The Super Model Entrepreneurs Who Ditched The Catwalk For Business


  • They Are Known For Their Appearance But It Is Their Brains That Have Made Them Succesful Businesswomen
  • They Wanted To Be Known For More Than Their Beauty - So They Became Entrepreneurs

The Entrepreneurs That Started Out On The Catwalk

Time and time again we see celebrities and high profile individuals become famous and then start to branch out into other fields.

Whether it's Heidi Klum who started out as a model and is now more known for being a judge on America's Got Talent or even if its Kylie Jenner who started out as the shy youngster on Keeping Up With The Kardashians but is now the billionaire owner of a cosmetic company at the age of 23.

Regardless of their route to the top one thing is obvious. The more successful you become the more opportunities arise for you and these beautiful women made the most of those opportunities.


Cindy Crawford Started Meaningful Beauty Skincare Product

During the 90s Cindy Crawford was THE supermodel that every magazine and fashion designer wanted. After her famous entrance to the Oscars in 1990 in THAT red Versace dress she was a household name.

By the time she had retired from modelling in the 2000s the Illinois born supermodel had appearances in a number of iconic Pepsi Commercials and music videos - most notably the 1994 music video with Jon Bon Jovi in "Please Come Home For Christmas".


Despite her status as one of the most beautiful women in the world, Crawford had the drive and ambition to launch her own cosmetic company, Meaningful Beauty, in 2005.

With the help of her own cosmetic surgeon, Jean-Louis Sebagh, Crawford has played an integral part in developing a line of skin care products for a Guthy-Renker backed company that now is responsible for over $100million in annual revenue.


Christine Brinkley Launched Her Own Line Of Skincare Products

Christine Brinkley is the former Sports Illustrated model that

that has gone on to have a fruitful career in acting and now in business.

The supermodel was first introduced to modelling when she was studying art in Paris and was approached by a fashion photographer in a queue at the post office.

That chance meeting changed her life as the Michigan born Brinkley went on to appear in over 500 magazine covers and is perhaps best known for being the "Uptown Girl" in Billy Joel's hit music video.


However, the Californian raised model not only had a succesful modelling and acting career but has also proved to be a shrewd businesswoman after launching her own line of cosmetics, Christie Brinkley Skin Care.

The company launched in 2014 off the back of Brinkley's growing social media presence and is reportedly generating around $40million in annual sales.


Gisele Bündchen Has Her Own Line Of Flip Flops

Brazilian born Gisele started her modelling career at the very young age of 14, moving to Sao Paulo in the hope of becoming a star.

Thanks to her natural beauty it only took Gisele only a few years for her rise to the top in the industry as she was widely credited to bringing "natural beauty" to the fore rather than the late 90s "heroin chic".


Like so many succesful models who have dominated the fashion industry, Gisele has also made the transition to Hollywood after her role in The Devil Wears Prada but the Brazilian beauty also has dabbled in the business arena after launching, Ipanema, her own line of sandals.

The highly succesful line has been a lucrative venture for the parent company Grendene, as in 2010 the flip-flops generated nearly $200million.


Rebecca Romijn Took The Model To Acting Transition To A New Level

Modelling has provided the gateway for a number of high profile actresses in order for them to "get their foot in the door" and to get recognised for upcoming roles.

Whilst it is a good strategy to build up your name before you enter Hollywood, it's rare for the actress to be known for their film roles rather than for their modelling.

Rebecca Romijn broke this mould and although the Sports Illustrated cover model was hugely succesful before her acting career it has been her subsequent film roles which she is best known for.


Whilst some will recognise her for her TV roles in Friends, Ugly Betty and Star Trek, Romijn will always best be known for her role as Mystique in the Marvel series X-Men.

It is a role she she has reprised on 3 separate occasions since her debut in the franchise back in 2000.

Twenty years later and the actress still remains a fan favourite not only for her beauty but for her continued dedication to the role where she regularly attends Comic-Cons in California.


Elle Macpherson Founded WelleCo In 2014

Elle "The Body" Macpherson has had a varied career at the top. During the 1990s she was part of the emergence of a new generation of supermodels that included the likes of Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell.

In TV, the Aussie born star famously had a brief stint as Joey's roomate and girlfriend, Janine, in Friends and was the host of the popular Britain's Next Top Model. She has even had a dabble in Hollywood movies as Julie Madison in Batman & Robin but the less we mention that movie the better.


Aside from her glittering career in showbiz, Macpherson has also an impressive business portfolio having launched a number of lingerie lines and beauty products throughout her life.

In 2014 she co-founded WelleCo, a company that delivers a range of plant-based healthcare supplements. The success of WelleCo was almost inevitable after the star had built up a number of contacts in the retail industry and is on course to generate $12million this year.


Miranda Kerr Founded Beauty Line Kora Organics

Australian Miranda Kerr grabbed our attention during the late 2000s as the next big Victoria's Secret model. Dubbed a "Victoria's Secret Angel" the Kerr's fame skyrocketed when she revealed that she was engaged to Hollywood star Orlando Bloom, making them Hollywood's most beautiful couple by far.

Although their marriage would eventually fail, Kerr's business that she set up during this time would go on to be a huge success.


Kerr founded KORA Organics in 2009 which primarily focusses on the development of skincare products.

Headquartered in Los Angeles the company was consistently generating over $10million in annual sales before the global pandemic hit.

In 2017, the supermodel married Snapchat Founder Evan Spiegel making them one of the richest entrepreneur young couples in the world. Their children are going to be serial entrepreneurs for sure.


Former Swimsuit Model Heidi Klum Is A Business Guru

Swimsuit model Heidi Klum rose to fame in the early 90s after winning a modelling competition in her native Germany which had over 25,000 applicants.

She quickly became one of the most famous Victoria's Secret Models during the 2000s known for her obvious beauty but also her bubbly personality.

Not satisfied with her success as one of the world's most famous models, Klum is somewhat of a workaholic as she dedicates her time between the numerous ventures that she is involved in.


With a resume that any actress would be proud of, including appearances in Zoolander, Desperate Housewives and How I Met Your Mother, Klum is also a judge on the insanely popular America's Got Talent where millions of Americans have been able to see another side of the former lingerie model.

In addition to her media commitments the mother of four also manages a number of product lines including two fragrances, anti-aging skin care products, makeup, jewellery, two lines of maternity wear and her own line of fashionable clothing.

It's fair to say she is a busy woman.


Claudia Schiffer Started A Restaurant Chain With Other Supermodels

At the height of her fame during the 90s, Claudia Schiffer was part of the emergence of a new breed of supermodels that were captivating the fashion industry.

Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson and Christy Turlington were household names at this time. Looking to capitalise on their fame the four embarked on a business venture that looked set to become as lucrative as their modelling careers.


In 1995, the foursome became joint owners of a new chain of restaurants branded the Fashion Cafe.

Located in New York's Rockerfeller Center the new venture was a big deal at the time as it looked set to be "the place to be" and full of A-listers on a daily basis.

However just five years after opening disaster struck as the co-owners Francesco and Tommaso Buti were arrested for fraud, bankruptcy and money laundering. Ouch!

Needless to say the supermodels lost on their investment but had learnt a harsh lesson in the world of business.


Tyra Banks Made America's Top Model What It Is Today

During the 90s not only was Tyra Banks setting the fashion industry alight but the Californian born model also featured as Will Smith's love interest in one of the most popular sitcoms running at the time, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Like so many high profile models she made a succesful transition to the entertainment industry but it was until 2003 where she would transform her career.

Under her production company, Bankable, the star developed one of the highest rated prime time shows of all time, America's Next Top Model. After a brief hiatus in 2015 the show has been running continuously since 2003 such is the popularity of the competition which Banks has fronted for all 24 series.


The franchise has been licensed to over 170 outlets worldwide and has 17 versions in different countries (Heidi Klum presents the German version of the show). It's impact on the modelling industry has been revolutionary whilst at the same time it has also been very lucrative for the networks, consistently bringing in millions of viewers for a very niche programme.


Iman Is The Founder And CEO Of Iman Cosmetics

Somali born Iman (Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid) set the fashion world alight during the 1980s with her tall, slender stature that was unique to her. Versace, Calvin Klein and all the high profile fashion labels would clamour over each other for her services.

Her profile erupted when in 1992 when she appeared as an Egyptian Queen in Michael Jackson's music video for "Remember The Time". It was during this period that Iman retired from modelling after spending 20 succesful years in the industry.


After retiring, the supermodel started her own cosmetics company in 1994 where wanted to address the lack of availability of beauty products for women of all skin tones.

It was a problem that the then 34-year-old had during her twenties and felt that it had never been addressed.

After being rejected by a number of brands over fears of lack of demand, Iman Cosmetics was an instant success and to this day makes over $5million in annual revenue.


Kathy Ireland Is Worth Over $400m

Californian born Kathy Ireland was one of Sports Illustrated's favourite supermodels appearing over 13 times during the 1980s, a record she still holds to this day. Although she loved her modelling career the mother of three had other ambitions than just being in front of the camera.

Even though the Sports Illustrated photoshoots made her a household name, Ireland is best known today for her brand that she founded in 1993, Kathy Ireland Worldwide.


The brand sells a wide range of items including a clothing line for babies, jewellery, home office furniture, vacation deals, wedding locations, greeting cards, gardening supplies, hair extensions and even music label. I told you it was a wide range.

With a little advice from her mentor, Warren Buffet (world's greatest investor), Ireland took the company from selling just over $10million in 2004 to turning over $2billion annually by 2012.

She’s worth about $420 million and is the model (pardon the pun) for women who want to succeed in business.


Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover

It's very easy to underestimate people who primarily use their looks to get ahead. However, as we have seen those who able market themselves go on to bigger and better things.

In a competitive landscape use whatever tools are available to you in order to get noticed. When you start to achieve success more and more opportunities will be available to you.

Capitalising on those opportunities can transform your life as many of these supermodels have done.


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