Gisele Bundchen made $42 million last year, mostly from her budget sandal company?

Here’s a photo Gisele Bundchen posted to her Instagram several weeks ago – that’s baby Vivian in her arms! We barely see Vivian. There are rarely any paparazzi photos and Gisele never did a photoshoot with Viv either. But she has been posting Blue Ivy-type, shadowy conspiracy-baby photos on her social media. I guess that’s the cool thing to do these days.

Anyway, Forbes released their list of the “top-earning models” from June 2012-2013 and no surprise, Gisele is #1. What did surprise me a little bit is just how far ahead of the pack Gisele has gotten. Usually, there’s not a huge disparity between what #1 earned and what #2 earned. But Gisele made $42 million in one year. #2 Miranda Kerr made $7.2 million. Crazy, right? Even crazier when you think of it this way: Gisele was pregnant at the time!! And she made more money than her husband – Tom Brady made $38.3 million in the same time period. Get it, Gisele.

Success as a model requires flawless genes and a lot of luck. The 10 women on FORBES’ list of highest-paid models have something else, too: business sense. Take Gisele Bündchen, who leads the pack for the seventh year in a row with $42 million in earnings, seven times as much as second-place Miranda Kerr (and a bit more than quarterback husband Tom Brady’s $38.3 million).

Bündchen’s earnings may be off $3 million from last year’s total, but the 33-year-old Brazilian has enjoyed a sharp rise in fortune since 2009, when she led the list with $25 million. This is in part due to her successful partnership with Grendene, the Brazilian footwear company, in which she owns a stake.

Since 2012, Grendane’s shares have more than doubled, pushing its valuation to a five-year high. The supermodel mom makes millions from her eco-friendly cosmetics company, Sejaa, and multi-year contracts with international campaigns like Pantene, Oral-B and Sky HDTV.

Our earnings estimates are based on editorial shoots, independent licensing ventures, spokesperson gigs and contracts from beauty and fashion companies from June 2012 to June 2013.

Kerr pulled in $7.2 million in the 12 months ending in June, leaping up the rankings from No. 7 last year, when she earned $4 million. The Australian model first strapped on a pair of Victoria’s Angels wings in 2007. Now, at 30, she’s expanded her portfolio with contracts with Quantas, David Jones and Mango. Like Bündchen and many other models on our list, Kerr is trying to cash in on booming markets outside of the States. In Asia, the launch of her skincare line, Kora, and deals to pitch Lipton Tea and P&G detergent brand Bold helped her move up our list this year.

Adriana Lima‘s earnings dropped from $7.3 million last year to $6 million, but she still moved up one spot in our ranking to No. 3. Lima has been with Victoria’s Secret since 2000, making her the longest-running Angel. No surprise, her supermodel seniority comes with a super-sized deal, and it’s more lucrative than any other current modeling contract in the company. Most of Lima’s earnings come from her deal with the lingerie retailer.

Of course, an Angel contract isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of fashion. The wingless Kate Moss (No. 7) still managed to pull in $5.7 million, though she took a $3.5 million plunge from last year, when she ranked second. But at 39, the neo-hippie waif can still rock the bad-girl image while maintaining her title as fashion’s most in-demand supermodel.

“Kate still has enormous international presence,” said Ivan Bart, senior vice president and managing director of IMG models, the New York-based modeling agency that represents Moss. “She’s still doing a lot of modeling and business around the world. She’s not very ‘in-your-face’ in the U.S., but she’s got a number of English and European associations.” In addition to a multi-year Vogue eyewear contract, deals with Versace and Rimmel, Moss will be posing nude for Playboy to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Some new faces on the list this year are Liu Wen and Joan Smalls. Wen (No. 5), who hails from China, raked in $4.3 million over the past year through deals with blue-chip brands Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss and Estée Lauder. The 25-year-old turned heads when she became the first Chinese model to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. But what truly makes Wen watch-worthy is her potential to cash in on her home country’s exploding fashion market, which is expected to triple in size to $200 billion by 2020.

Some likely candidates to make the list next year: Karlie Kloss, the newest addition to Victoria’s Secret’s lineup, and Kate Upton, the commercial-turned-editorial bombshell who Vogue recently deemed “the hottest supermodel on Earth.” Doutzen Kroes and Alessandra Ambrosio, who dropped off the list this year, could make a comeback.

