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The Most Successful Male Models Of All Time

Published 2 years ago on May 18, 2018
By Hugo

In an interview with the New York Times, leading male model Brad Kroenig compared the wage differences in male and female modeling to that of America's W.N.B.A and the N.B.A. And it was a fair example. 

Forbes' only rich list of male models, conducted in 2013, found the top male earner's $1.5m takings lagged far behind the juggernauts of the female industry, with the highest paid female model that year, the Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, taking home a whopping $42m.

Shutterstock/ANDREA DELBO

Yes, modeling is very much a woman's world, but for those at the top of their game, there is still money to be made in the less-coveted world of male modeling.

Here are 9 male models who have managed to stand out in an industry dominated by women. 


1. David Gandy

David Gandy is not your average male model. In fact, earlier in his career, which mostly consisted of catalog work in less-than-glamorous places, Gandy was often told by designers that he was 'too big' to make it as a successful male model, and he found it hard fitting into clothes often designed for those of a skinnier build.


But ever since landing the famous Dolce campaign, which saw the British hunk labeled 'White Pants Man', Gandy has become one of the most recognizable faces in the industry for his more macho look, and with an impressive $14m net worth, we're sure Derek Zoolander would be impressed.

2. Lucky Blue Smith

This 18-year-old Mormon from Utah has quickly attained 'supermodel' status and is one of the few male models to be recognized wherever they go. But Smith is no ordinary model, and as well as being known for his razor-sharp cheekbones and platinum blonde hair, he is also an actor and musician.

Shutterstock/ANDREA DELBO

What's more, Smith's Instagram page boasts 2.7m followers, more than any other male model, and coupled with his ability to interact with his fans, who he regularly invites to meet-and-greet sessions, Lucky Blue Smith is already a stellar name in the modeling world. 


3. Sean O'Pry 

He may be sick of being known as the hot guy in the music video for the undeniably catchy Taylor Swift song Blank Space, but Sean O'Pry can take solace in being the highest paid male model for many years, despite being only 26-years-old.

Shutterstock/ lev radin

In 2013 alone, Forbes profiled Sean O'Pry as the world's highest-earning male model, with $1.5m banked in only one year, a figure that has no doubt increased in the intervening years. 

In the meantime, however, the American is keen to shift his attention away from modeling and pursue a career in acting, a career transition many notable actors have taken, including the likes of Jamie Dornan and Channing Tatum.

4. Jon Kortajarena 

With high-rise cheekbones that could cut through diamonds, the Spanish model Jon Kortajarena is one of the highest-earning models in the world and is a favorite of the celebrity designer Tom Ford.

Shutterstock/Mauro Del Signore

Away from modeling, Kortajarena made a cameo appearance in Tom Ford's debut movie, A Single Man, and most recently showed his striking face in the Kanye West video, Wolves. 

According to reports in Spain, the male supermodel is in a relationship with the British actor, Luke Evans.

5. Noah Mills

Noah Mills is a prime example of why being tall, dark, and handsome will never go out of vogue, with the model a favorite of the fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana.

Shutterstock/ Deby Wong

While being one of the highest earners in the business, the actor has also landed a few acting gigs, including roles in Season 1 of 2 Broke Girls, a cameo in Sex and the City 2, and you guessed it, an appearance as Taylor Swift's love interest in her video, We Are Never Getting Back Together.

6. Mark Vanderloo 

This man is a seasoned pro, and as well as fronting nearly every Hugo Boss campaign, Mark Vanderloo's name was also the inspiration behind the cult-classic Ben Stiller character Derek Zoolander, with the name being a twist on the star's surname.

Shutterstock/ catwalker

Mark, who is the oldest on this list, is still getting work and even made a guest appearance in cycle 11 of America's Next Top Model.

7. Simon Nessman

The Canadian supermodel may not have the social media following and fame that Lucky Blue Smith and Sean O'Pry have, but Nessman's popularity with designers has led to a mouthwatering $10m fortune. Not bad for a 27-year-old.


But it's unlikely that Nessman has any time to spend his fortune, with his work schedule for the likes of  Versace, D&G, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Barneys, Gap and many others taking up most of his time.

8. Tyson Beckford

Growing up in the harsh and often unforgiving area of the Bronx, Beckford's escape from poverty can largely be attributed to his eclectic mix of nationalities, which include Jamaican, Panamanian, Chinese, and African roots.

Shutterstock/ lev radin

And with a smoulderingly handsome face and a bone structure rivaled by few others, it's easy to see why the New York native became a favorite with the likes of Herb Ritts, Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein. People magazine even included him in their famous 50 Most Beautiful People list.

9. Nacho Figueras

Nach Figueras has balanced the act of being a professional polo player and model for some time, so it's only right he fronts the fragrance campaigns for Ralph Lauren.

Shutterstock/ lev radin

Often mistaken for the actor Christian Bale, Figueras is ranked inside the top 100 polo players in the world and is a regular inclusion on the Money Guys list.

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