Hey there fashion-forward lovers of the world! Kate here, your resident Model Coach and new BFF in the Creative Industry. Are you ready to strut your stuff and learn about the world of supermodels? Well, put on your best walking shoes and get ready to dive into the glamorous and fascinating world of high fashion!
Whether you’re a seasoned runway watcher or just starting to explore the world of modelling, this post is for you. Get ready to learn about the legends of the runway, the secrets of the industry, and how to strike a pose like a pro. So, let’s get this fashion show started!
Hero image source: TheGuardian.com. Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford photographed by Peter Lindbergh for British Vogue January 1990.
What Is A Supermodel?
A supermodel is a highly successful fashion model who has achieved celebrity status and international recognition in the fashion industry. Supermodels are known for their striking physical features, charisma, and ability to project a unique image that captures the public’s imagination. They are often sought after by top fashion designers, photographers, and brands to showcase their latest collections on the runway, in print and digital media, and in advertising campaigns.
Supermodels typically have a strong social media presence and are involved in various philanthropic endeavours. They often use their platform to promote social causes, speak out on political issues, and advocate for various charitable organisations.
While supermodels are revered in the fashion industry, their success often comes at a cost. The pressure to maintain a certain physical appearance, adhere to strict beauty standards, and constantly be in the public eye can be overwhelming. Additionally, the industry has historically been criticised for its lack of diversity and inclusion, with many calling for greater representation of models from diverse backgrounds.
Despite these challenges, supermodels remain an integral part of the fashion industry, inspiring and influencing generations of aspiring models and fashion enthusiasts alike.
Further Reading: What are the Different Types of Modelling?
History of Supermodels
The term “supermodel” was first coined in the 1980s to describe a select group of models who achieved global fame and recognition in the fashion industry. The emergence of supermodels was largely a result of the rise of fashion photography, which enabled models to become more than just anonymous figures on the runway. The images of supermodels were widely circulated in magazines, billboards, and other forms of media, making them household names and symbols of beauty, style, and glamour.
The emergence of supermodels also coincided with a shift in the fashion industry towards a more commercial and celebrity-driven approach. As fashion brands sought to appeal to a wider audience, they began to hire models who had a certain level of fame and charisma that could help sell products. This led to the rise of models who were not only beautiful and talented but also had strong personalities and unique styles.
Over the years, the definition of a supermodel has evolved, with new faces and personalities rising to fame and achieving global recognition. Today, supermodels continue to be a vital part of the fashion industry, serving as ambassadors for major brands, inspiring new trends and styles, and shaping the conversation around beauty, diversity, and inclusivity in fashion.
Further Reading: 6 Skincare Tips to Get Clear & Healthy Skin
What does it take to become a Supermodel?
Becoming a supermodel is not an easy feat and requires a combination of talent, hard work, and dedication. Firstly, there are certain physical requirements that models need to meet, such as height, weight, and proportionate body measurements. Generally, supermodels are expected to be tall, lean, and have a unique, striking look that sets them apart from others. However, it’s important to note that there are always exceptions to the rule, and many successful models have broken the mould in terms of physical requirements.
In addition to physical attributes, confidence and attitude are also key to becoming a supermodel. Models must be comfortable in their own skin, able to project a strong, positive image, and handle rejection and criticism with grace. A strong work ethic and dedication to their craft are also essential, as models are often required to maintain a strict diet and exercise regime, travel frequently, and work long hours.
Networking and building connections within the industry is also crucial, as this can lead to new opportunities, collaborations, and exposure to influential individuals who can help propel a model’s career forward. Building a strong portfolio, social media presence, and maintaining good relationships with agents, photographers, and designers can all help models establish a strong foothold in the industry and pave the way towards becoming a supermodel.
