Jelena Noura “Gigi” Hadid has become the face of the next generation of supermodels. While Hadid did the traditional break into New York Fashion Week, her career was swiftly aided by her social media skills. She took crafting a brand to an art form and climbed the charts to become one of the most followed models in the world. Along with sister Bella and Kendall Jenner, Hadid helped ring in the era of the “social media model.”
Not everyone was thrilled with this new direction. Actress and model Rebecca Romijn told Entertainment Tonight, “I know a lot of people — legitimate fashion people — can’t stand it. Hate it that these, you know, social media stars are now the supermodels in fashion. They are not true supermodels.” The harsh words haven’t stopped Hadid from stomping runway after runway. Hadid’s future appears to be nothing but bright. “I get to work with people who have loved what they do for 30, 40 and 50 years,” she told the British edition of Vogue. “That’s what I’m going to be like.”
The queen of Victoria’s Secret, Adriana Lima is one of the best-known models for the brand. She started walking for Victoria’s Secret in 1999 and performed her final walk in 2018, with a total of 20 catwalk shows. Plus, unlike some models mentioned above, this seasoned professional isn’t doubting the younger generation. “You know, [Kendall Jenner] works as hard as we do, so I give her credit for all the effort,” she told E! News.
Even after retiring from Victoria’s Secret, Lima’s career charged forward. She appeared with Jenner in the 2019 Miu Miu cruise campaign and was the face of the PUMA x Maybelline collaboration. Lima gushed to People, “I have been working a lot and am continuing to work on new projects and taking care of my two beautiful daughters. Life is just as busy as it has always been and I love it that way.”
Jourdan Dunn is a relative newcomer to the fashion scene, but she’s definitely one of the rising stars. At 17, Dunn walked for Polo Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs for the 2007 New York Fashion Week. From there, Dunn was off to the races. She has been on the cover of many of Vogue’s various publications and been featured in countless campaigns for companies such as Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Kate Spade, and more.
To top it off, in 2014 she became the new face of Maybelline New York. It’s no wonder that she was one of the highest-paid models of that year. In her personal life, Dunn works to end sickle-cell anemia. Dunn’s son, Riley, was diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia at a young age, and Dunn has become one of the disease’s biggest ambassadors. She told Independent, “I took it for granted that I had a great career in front of me, but now I realise my opportunities – the fact that I can provide for my family and be an ambassador for sickle-cell disease and raise awareness.”
Fei Fei Sun
Sun Feifei, commonly known as Fei Fei Sun, is one of the world’s leading asian models. She is credited as the first Asian woman to land a solo cover of Vogue Italia. The following year, 2014, she crossed the Atlantic and made her American Vogue debut on the September cover. She’s appeared in campaigns for top brands like Prada and Chanel to name just a couple, but this glamorous star had humble beginnings.
In the China issue of Vogue Italia, Sun shared her story. She was born in a small town in Northern China. After her mother enrolled her in a modelling school to fix her posture, Sun became fascinated with the career and enrolled at Soochow University in its Fashion Design program. She gained prominence in the Chinese fashion world throughout the mid-2000s before settling in New York City. “I am grateful to all those who have helped me so far,” she told Vogue Italia. “But I haven’t yet reached the pinnacle of my career. I’m still moving ahead.”
Plenty of models start their career in their teens, but Miranda Kerr might be one of the youngest ingénue in recent history. At 13 years old, Kerr won the DOLLY model search and landed her first cover page right then and there. Kerr found some success in Australia and then broke into the American market by working with Maybelline. A couple years later she became the first Australian Victoria’s Secret Angel. She continued to rack up those “firsts” by becoming the first pregnant model on the cover of the Australian edition of Vogue in 2011.
Kerr is no doubt beautiful, consistently ranking as one of the sexiest models. However, in 2010 Kerr got some embarrassing proof. An Australian banker was caught viewing explicit photos of Kerr in the background of a televised interview. The banker was in danger of losing his job, but Kerr came to the rescue. “I am told there is a petition to save his job, and of course I would sign it,” she told the BBC, speaking of an online Facebook petition fans had set up. Happily, or at least amusingly, the man kept his job. It was a win for public perverts everywhere.