[From Forbes]

So, the bulk of Gisele’s income seems to be coming from her collaboration with that Brazilian shoe company? That’s weird. I mean, good for her that it’s so successful, but those aren’t even high-end shoes. That would be like Kate Upton endorsing and profit-sharing with a company that only made flip-flops. She would make money, for sure, but at the end of the day… there are still a million places to buy flip-flops and I don’t get why people would just NEED to buy flip-flops from one particular model/company or why that collaboration would be so wildly successful. Is it shady? A little bit.

I also think it’s interesting that Miranda managed to claw her way to #2 – I bet that changes next year. Because next year she won’t have Victoria’s Secret propping her up. As for Kate Moss… from what I can see, she accumulated $5.7 million by just hanging out and having fun. Kate never works because she NEEDS to work. Kate just does it for giggles.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and Instagram.

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69 Responses to “Gisele Bundchen made $42 million last year, mostly from her budget sandal company?”

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  1. Dawn says:

    They have cute kids! I’ve never seen her sandal line. Who sells it?

  2. Tapioca says:

    Jessica Simpson’s clothing range is big business simply because she’s targetted it at the largest possible audience. Makes sense.

    Gisele still looks like Malificent – only judgier – however much money she makes!

    • Shannon1972 says:

      And her parents (her father, specifically) were savvy enough to hook up with reputable design companies to produce “her” products. She wisely stays out of their way, just breezing in once a season to say “ooh, how pretty!”, while raking in enormous amounts of money.
      She’s dumb like a fox…I have nothing but admiration for her.

  3. Shy says:

    I love Gisele’s life. She has everything. Beautiful babies, handsome husband, a career, lots of money.

    I wish I had one ounce of that.

  4. Anna says:

    re: ‘these arent high-end shoes’ – exactly. the profit margins for mass-targeted, mass-produced products is much higher than on the exclusive stuff that sells in hundreds but needs to cover premium retail space, expensive advertising, not to mention labor and materials. Even luxury brands make most of their profits on low price-point (and often licensed) products like perfume.

  5. Liberty says:

    Shakira is a spokesperson for the same company.

    • lenje says:

      Really? That’s interesting. I wonder how much Shakira earns then, and if the company’s market is mostly Latin America.

      • brasileira says:

        Well, not much Latin America as it is Brazil. Grendene is a Brazilan company, from the very same state as Gisele’s and, even though to U.S. American standards it might be considered a “budget sandal company”, that company is a big a*s deal in Brazilian and South American markets. As someone pointed out, if you’re from a “tropical country or live in one”, you know how many different pairs of flip-flops you need to go through the month, let alone a year. She made quite the deal with that partnership.

    • Miss M says:

      If I am not mistaken, Gisele has a line with her name on it, which she also advertises it. I think a percentage of her profit with this line goes to charity.

  6. Shelley says:

    Those flip flops aren’t cheap either. And generally if you are going to buy nice quality and fashionable flip flops Ipanema are among others are the ones of choice.

  7. Falula says:

    That article has a math issue – Bundchen’s $42 mill is 6 times Kerr’s $7 mill, not 7 times.

    The math teacher in me can’t let that go.

  8. Barrett says:

    Baby is cute! I feel sad though Brady is big and Neanderthal handsome. These kids may actually be odd as adults with a 5’11 mom and 6’5 big dad.

  9. AquaticMusings says:

    Brazilians love their flip flops, so that figure is not surprising. I visited Brazil and witnessed the obsession first hand. Plus, they are a very proud culture in general. Likely to help in sales since that’s their girl.

  10. Rafaela says:

    These sandals are very popular in brazil, they compete with Havaianas. They are like beach/weekend flip flops and sandals, and remember brazil is a tropical country so people live in sandals there, besides it has a large middle to lower class, so these sandals are very popular just like Havaianas. EVERYONE has them

  11. Anna says:

    Isn’t it strange? I always expect them to be making so much more….

  12. Nikita says:

    i have the same outfit, its from Zara :-)

  13. Nikita says:

    I have Ipanema flip flops and i love them, great quality and very comfortable.
    I have to admit i buyed them also because of her, they looked cute and im an Gisele fan ;-)

  14. patti says:

    Grendene, the company who owns her sandals reported a boom in business, with over 60% of sales coming from giseles line (read on bloomberg). Also shes had the line since 2002. Also her lingerie line is apparently doing well, her c&a collections sold off the shelves. She has a skin care line that is 100% owned by her. Sandals are not her only success as the article implies.I think people dont realize her impact in Brasil. Shes an icon there, watch a runway video of her catwalking in Brasil, they scream and scream “linda linda” from every direction. Other models do not get the same reception. Budget is the secret to the success. Theyre $20 a pair. Your average consumer can afford them, not just the rich. Smart, not budget. People act surprised because she has not once talked about her earnings like a lot of celebs do.

