Before the millennium, models most profitable endeavors generated wealth through campaigns, posing in editorials for major publications, and strolling up and down the runway. Supermodels have always been paid handsome figures for their stunning looks and sculpted bodies, but with the increasing influence of social media the monetization of the modelling industry has changed dramatically. Social media has created a brand new lane of generated healthy revenue stream for the fashion industry. 2015 was the year of the “Instamodel”. The social network quickly grew into the verified casting agent of the top supermodels in the world based on the model’s social influence. Introducing a new marketing age where casting agents for movies and fashion seek out celebrities with built in advertising networks, their massive social followings are what allows them to earn staggering payments. The general public faithfully follows these newly crowned “It Girls” of the modeling industry as millions follow Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne, and Gigi Hadid. The three models are the most followed models currently on Instagram.

The Society Management’s Jenner’s 44 million Instagram followers ranks the top model on the app and the 9th most followed account, overall. Delevigne is not too far behind with her 24 million followers, earning herself the title of possessing the 28th most followed account. Coming in at 56th on the overall list of followed accounts, Hadid has a cool 10 million followers. Kendall’s older sister Kim Kardashian is considered currently the most followed model on Instagram. Proving that Instagram is quickly becoming a models most valuable asset to have along with their credits. Brands pay models to feature their products on their Instagram accounts, where they have a bigger, more quantifiable audience than they do in fashion magazines and billboards.

Millions of followers at a finger-tips instant, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne can command anywhere between $125,000 to $300,000 for a single Instagram post along with a standard fee for the job itself. For instances, Jenner is the global ambassador for Estée Lauder, whose president has described her as “the ultimate Instagirl.” Jenner and Hadid both plugged Victoria’s Secret numerous times on Instagram during and after this year’s show. Former casting director Frank Spadafora breaks down how brands have started to ask for models, “with over ‘X’ amount of followers, and then will ask for the specs of the talent after that.”

While Jenner, Hadid, and Delevingne rack in the highest payouts product social branding, the trio aren’t the only models profiting from their social followings. Models, both signed and indie, are making a comfortable living through the popular social outlet. Models like Miranda Kerr, Behati Prinsloo and Karlie Kloss can make anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000. While the average “Instamodel” can demand regularly $75-500 a week for a single product endorsement.

Jenner and Hadid have been joined at the hip lately professionally. Both starred in this year’s Victoria’s Secret runway show and before that both led the recent Balmain F/W ’15 campaign (See: Jenner, Hadid walk Balmain/H&M). Both the supermodels baby sisters also co-starred alongside their siblings in the Balmain campaign (See: Jenner Sisters star in Fall Balmain).

Prior to skyrocketing to the top of modeling in 2014, Kendall aligned with The Society Management in 2013 after beginning her career at 14 with Wilhelmina. Gigi was discovered at two-year-old by Guess, signed with IMG in 2011 and made her NYFW debut along with Kendall in 2014. Kendall is on the current cover of Vogue Brasil while Gigi starts 2016 on the cover of British Vogue. Cara is the current face of YSL Beauty Touche Eclat while on the current cover of Empire magazine for her upcoming role in the 2016 release Suicide Squad.

Award-winning Delevingne (Model of the Year, 2014) recently cut ties with former agency Storm Model Management last June, now represented by Women’s Management, she was last seen on the cover of Vogue back in July.


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