Instagram is the perfect social media network to display modeling talent. It emphasizes vivid, high-quality photographic images. It allows models to showcase fashion to their fans and to help create trends.
Of course, not everybody appreciates the ease with which today’s models can gain a following. ‘90s supermodel, Stephanie Seymour, is not impressed with the new breed of supermodel. She negatively compares today’s models taking selfies and posting them on Instagram with her 90s counterparts who spent long hours traveling between fashion shows.
However it can’t be denied that many of today’s leading Instagram models deserve their success, and probably would have found fame in a previous era.
Here are 20 of the Top Instagram Models
- 1. Kendall Jenner - @kendalljenner
- 2. Cara DeLevigne - @caradelevingne
- 3. Gigi Hadid - @gigihadid
- 4. Bella Hadid - @bellahadid
- 5. Emily Ratajkowski - @emrata
- 6. Chrissy Teigen - @chrissyteigen
- 7. Gisele Bundchen - @gisele
- 8. Miranda Kerr - @mirandakerr
- 9. Candice Swanepoel - @angelcandices
- 10. Adriana Lima - @adrianalima
- 11. Hailey Baldwin - @haileybaldwin
- 12. Barbara Palvin - @realbarbarapalvin
- 13. Karlie Kloss - @karliekloss
- 14. Ashley Graham - @theashleygraham
- 15. Josephine Skriver - @josephineskriver
- 16. Liu Wen - @liuwenlw
- 17. Lucky Blue Smith - @luckybsmith
- 18. Sierra Skye Egan - @sierraaaskyee
- 19. Francisco Lachowski - @chico_lachowski
- 20. Jon Kortajarena - @ kortajarenajon
1. Kendall Jenner - @kendalljenner
Followers: 85.3 million
Kendall Jenner is a model and a member of the famous Kardashian family. At age 14 she signed up to Wilhelmina Models modeling agency and participated in her first fashion shoot. One of her early modeling campaigns was for Forever 21. Before long she had built a name for herself, modeling for major international designers and featuring in magazine spreads. She has appeared in fashion from top names such as Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, and Chanel.
Kendall won Teen Choice Awards for Favorite Model in both 2015 and 2016.
As part of the Kardashian clan, it was natural for Kendall to shine with social media. She is considered a top influencer and can command up to $400,000 a post.
She has lent her name to merchandise including nail polish, jewelry, shoes, handbags, makeup, and clothing.
One backward step on Instagram was lending her name to the infamous Frye Festival.
2. Cara DeLevigne - @caradelevingne
Followers: 40.9 million
Cara DeLevigne is an English fashion model and actress.
She began modeling in 2002, aged ten, in an editorial shoot for Vogue Italia. Seven years later she signed with Storm Model Management. She worked in the industry for two years, before she landed her first runway show.
Burberry’s Christopher Bailey spotted her in 2011 and cast her in the upcoming Burberry Spring / Summer campaign. She then modeled the Burberry Prorsum 2012 spring/summer collection at the September 2011 London Fashion Week.
Her career continued to flourish over the 2013-2015 period. She won the “Model of the Year” Award at the British Fashion Awards in both 2012 and 2014.
However, Cara shifted her focus in 2015 away from modeling into acting. She has also recently made her debut as a novelist of young adult fiction.
3. Gigi Hadid - @gigihadid
Followers: 37.1 million
Gigi Hadid is an American fashion model. She is the sister of another model on this list, Bella Hadid. Their mother, Yolanda Hadid, was also once a model.
Gigi gained her first modeling gig at just two years – modeling Baby Guess clothing. She continued to model for Guess through her teenage years.
She signed up for IMG Models in 2013 and made her New York Fashion Week debut in 2014.
She has continued to model since then. She appeared in the 2015 Pirelli Calendar. She has appeared in many fashion covers, such as Vogue, Schön, Numéro, Allure, W Magazine, and Teen Vogue. She featured on the covers of four version of the March 2017 Vogue - United States, Britain, China, and the Arabia edition.
4. Bella Hadid - @bellahadid
Followers: 16.1 million
Like her older sister, Gigi, Bella Hadid has found massive success as a fashion model.
She began modeling at age 16 in 2012 on a Flynn Skye commercial.
In 2014 she signed with IMG Models. She made her New York Fashion Week debut that year. She has been prominent in many of the top fashion week catwalks ever since.
Bella has modeled for many of the big names of fashion. These include Alexander Wang, Sies Marjan, Carolina Herrera, Brandon Maxwell, Michael Kors, Anna Sue, Ralph Lauren, Prabal Gurung, Zadig et Voltaire, Oscar de la Renta, Versace, and many more.