    • Bijlee says:

      She’s highly beloved in Brazil and is Brazilian through and through. I think some of the things she says that come off sounding dumb and sanctimonious to us are said to her Brazilian audience. And different cultures do things differently so she probably doesn’t understand why people freak out about the things she says here. I like her. I think she’s smarter than a lot of people give her credit for, she has a strong family bond, speaks like 3 or 4 languages, and is a helluva businesswoman.

  15. ChrisK says:

    Looks like there are people here who explained pretty well Gisele’s earnings.

    I am with everyone who said Gisele always tried to not talk about financial matters in interviews, there is an interview with her recorded in 1999 on YouTube where Gisele says that it’s for the safety of her family in Brazil.

    Gisele’s work ethic is insane. Since 1998 she signs profitable contracts with well known brand names of different sectors not just high fashion. The people who advise her are certainly doing pretty well.

  16. Melissa says:

    Giselle took modeling as Plan B instead of Plan B which is something I always encourage any model to do.

    The era when people (the media, billionaires, rock stars, even fashion magazines ect) were fawning over models is over. Kim Kardashian will sell more products for you then Miranda Kerr because pop culture consumerism has shifted.

    Thus, Giselle took the opportunity and made a legitimate business for herself. She sure didn’t do it all alone; there’s knowing and hiring the right people, but she was smart and not making modeling her sole career and certainly not her main source of income.

    • patti says:

      Of course she has a great team. But many models at IMG have her same management, and are not on the list…Gisele has had the same manager for over 15 years From IMG models named Anne Nelson, her worldwide manager. Patricia her twin went to school for public relations to work with Gisele, she is only her manager in Brazil. Also her sister Gabriela is her lawyer in brazil. Her sister Raquel accountant, Rafaela went to schhol for marketing and she deals with giseles social networking. I think its cool how clise she is to her circle. Some models are always switching agencies, managers, but seems gisele has remained loyal to her team, and its all her family mostly.

  17. mslewis says:

    I have always loved Giselle, even before she married my boyfriend Tom Brady. She is not just beautiful and a great model but she and here family are mucho SMART. Her sister is her agent and her father/mother are her business managers. They sign the contracts and take care of the business on a daily basis while Gis takes care of her family. She does not just “design” sandals but lingerie and other clothing. And, no, it’s not high-end, it is for the masses and the masses love everything about her. She and her family will be rich forever, not broke-ass like a lot of ex-models. I admire this woman and just laugh at the jealous hags who put her down. You go, Gis.

    • ChrisK says:

      You’re wrong in few things.
      Gisele’s twin sister is her agent/manager only in Brazil and three of the five sisters Gisele has work for her in Brazil. Gisele’s parents have nothing to do with her contracts and the majority of Gisele’s professional stuff. Gisele’s father is the manager of the environmental charity created by Gisele called Projeto Agua Limpa and he is the shareholder of the hotel Gisele owns.

      One thing is certain Gisele’s family is rich thanks to Gisele.

  18. Sachi says:

    In Asia, Ipanema sandals are very popular as is Gisele. She is also the model for other companies like Pantene and Oral-B.

    Doesn’t she also own a hotel in Brazil as well as her own line of eco-friendly skincare products?

    She is more of a brand than a model nowadays, though she still gets major high fashion campaigns. She’s raking that money from everywhere.

    I read a Vanity Fair article on her, “And God Created Gisele”, and it was pretty good. She came across well, especially her strong work ethic, professionalism, and optimism. I can’t fault her for what she has achieved and how hard she has worked for her success.

  19. coolio says:

    People got mad at that photo because vivian has her ears pierced… wtf is wrong with mothers who call out abuse every time a mom does something

    • KatieD says:

      To each their own with the baby ear-piercing! My daughter is 10 months old and all I ever hear from some people is “when are you going to pierce her ears??” It’s obnoxious to be asked over and over, but I always smile sweetly and say “she can get them pierced when she is old enough to ask for them, understand it will hurt, and help take care of the piercings.” This response never satisfies the people who are foaming at the mouth to snatch my baby and run off to the mall to get her earrings so that “people will know she’s a girl (lol)”, but the beauty of being a mom is getting to make those choices for your own children, so people can stfu and let Gisele raise her kids her way.

