers, teamed with Bendon Limited Apparel to create her self-titled line of intimate wear, now a global seller. The line, which includes maternity bras as well as lingerie, has been so successful that the bombshell now out-earns her best years as a supermodel, with an estimated yearly $10 million paycheck. Now 47, Macpherson also has a line of skincare, The Body, sold in Europe. MacPherson took over as the host of Britain’s Next Top Model, and also serves as executive producer.