Further Reading: The “I’m Time Poor” Green Smoothie Bowl
An introduction to the OG Supermodels
1. Cindy Crawford
Cindy Crawford is one of the most successful supermodels of all time, known for her striking beauty, charm, and business acumen. She rose to fame in the 1980s and 1990s and quickly became a household name, gracing countless magazine covers and advertising campaigns. Crawford was renowned for her signature beauty mark above her lip, which became a defining feature of her iconic look.
In addition to her successful modelling career, Crawford also became a successful entrepreneur, launching her own line of skincare products and authoring several books on beauty and wellness. Despite retiring from modelling in the early 2000s, Crawford remains an influential figure in the fashion industry and continues to inspire and mentor aspiring models.
2. Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell is an iconic supermodel known for her fierce and trailblazing approach to fashion. She rose to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s, becoming one of the most sought-after models of her generation. Campbell was known for her striking features, confidence, and impeccable runway presence, which made her a standout in the industry.
Throughout her career, Campbell has broken barriers and challenged the fashion industry’s lack of diversity and representation. She was the first black model to appear on the cover of French Vogue and the first black model to appear on the cover of Time magazine. She has also been an advocate for numerous social causes, including diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry, HIV/AIDS awareness, and poverty relief.
Despite some controversies throughout her career, Campbell remains an influential figure in the fashion industry and an inspiration to many aspiring models. Her legacy as a supermodel and social activist has helped shape the industry and continues to make a lasting impact today.
3. Claudia Schiffer
Claudia Schiffer is a renowned German supermodel who rose to fame in the 1990s, becoming one of the most successful and recognizable models of her generation. She was known for her classic, elegant beauty and ability to embody the essence of the era’s fashion trends.
Schiffer has graced the covers of countless magazines and walked the runway for many major fashion houses. She also starred in numerous advertising campaigns for major brands, cementing her status as a fashion icon. Despite taking a step back from modelling in recent years, Schiffer remains a prominent figure in the industry and has continued to inspire new generations of models.
In addition to her successful model career, Schiffer has also dabbled in acting, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. She has used her platform to raise awareness for numerous social causes, including education, children’s rights, and animal welfare. Schiffer’s legacy as a supermodel and philanthropist has made a lasting impact on the fashion industry and beyond.
4. Kate Moss
Kate Moss is a British supermodel who rose to fame in the early 1990s and quickly became one of the most iconic models of her generation. She was known for her waifish figure, androgynous look, and rebellious attitude, which set her apart from other models at the time.
Throughout her career, Moss has graced countless magazine covers, walked the runway for major fashion houses, and starred in numerous advertising campaigns. She has also been an inspiration to many fashion designers and photographers, who have cited her as a muse.
Despite some controversies throughout her career, including her association with drug use, Moss remains a prominent figure in the fashion industry and has continued to inspire new generations of models. She has also used her platform to raise awareness for numerous social causes, including breast cancer research and poverty relief. Kate founded and manages her own model agency Kate Moss Agency which also represents her daughter.
Further Reading: How to Get a Job as a Model
An introduction to the rise of today’s insta-famous Supermodels
1. Gigi Hadid
Gigi Hadid is a new age supermodel who has taken the fashion industry by storm in recent years. Daughter of Dutch-born American television personality and former model Yolanda Hadid and Palestinian-American real estate developer Mohamed Hadid, she rose to fame in the early 2010s and quickly became one of the most sought-after models of her generation, known for her striking beauty, poise, and versatility.
Hadid has graced countless magazine covers, walked the runway for major fashion houses, and starred in numerous advertising campaigns. She has also used her platform to promote diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry, advocating for greater representation of models of all backgrounds and body types.
In addition to her successful model career, Hadid has also become an influential figure in the world of fashion design, launching her own lines of clothing and accessories. She has also been an advocate for numerous social causes, including environmentalism, education, and children’s rights.
2. Kendall Jenner
Kendall Jenner is a modern day supermodel who has made a name for herself in the fashion industry in recent years. She rose to fame in the early 2010s and quickly became one of the most sought-after models of her generation, known for her natural beauty, confidence, and versatility.
