NEW YORK (Reuters) - Despite the recession, top models are raking in millions of dollars, with Brazilian Gisele Bundchen, German Heidi Klum and Briton Kate Moss the biggest earners.
Bundchen, the 29-year-old beauty who is married to U.S. football player Tom Brady is the world's highest-paid model, making $25 million last year, according to forbes.com.
Klum, the 36-year-old mother of four and host of the television show Project Runway, came in second with $16 million in earnings, followed by fashionista Moss, also 36, who made earned $9 million, through modeling campaigns and the launch of her own fashion line and a new fragrance.
It is the second year the same three models topped the list, which is largely due to a risk-averse fashion industry that was not looking for new faces in the unstable economic climate, said Steve Bertoni, of Forbes.
"These contracts were written during the doldrums of the recession," Bertoni said. "So when companies decided on the faces of their campaigns, they wanted to play it safe," he said in an interview.
Another Brazilian, Adriana Lima, 28, came in fourth with a $7.5 million salary. Dutch model Doutzen Kroes, 25, who shot to fame in 2005 when selected "Model of the Year" by Vogue, placed fifth with $6 million.
"These are the tried and true supermodels of the last decade ... the household names of the industry," Bertoni said.
The only American on the list is 36-year-old Carolyn Murphy, who is the face of Estee Lauder, Roberto Cavalli and Anne Klein. She earned $3.5 million to grab the 10th spot.
The list represents earnings made from June 2009 to July 2010. A complete list of the top ten supermodel salaries can be seen here