Bella has also featured on her share of magazine covers, including Elle, Allure, Glamour, Seventeen, Unconditional Magazine, Grey Magazine, Jalouse Magazine, V Magazine, Editorialist, Wonderlands, S Moda, Evening Standard, Teen Vogue, and Twin Magazine.
5. Emily Ratajkowski - @emrata
Followers: 15.9 million
Emily Ratajkowski is a 26-year-old American model and actress. She rose to fame through appearances in music videos - Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Maroon 5's "Love Somebody."
She featured in the 2014 and 2015 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues. FHM named her the fourth sexiest woman in the world. She was the cover model for the 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan. She has since gone on to feature on the covers of many prominent magazines, including several international editions of Vogue.
She made her fashion debut modeling for Marc Jacobs at 2015’s New York Fashion Week.
Like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and many other models/actresses, Emily took one misstep this year by promoting the Fyre Festival via her Instagram account.
6. Chrissy Teigen - @chrissyteigen
Followers: 15.3 million
Chrissy Teigen is a 32-year-old American model, who began in the industry as an IGN Babe in 2004. Since then she has modeled extensively. She has participated in campaigns for Gillette Venus, Olay, Nike, Skullcandy headphones, Gap Factory, XOXO, UGG Australia, Rock and Republic, Billabong, Beach Bunny Swimwear, and Nine West Fashion Targets Breast Cancer.
She made her first appearance in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2010, staying there every year until she reached the cover in 2014.
She has also featured in editorials for Italian Vogue, Esquire, Glamour, Galore, and Cosmopolitan.
7. Gisele Bundchen - @gisele
Followers: 13.6 million
Gisele Bundchen is a 37-year-old Brazilian model.
She gained her break as a model in Alexander McQueen's spring 1998 "rain" ready-to-wear London show. McQueen named her “The Body.”
This led to rapid success, with a string of bookings posing for many big-name fashion campaigns. These included Missoni, Chloé, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Gianfranco Ferré, Ralph Lauren, Versace, and many more clients.
She has also built her reputation to the point that she is now one of the highest paid models in the world. She held the top position in 2012’s Forbes top-earning model list. She appeared in the 2015 Guinness World Record book as the model who earned the most money each year.
She provides numerous endorsements covering a wide range of products.
8. Miranda Kerr - @mirandakerr
Followers: 11.6 million
Miranda Kerr is a 34-year-old Australian model who rose to fame in 2007 as the first Australian Victoria’s Secret model.
She began modeling when aged 13, winning the 1997 Dolly magazine/Impulse model competition. She started working with Chic Management’s Sydney division who gave her considerable commercial exposure, particularly for beachwear.
As a result, she moved to New York to continue her modeling career. She received many runway appearances, which ultimately lead to her Victoria's Secrets signing. She appeared in their televised runway shows in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Her modeling success has continued since then, fronting many high-profile campaigns and regularly featuring on glamour magazine covers.
She ranked No. 10 on the 2016 Forbes list of highest paid models.
9. Candice Swanepoel - @angelcandices
Followers: 11.6 million
Candice Swanepoel is a South African model, who was 8th on the Forbes top-earning models 2016 list.
Her modeling career began when she was spotted by a model scout in a Durban flea market when she was aged 15.
She has modeled on the runway for a wide range of fashion brands. She has also appeared in many advertising campaigns. In 2010 she was selected to be a Victoria’s Secret Agent, and has modeled many of their more luxury items, including a $10 million "Royal Fantasy Bra."
In 2014 she made the top position on Maxim's "Hot 100 List".
10. Adriana Lima - @adrianalima
Followers: 11.5 million
Adriana Lima is another model who is best known for her work as a Victoria’s Secret Agent. She is now their longest-running model. Adriana is a 36-year-old Brazilian model and actress.
She has acted as a spokesmodel for Maybelline since 2003. She is also well-known for her Super Bowl and Kia Motors ads.
She has been the second-highest paid model since 2014.
She currently acts as a brand ambassador for Sportmax’s ready-to-wear collection, Calzedonia’s beachwear collection, and Desigual’s clothing lines.
11. Hailey Baldwin - @haileybaldwin
Followers: 10.9 million
Hailey Baldwin, who is part of the famous Baldwin acting family, is a 21-year-old US model from Tucson, Arizona.
She began modeling for Ford Models in 2014, appearing a variety of glamour magazines, before making her catwalk debut for Topshop.
She has continued to model a range of fashions, appearing in editorial shoots and walk in fashion events such as New York, London, and Milan Fashion Weeks.