Jenner has graced countless magazine covers, walked the runway for major fashion houses, and starred in numerous advertising campaigns. She has also become a major influencer in the world of fashion and beauty, using her platform to promote new trends and products to her millions of social media followers.
In addition to her successful modelling career, Jenner has also dabbled in acting and entrepreneurship, launching her own lines of clothing and beauty products. She has also used her platform to raise awareness for numerous social causes, including mental health and environmentalism.
3. Adut Akech
Adut Akech is a modern day supermodel who has been making waves in the fashion industry in recent years. She was born in South Sudan and raised in Kenya, and her unique beauty and striking presence have made her a standout in the world of modelling.
Akech has graced numerous magazine covers, walked the runway for major fashion houses, and starred in advertising campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the industry. She is known for her fierce runway walk and her ability to bring depth and emotion to her model work.
In addition to her successful model career, Akech has also used her platform to advocate for greater diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry. She has spoken out about the need for greater representation of models of colour and has used her influence to raise awareness for social causes, including refugee rights and mental health
4. Bella Hadid
Bella Hadid is a modern day supermodel who has made a name for herself in the fashion industry in recent years. She comes from a family of successful models (including sister Gigi, mentioned above and brother Anwar), but has carved out her own unique path in the industry with her striking beauty and edgy, unconventional style.
Hadid has graced numerous magazine covers, walked the runway for major fashion houses, and starred in advertising campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the industry. She is known for her intense gaze and her ability to bring a sense of drama and intrigue to her model work.
In addition to her successful modelling career, Hadid has also become a major influencer in the world of fashion and beauty. She has used her platform to promote new trends and products to her millions of social media followers, and has also been an advocate for social causes, including mental health and environmentalism.
Further Reading: How to Become a Hair Model.
What is the difference between a model and a supermodel?
The main difference between a model and a supermodel is the level of fame, recognition, and prestige they have achieved in the fashion industry. While both models and supermodels work in the model industry, supermodels are typically recognised as the most successful and highest-paid models in the industry.
Supermodels are known for their striking beauty, unique features, and strong runway presence. They are typically associated with major fashion campaigns, high-profile fashion shows, and prestigious magazine covers. Supermodels are also known for their ability to promote new fashion trends and products, and their influence can extend beyond the fashion industry into popular culture as a whole.
In contrast, models can work in a variety of model categories, such as commercial modelling, editorial modelling, or runway modelling, and may not achieve the same level of recognition and fame as supermodels.
How do supermodels make money?
Supermodels make money primarily through model jobs, which can include runway shows, advertising campaigns, and editorial shoots. The amount of money a supermodel makes can vary widely depending on their level of experience, the type of model work they do, and the brands they work with.
One of the most lucrative sources of income for supermodels is high-end fashion campaigns, where they are often paid significant sums of money to represent luxury brands. Supermodels can also earn large amounts of money by walking in major fashion shows, particularly those held in fashion capitals such as Paris, Milan, and New York.
In addition to their model work, supermodels can also earn income through endorsement deals and collaborations with brands. Many supermodels have their own clothing or beauty lines, which can also generate significant income. Supermodels can also make money through public appearances, such as attending events or making appearances on television shows. Finally, many supermodels have established themselves as influencers on social media, which can lead to lucrative sponsorship deals and partnerships with brands.
What is the age range for supermodels?
The age range for supermodels can vary depending on the industry, the individual models’ career and the years of consistent work throughout their career. In general, supermodels are typically in their late teens to early thirties when the vast majority of their model work becomes well known. Modern day supermodels are typically in their twenties.
However, there have been many exceptions to this age range, with the original supermodels continuing to work well into their forties and beyond. For example, supermodel Cindy Crawford, who rose to fame in the 1990s, continues to model into her fifties.
In recent years, there has also been a push for greater age diversity in the model industry, with some brands and agencies actively seeking out older models to represent their products. This has led to increased opportunities for models over the age of 30, and even over the age of 40 or 50.