  20. Happy21 says:

    I have two pairs of her sandals and they are super comfortable and durable. I did not, however, buy them because her name was attributed to them. I bought them because they are easy to wear, will dry fast if worn in the water and not super cheap like those found at Old Navy and Walmart.

    LOL, honestly I looked to see if I couldn’t possibly find any others because I didn’t want to buy anything with her name on it…sorry, but I dislike her immensely.

  21. Harriet says:

    I just wanted to add she’s actually quite a nice person, and there is talk of her being sanctimonious but really, it’s to do with snippets of interviews being taken out of a general conversation and blown out of proportion. I’m not going to attempt to convince people otherwise- there are some serious haters out there but check out this link.

    She makes oodles of money because the fashion world like her professional approach and because she’s known not to be a fake bitch. Just saying.

    • Anon says:

      @Harriet wow! very informative link, longer than I expected, thanks for posting.

    • patti says:

      The media play “awful bratty supermodel” because I belive it sells and the women journalists began hating her after the whole Bridget thing, but the industry LOVES her. There is a quote on that says “looks get a model booked, personality gets a model rebooked” (and they linked the quote to gisele and christyturlington). Ive read more good about her from people who know her, than bad, almost nauseating, especially for a hater im sure.

    • Sachi says:

      If Gisele has a nasty attitude and personality, she’d never have lasted in the industry for as long as she has and she wouldn’t have the connections that she does.

      I used to read The Fashion Spot website and there was a story about a model who got booked for a Prada fashion show a couple of years ago. She complained about the design of the dress and Miuccia Prada, who is notorious for being choosy with her models and influencing their careers (it’s a big deal if a model lands an “exclusive” for Prada, meaning the model will only walk for a Prada fashion show. A Prada campaign almost always follows) heard about the complaint.

      The girl was removed from the booking and her career died an instant death, nobody would hire her or work with her. She was being buzzed about and hyped up before that incident, too.

      Gisele is a favourite of high fashion brands AND commercial brands. She must be a good (if not great) person to work with when she keeps getting hired to represent various brands and companies. She seems extremely focused and energetic and must be very professional and accountable/reliable.

  22. Cheryl says:

    Nothing to contribute here, but…sigh…wouldn’t be fun to be earning $ with shoe design?

  23. Rux says:

    It’s called “laundering” you really think that bugggeeyyyy sandals/footwear line made that much?!

  24. KatieD says:

    About the “shadowy conspiracy-baby photos” & lack of photo spreads of Blue Ivy & now Vivian, I realize the statement was mostly joking- however, I have to say that I really, really respect that approach. I LOVE my celeb gossip, and naturally am always curious to see a celeb’s little one, but I feel that it’s very normal and respectable to want privacy for your kids. In this age of social media and paparazzi, people feel so entitled to be part of everything and getting to see everything that it’s like nothing is sacred anymore. I can’t ever blame a celeb for wanting to protect their babies for as long as possible, and selling a magazine photo spread would definitely make me feel weird as a mom.

    I had my first baby 10 months ago, and not a day goes by that I don’t take pics of her…I get asked to post them on fb ALL the time and get very offended reactions when I decline. And I decline because you never know who might be able to get around your settings and see what you post or what that person’s intentions are. I should add that I don’t judge anyone who posts pics of their kids online- i enjoy seeing my friends’ families- but it’s just not the right choice for me. I text/email pics to those I feel close to, but that’s it. Bottom line is, family and kids are sacred and I think that even celebrities have a right to pick & choose what they share! End of rant! :)

  25. TG says:

    I have always liked Giselle and still do. I saw pics of their gorgeous CA estate and I was obsessed. I usually don’t like those celeb California houses but hers is beautiful and has a moat and even though it is huge it reminds me of an English castle and it has charm. Oh well that is just my opinion though.

  26. UsedToBeLulu says:

    I LOVE the look of Ipanema sandals! I am quite excited that I can buy them on Amazon now. :)

  27. Lucy2 says:

    I find her kind of annoying, but have to give her credit for her success. That is pretty impressive.

  28. Dana says:

    Just like the Kardashians, J-Lo and all the other celebrity “designers”, the garments are cheaply made with an high mark-up. What’s interesting though is Gisele wouldn’t be caught dead in those shim-sham flip-flops.