The Ever Evolving Supermodel Era

Céline Sabbagh

Since its beginning in the 1990’s, the term ‘supermodel’ has grown in relevance thanks to fashion household names like Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Heidi Klum taking the industry by storm. Today, we are seeing a new generation of models pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a supermodel with their massive followings and dedicated fans driving online conversations. With this in mind, we took a look at which models garnered the most media attention and ultimately the most Media Impact Value™ in 2021.

The growing popularity of models lends to their Voice as Influencers and Celebrities in turn becoming brand ambassadors. Among the top 25 ranked models, 8 of them were below the age of 30 with half of them leading the ranks within the top 5. This may partly be due to their devoted fans on social media platforms and global activism. Top placements for these models come from popularity driven by their authentic interactions with their audience as seen with one of Bella Hadid’s top Owned Media posts, discussing her personal life with her fans, gaining $1.2M in Media Impact Value™.

With that being said, we take a deeper look into the top models on the ranking as well as highlight how the models are remaining timeless today.

Kendall Jenner

Ranking 1st in our top rankings is American model, Kendall Jenner who gained an impressive total of $50.9M MIV® across 8593 placements on Social and Online channels. With an Instagram audience of over 228M followers, her single highest post was a behind-the-scenes look at a Skims photoshoot that generated $2.1M in MIV®. Majority of her highest MIV® placements come from her Owned Media channel thanks to her famed social media and online presence.

Gigi Hadid

Ranking in 5th in our listing, Gigi Hadid gained an MIV® of $21.6M. The older half of the Hadid sisters, she was mentioned in over 4691 placements on Social and Online channels. As one of the most well known models in the world, it was no surprise to see one of her top social posts generate $1.5M in MIV®. Hadid also counts as a major fashion icon in the industry as she participated in various collaborations with designers such as her Tommyxgigi collection for Tommy Hilfiger. Gigi Hadid is also known for her activism, she for example recently pledged to donate her earnings from the Fall 2022 shows to help Ukrainian victims of the Russian invasion

Hailey Bieber

The 26 year old American model, Hailey Bieber generated $34.5M in MIV® landing her in the ranks for 2nd in our top listing. She was mentioned in over 7511 placements with her Owned Media post on Instagram celebrating her marriage to Justin Bieber garnering $1.1M in MIV®. To add, her top 4 placements come from Justin’s Instagram account with posts solely featuring Hailey gaining more than $1.2M in MIV®.

Bella Hadid

Bella Hadid ranked herself in the third position in our top listing, generating $34,1M in MIV®. Hadid is known for her activism in the current economic situation. She garnered $1.2M in MIV from one post only where she opened up about her struggle with mental health. She founded Kin Euphorics in 2021, a non-alcoholic adult drinks company that stands at the forefront of the sober curious movement.

Prior to the rise in social media, supermodels relied on the media to build their presence. Talk shows, movie features, and being seen at trendy nightclubs all contributed to the building of the voice. Models like Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Claudia Schiffer were amongst the few to gain fame in this early era. Expanding their career beyond modeling, these stars have taken on various philanthropic, entertainment and entrepreneurial opportunities. Today many of the classic supermodels still remain highly relevant thanks to their prevalence across various Media and Partner Voices. 

Heidi Klum

The German-American model and now TV host, producer and business woman gained an MIV® of $13.2M in 2021 landing her 6th in our top model ranking. Her high MIV® can be attributed to her features in popular entertainment shows such as Germany’s Next Top Model, America’s Got Talent, and Project Runway. Her top placement comes from a Partner Voice, in which she is featured as a judge in a video from the TV show America’s Got Talent. The video itself earned her $1.4M in MIV® and reached over 27M people. 

Naomi Campbell

Famous for being the first model of color in French, American, and Italian Vogue, Naomi Campbell ranks 8th in our top model listing with a total MIV® of $11.9M. Her high relevance in the media is distinguished with her being mentioned across 2988 Online and Social placements in 2021. The top placement, earning her over $1.9M in MIV®, is a YouTube video featuring her in the front row of L’Oreal’s 2021 Paris fashion show.

Kate Moss

Arriving at the end of the “supermodel era”, Kate Moss brought a new look to models with her unique and natural look. Known for her iconic image in the 1992 Calvin Klein ad campaign, she still remains one of the most well known models today landing her 18th in our Model rankings with an MIV® of $6.7M across 1870 placements. The top placement for Kate Moss is an Instagram post by Kim Kardashian, featuring the timeless model in a Skims campaign. The post itself garnered $970K in MIV® and reached the 233M followers of Kim.

Gisele Bundchen

Gisele Bundchen garnered $9.8M in MIV® last year and ranked herself in the 11th position on our top model listing. She generated $1.1M in MIV from one post only congratulating her husband over his team football’s win. Bundchen is part of a lot of environmental and social organizations such as Save the Children or the Red Cross. Additionally, she is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program.

Supermodels, whether part of the new generation or the supermodels era, remain a source for brands to not only boost brand awareness, drive high Media Impact Value™ and ultimately generate sales but mostly act as spokespersons and ambassadors for economical, political and social matters that touch our society, beyond the fashion industry.

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