Overall, while the typical age range for supermodels is in their late teens to early thirties, there is no hard and fast rule about age in the model industry, and models of all ages can find success and recognition if they have the right look and talent.
Further Reading: How Much Money Do Models Get Paid?
Can anyone become a supermodel?
While anyone can aspire to become a supermodel, the reality is that it is an extremely competitive and challenging field to enter. Becoming a supermodel requires a unique combination of physical beauty, confidence, dedication, hard work, networking skills, is stereotypically a celebrity model (aka well known and recognised) and also takes into consideration net worth. A model who is defined as a supermodel is typically a multi-million dollar per year earner.
In terms of physical requirements, supermodels are typically tall and thin, with well-proportioned bodies and striking features. While there is some degree of flexibility in terms of specific physical characteristics, the reality is that the model industry places a high value on traditional standards of beauty.
The term ‘supermodel’ is a title bestowed by the media and/or industry leaders for you – you don’t get to call yourself that.
However, physical beauty alone is not enough to become a supermodel. Supermodels also need to possess confidence, poise, a strong runway presence, as well as a willingness to work hard and constantly improve their skills throughout the decades of their evolving careers.
How do I become a supermodel?
Becoming a supermodel is an extremely competitive and challenging process. There are several steps you can take to increase your chances of success:
1. Develop your look: Supermodels typically have a very distinct and striking look, so it’s important to focus on developing your own unique style and features. Work with a stylist, makeup artist and photographer to create a portfolio that showcases your best qualities, and continue to build on your portfolio each year.
2. Build your skills: Supermodels need to have a wide range of skills, including posing, runway walking, and the ability to work well with others. Consider taking model classes or attend workshops to help you build your skills and gain more experience. Even seasoned professionals need to sharpen their skills and everyday is an opportunity to learn something new – about the industry and yourself.
Need a Model Coach to start or level up your model game? I’ve got you boo. Check out my 1:1 coaching options here or if you prefer to learn all you need to know to become a model with a thriving career online, check out The Model Masterclass® (a world-first in online education for models giving you all the business skills and resources you need to succeed as a professional).
3. Network and make connections: Building relationships with agents, designers, and other professionals in the fashion industry is key to advancing your career as a supermodel. Attend events, fashion shows, and other industry gatherings to meet people and make connections. You need to be published (prolifically) in all the right publications, earn a hefty income from your model adventures (we’re talking millions of dollars in net worth here) and be in all the ‘right’ industry and social circles.
4. Stay in shape: Supermodels are typically very thin and in excellent physical shape, so it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen to keep your body in top form.
5. Be persistent: Becoming a supermodel takes time and persistence. When I say ‘be patient’ I mean it takes decades to work up to supermodel status; you’re entering a marathon not a race. It’s important to stay focused on your goals and keep working hard even in the face of rejection or setbacks.
Further Reading: 4 Headshot Tips for Beginner Models.
Huddle in, let’s recap
So there you have it, aspiring fashion lovers! Supermodels are some of the most iconic and influential figures in the fashion industry, and their unique blend of physical beauty, confidence, dedication, and hard work has helped to shape the industry in countless ways.
Whether you’re a fan of classic supermodels or you prefer modern-day icons, there’s no denying the impact that these women have had on the world of fashion. Of course, becoming a supermodel is no easy feat, and it requires a combination of talent, hard work, and networking skills to achieve success in this competitive industry. But with dedication and persistence, anything is possible, and who knows…You could be the next supermodel to grace the runway and inspire millions around the world. Manifest it my love!
Keep dreaming big, stay true to yourself, and always remember that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. Who knows, you might just be the next supermodel to take the world by storm.
I wish you the success you work for and deserve!
Ps: This is a quality guide and I don’t mind you sharing it. I’d appreciate it if you follow standard professional etiquette and please quote + credit my content appropriately when you do: