People have a lot of feelings when it comes to models, particularly the breed of Insta-models that rose during the celebrity/social media boom of the past several years. So, depending on which side of the Calabasas fence you’re on, the Forbes news that Kendall Jenner was (once again) the highest-paid model of the year may or may not trigger you — taking into account how much you care about these things, or fashion in general, anyway.
Because the truth is: outside of modeling, Jenner is a highly-compensated reality television star, too, who undeniably books some gigs and endorsements thanks to her E! screen time alongside sister Kim Kardashian et al. Most models, even some featured on the newly updated Forbes list, do not have the same situation.
Polling at #1, Jenner raked in a reported $22.5 million in 2018. Last year, she made $22 million, just a cool $500k shy of this year’s rate. For comparison, her youngest sister and cosmetics mogul Kylie Jenner made $166.5 million this year.
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This is Kendall second year ousting veteran supermodel Gisele Bündchen from the top spot she held for 14 years, between 2002 and 2016. Bündchen came in fifth this year with $10 million, alongside model-actress Cara Delevingne. In the number two spot, Karlie Kloss followed Jenner, cashing in $13 million, followed by Chrissy Teigen and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who both pulled in $11.5 million. Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Joan Smalls, and Doutzen Kroes round out the top 10 with more millions (in that order).
The fact that Jenner held on to the “highest-paid” title is surprising and it isn’t. Earlier this year, Jenner came under fire for some words she actually said in LOVE magazine: “Since the beginning we’ve been super selective about what shows I would do … I was never one of those girls who would do like 30 shows a season or whatever the fuck those girls do. More power to ’em. But I had a million jobs, not only catwalks but everything else. The whole combination was very overwhelming and I started to freak out a little bit and needed to take a step back.” She later accused the British fashion magazine of twisting her words.
To be “super selective” about jobs is a luxury most models will never enjoy in their careers — even 90’s-era supermodels are still walking the runways. All of this does speak to the fact that Kris Jenner’s second-youngest child is pretty famous outside of the modeling world, too. But hey, chicken-or-egg debates aside, you can’t argue that Kendall doesn’t work.