In 2016 she was signed by high-profile New York agency, IMG Models.
She topped the May 2017 edition of Maxim Magazine's list of the most beautiful women in the world.
12. Barbara Palvin - @realbarbarapalvin
Followers: 7.3 million
Barbara Palvin is a 24-year-old Hungarian model. She was discovered at age 13, where she shot her first editorial for Spur Magazine.
She subsequently moved to Asia but continued to receive a steady stream of bookings.
She has featured in many campaigns, for companies including Armani Exchange, H&M, Victoria's Secret, Pull & Bear, and L'Oréal Paris.
She has also featured in a variety of famous magazines including multiple international versions of Elle.
She made her runway debut for Prada during the 2010 Milan Fashion Week.
She was part of the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie Class.
13. Karlie Kloss - @karliekloss
Followers: 7.0 million
Karlie Kloss began her modelling career in 2006 at age 14.
She has walked many runways since then in all of the major fashion events.
She has similarly walked for many famous designers and brands, and been the face of a wide range of advertisements.
She was a Victoria's Secret Agent between 2011 and 2014.
Vogue Paris believes Karlie to be one of the top 30 models of the 2000s.
14. Ashley Graham - @theashleygraham
Followers: 5.8 million
Plus-sized 30-year-old Ashley Graham has appeared on the covers of all the high-profile fashion such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Glamour, and Elle.
Over the years, her clients have included Curve ID SS, Marina Rinaldi, Lane Bryant, Addition Elle, Bloomingdale's, Elomi lingerie, Evans, Hanes, Liz Claiborne Macy's, Nordstrom, Simply Be and Target.
She regularly models swimwear and other clothing items in articles featuring plus-sized attire. She was the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2016.
15. Josephine Skriver - @josephineskriver
Followers: 4.6 million
Josephine Skriver-Karlsen is a Danish fashion model. She made her modeling debut in 2011 and has walked in over 300 fashion shows since then.
She has modeled some of the best-known brands and features on the top fashion covers.
She has appeared in ads and catalogs for Victoria’s Secret since 2013, performing in their Fashion Shows. She is officially one of their Angels.
16. Liu Wen - @liuwenlw
Followers: 3.5 million
Liu Wen was the first Chinese fashion model to walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Similarly, she is the first Asian to make Forbes highest-paid models list. The New Your Times referred to her as "China’s first bona fide supermodel" in 2012.
Liu Wen became the first Chinese model to appear on the front cover of American Vogue and was one of seven supermodels that featured on Vogue’s 125th Anniversary March 2017 issue.
17. Lucky Blue Smith - @luckybsmith
Followers: 3.3 million
19-year-old Lucky Blue Smith, our first male model on this list, comes from a famous family of models. His mother and three sisters also model.
The four siblings were scouted when Lucky Blue was ten. He began modeling at twelve. His career took off when he dyed his hair platinum blond – which is now his trademark look.
He may be still a teenager, but he has already appeared on the covers of French and Spanish Vogue, GQ, V, and Harper's Bazaar.
He has walked the runways for many top-class names and appeared in advertising campaigns for Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Moncler, Tommy Hilfiger, Philipp Plein, Mavi, Penshoppe, H&M, Gap, and L'Oreal.
18. Sierra Skye Egan - @sierraaaskyee
Followers: 3.2 million
22-year-old Sierra Egan (who models as Sierra Skye) has modeled for Boutine Los Angeles and Plumeria Lingerie. She is of Italian and Native American descent.
Unlike many of the models on this list, who first gained fame as a model, rather than an Instagrammer, Sierra is very much an Instagram model, who uses the network to help build her modeling reputation.
19. Francisco Lachowski - @chico_lachowski
Followers: 1.8 million
Francisco Lachowski grew up in Brazil but later moved to the United Staes.
He won Ford Men's Supermodel of the World in São Paulo in 2008 and was given a contract with Ford Models. He has subsequently walked in many fashion shows, including Dior Homme, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, DSquared, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Thierry Mugler, and Armani. He has also appeared in many fashion magazine shoots.
20. Jon Kortajarena - @ kortajarenajon
Followers: 1.5 million
Jon Kortajarena Redruello is a Spanish model and actor.
At the age of 18, Jon became the face of Just Cavalli for Roberto Cavalli's spring campaign. This was the springboard for his career, and he has subsequently participated in many of the world’s prestigious fashion weeks.
He became the first male model to be given a significant feature in L'Officiel Hommes magazine – the cover and 200 pages in their spring/summer issue of 2008.
He has featured in a wide range of advertising campaigns since then and more recently has diversified into making films, music videos and television.