The digital revolution has impacted many business areas, including the modeling world. Social media now plays a major role in all aspects of the industry, from how models rise to fame to how they get booked for fashion campaigns and the way products are marketed.
Nowadays, popularity and contracts depend on online influence and reach as much as appearances. The number of followers on Instagram is an important consideration for agencies, magazines, and clients, and in this article, we will take a look at the top 10 female models on Instagram based on follower count.
Kendall Jenner – Followers: 114 million
A member of the famous Kardashian clan, 23-year-old Kendall Jenner has grown up on her family’s reality show but has managed to make a name for herself in the modeling industry. She was signed up by Wilhelmina Models agency at the age of 14 and has since participated in campaigns for major international brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Roberto Cavalli, and Calvin Klein. Jenner has also walked for Victoria’s Secret and graced the covers of various fashion magazines.
Like Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski, Kendall misstepped in 2017 by promoting the ill-fated Fyre Festival via her Instagram profile. Despite costing thousands of dollars, the tickets for the Bahamas music festival sold out. Yet the event never took place. Organizer Billy McFarland pleaded guilty earlier this year to wire fraud and was sentenced to six years in prison. Kendall, who was reportedly paid $250,000 for the advertising post, has come under fire for omitting to disclose she was posting an ad, profiting from it, and misleading her followers. Still, the fiasco has not stopped Kendall from being the number one model on Instagram, with by far the largest follower base.
She is also one the highest-paid influencers on the photo-sharing website. She uses her fame to promote makeup, clothing, shoes, and jewelry, among other merchandise.
Gigi Hadid – Followers: 49 million
Born in 1995 in Los Angeles, Gigi Hadid has Dutch-Palestinian heritage. Her sister, Bella Hadid, and their mother, Yolanda Hadid, are also models.
Gigi started her carrier at the age of two as a model for Baby Guess clothing and has since starred in the campaigns of many other brands, such as Fendi, Tom Ford, Vogue Eyewear, and Reebok. She has built on her success with appearances on major fashion runways and international magazine covers, including Vogue, Allure, W Magazine, and Bazaar US.
Cara Delevingne – Followers: 42.9 million
Cara Delevingne is an English model and actress born in 1992. Her career took off in an editorial shoot for Vogue Italia when she was only 10. Since then, she has worked for brands such as Burberry, Vogue, Chanel, Armani Exchange, and Rimmel London and has been featured on the covers of Elle UK, V Magazine, and Glamour. In 2012, Cara embarked on her acting career, with a minor role in the film adaptation of Anna Karenina. Since 2015, she has been shifting her focus away from modeling into acting.
Earlier this year, the British beauty revealed her fans had dropped by 50,000 after she slammed R Kelly on Instagram and addressed the claims of sexual misconduct surrounding the singer. Despite the negative reaction of some of her fans, she pledged to be even “more confrontational” this year. Her position seems to be gaining support in the long term, however, as her following has grown from 41.2 million to 42.9 million since the February scandal.
Bella Hadid – Followers: 25.4 million
The younger sister of Gigi Hadid began modeling at 16 with a Flynn Skye commercial. Bella has since starred in campaigns for brands such as Moschino, Versace, Bulgari, Nike, Oscar de la Renta, and NARS Cosmetics. The model has also appeared on the covers of Allure, Teen Vogue, Glamour, Porter, Elle US, and InStyle Magazine and has starred in many fashion week catwalks.
Bella is also a successful influencer and has worked on numerous campaigns on her social media profile, including with the likes of Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors.
Chrissy Teigen – Followers: 25.3 Million
Chrissy Teigen is a 33-year-old American model whose career began in 2004 as an IGN Babe. Since then, she has participated in campaigns for Nike, Gillette Venus, Olay, Gap Factory, UGG Australia, and other major brands. She has also graced the covers of Sports Illustrated, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Esquire, Italian Vogue, and Galore.
Chrissy is famous on the platform for her relatable posts, witty comments, and regular interaction with fans. The model can also be seen sharing images of her two kids and her famous husband, singer John Legend.
Emily Ratajkowski – Followers: 23.8 million
Emily Ratajkowski was born to American parents in London in 1991 and raised mainly in California. She gained fame in 2013 after appearing in Robin Thicke’s music video Blurred Lines. Since then, Emily has starred in campaigns for brands such as Paco Rabanne, DKNY, Frye, and DL1961. She has also catwalked for many fashion brands and has been photographed for editorials in Allure, Vogue Australia, Cosmopolitan, Glamour UK, and Harper’s Bazaar Australia.
Emily is known for her posts in support of feminism, and she takes every opportunity to redefine beauty standards.
Sommer Ray – Followers: 21.8 million
Sommer Ray is a 22-year-old fitness enthusiast, bikini athlete, and model. In 2016, she was named the “Lovely Lady of the Day” by Sports Illustrated. Sommer is also a member of the Clout Gang, a group of popular YouTubers. She has appeared in the MTV sketch comedy series “Wild ‘N Out.”
Sommer has amassed a strong following because of her fitness and workout videos and pictures. Recently, however, she has also been using social media to show more of her personality, posting some funny videos of herself.
Hailey Baldwin/Bieber – Followers: 20.7 million
Hailey Baldwin (now Hailey Bieber) was born in 1996 to actor Stephen Baldwin and graphic designer Kennya Deodato Baldwin. She began modeling for Ford Models in 2014 and has since appeared in a number of editorial shoots and campaigns for brands like H&M, L’Oreal Professionnel, Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren. The blonde has also walked in the London, New York, and Milan Fashion Weeks. In 2016, she was signed by IMG Models, a high-profile New York modeling agency.
Although her career started before her marriage to Justin Bieber, the relationship with the famous singer brought her millions of new fans over the past year.
Gisele Bundchen – Followers: 15.4 million
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At the age of 39, Gisele Bundchen is the oldest model in our list. Her impressive career started in 1998 with her work on a highly successful campaign for Alexander McQueen. This was followed by modeling contracts with Dolce & Gabbana, Chloé, Gianfranco Ferré, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, and Versace.
In 2000, Bundchen signed a $25 million deal with Victoria’s Secret and became one of the highest-paid models in the world. In the social media era, Gisele is one of the most popular influencers.
Candice Swanepoel – Followers: 13.5 million
Candice Swanepoel is another prominent Victoria’s Secret angel. Besides appearing in the lingerie brand’s commercials and catwalks, she has modeled for brands like Givenchy, Michael Kors, Max Factor, Fendi, Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger, and Dolce and Gabbana. In 2018, Candice launched her own swimwear collection, Tropic of C. She is also famous for her brand sponsorships and Instagram influencer marketing.
That concludes our list of the top female models on Instagram. You can learn more about their Instagram reach and account statistics via our detailed audit reports (linked above). Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions, comments or feedback, feel free to leave a comment.