Charles Frederick Worth, called the “father of haute couture,” established modeling in 1853. He asked his wife to model fashions he’d designed and that began what was termed “house model.” At that time there were no standards for sizes or body types as fashion designers preferred using models of various sizes to show off their clothing.

It was this humble beginning and a specific chain of events that lead to modeling being a credible, money-making career. Now, we’re lucky enough to see some of the sexiest models in the world.

Lindsay EllingsonLindsay Ellingson

Lindsay was in college studying biology when her beauty was discovered. She was sent to Paris after a successful test shoot and fashion designer John Galliano launched her career.

She’s modeled for some incredible labels such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Valentino and Victoria’s Secret. Lindsay became a Victoria Secret Angel in 2011. She’s also the creative director for Wander Beauty, a luxury brand she co-founded.

Jourdann DunnJourdann Dunn

Jourdann began modeling on runways after her discovery in Hammersmith Primark in 2006. She had her first runway experience at the age of 16 years old. It didn’t take long for her to rise to fame. Models.com has declared her an icon and in 2014 it was estimated she’d earned in a year $4 million.

She’s appeared on numerous magazine covers and has represented such famous brands as Ann Taylor, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria Secret and Neiman Marcus to name a few. She’s won three Model of the Year Awards.

Alessandra AmbrosiaAlessandra Ambrosia

Chosen as the first spokesmodel for Victoria Secret’s PINK line, Alessandra is also a VS Angel. She’s modeled for famous designers Ralph Lauren, Armani and Christian Dior.

She’s been ranked as a highest paid model by Forbes with her income in 2012 estimated as being around $6 million for a single year. S

he’s been chosen as one of the “100 Most Beautiful People in the World” by People magazine and has made numerous cameo appearances in television and film.

In addition, Alessandra is a business entrepreneur who has her own fashion and lifestyle brand called Ale by Alessandra.

Adriana LimaAdriana Lima

Also a Victoria Secret Angel, Adriana has been modeling since the age of 15.

She is Victoria Secret’s longest running model. She’s also walked the runway for many well-known designers like Fendi, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Ralph Lauren and Prada.

She’s had roles on several television shows and in films and has appeared on the cover of numerous magazines. Her estimated earnings in 2015 total around $9 million.

Alyssa MillerAlyssa Miller

Alyssa has appeared on the cover of Elle (Italy) and Vogue (Germany), has been a spokesmodel for Victoria Secret and Guess and has also appeared in a few Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues.

Esquire magazine also featured her as “one of the 80 things that define our time.” She’s a global ambassador for an organization called STOMP Out Bullying due to her experience as a victim of bullying.

Ashley GrahamAshley Graham

The first plus-size model to appear on the cover of a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Ashley has made great strides in paving the way for other plus-size models.

She began modeling in 2001 and has since appeared in several other magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar.

She designed a line of lingerie for Addition Elle in 2013, is involved in charity work and is a supporter of Health at Every Size movement.

Candice HuffineCandice Huffine

Candice is another plus-size model who has enjoyed success in the industry. She’s the first plus-size model to appear in a Pirelli calendar and has appeared in several magazines including Vogue.

She’s a runway model for Lane Bryant and Isabel Toledo. Candice also modeled for Marina Rinaldi’s spring look book.

Chanel ImanChanel Iman

Declared by Vogue Paris as one of the top 30 models in the 2000s, Chanel is largely known for being a Victoria Secret Angel. She got a very young start in modeling at the age of 12 and has since become an in-demand model.

She’s appeared in several magazines and has walked the runway for Express, GAP, Ralph Lauren and DKNY. She’s also had guest appearances on a few television shows and in 2010 opened a clothing boutique called The Red Bag.

Isabeli FontanaIsabeli Fontana

From Brazil, Isabeli began modeling at the age of 13. Her first photoshoot with Victoria Secret lingerie magazine caused controversy as she was only 16 years old at the time, however; that did nothing to damage her career.

She was afterwards sought after and signed by Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Versace. She’s appeared in many magazines and has been the spokesmodel for such brands as Chanel, Armani, Robert Cavali, Revlon and Hugo Boss.

Kate UptonKate Upton
Kate Upton is one of the most famous models in the world. With her numerous appearances in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues (having been the cover model for 2012 and 2013) and being the cover model for Vogue magazine’s 100th anniversary issue, it’s no wonder why she’s made it to a list like Maxim’s Hot 100.

She’s appeared in five films and four television shows. Her awards include Model of the Year and People magazine’s People’s Sexiest Women.

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