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Who will be Forbes’ top-earning models for 2013?


June 3, 2013/3.24

Above Gisèle Bündchen, who has returned to model for H&M, first appeared in 2000 for the company’s summer swimwear.

In a few weeks’ time, Forbes will release its table of the world’s top-earning models for June 2012 to June 2013.
   Lucire didn’t report on the numbers last year, but if we did, we would have noticed that Heidi Klum disappeared from the league tables, after being in a consistent second place for years. Forbes had taken her off the list, saying that she was more a businesswoman than a model. It’s not entirely fair, since Klum, 40, still models (granted, they are usually products she is associated with), and we estimate her earnings are still in the eight figures.
   Natalia Vodianova shot up into third, more than doubling her 2011 figure. Miranda Kerr was back in the top 10 after having a baby, while Lara Stone’s number dropped with her pregnancy (she became a Mum in May).
   But can we make a call on the rankings, just looking at the trends and how much coverage the models have received in our pages?
   There’s no doubt that Gisèle Bündchen will remain top dog. Her earning figure was at $25 million for 2009 and 2010, and a whopping $45 million for the past two years. We haven’t seen Bündchen as much in the last year, but she has inked deals with H&M (which is securing big names with Donald Schneider on its team) and C&A.
   Kate Moss will secure second place. St Tropez has been her most recent gig, though figures were not reported at the time. Moss still gets headlines, so she’ll either be in the high seven figures, but we think she could head into the low eights again.
   Adriana Lima has traditionally followed Moss, but Natalia Vodianova overtook her by $1·3 million in 2012, getting to $8·6 million over Lima’s $7·3 million. That was helped with her contracts with Guerlain and Etam (she helps design her own lingerie collection there, à la Elle Macpherson), a deal with Russian retailer Centro, and continuing to walk the catwalk for some major labels. So the Vodianova–Lima ordering from 2012 is likely to be preserved.
   Doutzen Kroes is getting plenty of attention in our pages, propelled in part through her contract as a L’Oréal Paris face. She netted just under $7 million last year, and it’s going to be a toss-up between her and Alessandra Ambrosio for 2013 for fifth place, both of whom rank similarly in terms of mentions here. Kroes was missing in the top 10 in 2011 due to her pregnancy but has pipped Ambrosio twice since 2009—but only by $300,000–$500,000. We’re making a call that the order’s going to stay the same for fifth and sixth, too.
   Karlie Kloss should be up there in 2013. People with Money puts Kloss’s net worth at $275 million but in terms of annual earnings, the number is bound to be lower. We’re putting the value of the Cover Girl cosmetics and Christian Dior contracts, her fashion and perfume lines, walking for many top names, and her new Victoria’s Secret ‘Angel’ role in the seven figures, and our bet is that she’ll find herself in seventh.
   Miranda Kerr would, consequently, get bumped down one place, but her earnings should stay within the $4 million–$5 million region. That leaves Carolyn Murphy and Candice Swanepoel from last year’s tables, models who have typically been in the $3 million club. Murphy has not been searched for much here, nor has she merited much mention, so we wonder where she will be ranked. We’re thinking Swanepoel might pip Murphy this year, with her continuing Victoria’s Secret and other contracts.
   Emanuela de Paula has not made much headway since getting into 11th place in 2009, which continues to suggest that globally, Caucasian models tend to have it easier at this point.

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