In the past, Australia has been unnecessarily insecure about its modelling industry. We’ve acted like we haven’t got much to offer, that we’re not ready to compete overseas, that we need to scout new talent and we’ll be better next year – we’ve basically treated Aussie models the same way as we treat the Wallabies! But in 2019, we’re finally acknowledging just how many bad ass Australian models we are producing. That’s right, there’s no room for humility here, we’re shouting it from the rooftops now – Australian models are the total package!
Let’s take a brief look at the history of Australian modelling, whether being Antipodean is an advantage in the industry and whether Australian male models have it tougher than our ladies.
The history of Australian modelling
Once we were content to be spectators - but no longer. We don't wait to be invited to fashion shows, we put on our own events instead. Last year, the Melbourne Museum showcased an exhibition entitled 'You Can't Do That', designed to celebrate Australian fashion mavericks. The stories of Melbourne based designers and models Stella Dare, Prue Acton, Lois Briggs, Jenny Bannister, Christopher Graf and Andreja Pejic were expertly told, celebrating the mark each has made on Australian and international fashion. The fact that such an exhibition was able to be curated shows how far we've come as a fashion loving nation.
Do you come from The Land Down Under?
So why is the fashion industry on the hunt for Australian models? Let's break this down...
We spend loads of time outdoors in our swimwear, we love to keep active whether it be playing sport or hitting the gym. Our accents are sexy and we're always travelling to new places (they say you'll probably find more Aussies in London and L.A than in Sydney!) We're also an extremely multicultural country, so you can find so many different kinds of beauty all in the one city. Why wouldn't you want an Australian face up on your catwalk?
Male models v Female models
Modelling is one of the few industries where women consistently make more money than their male counterparts. Female models make an average of $41,300 US annually, which is 148% more than the men, who earn an average of about $28,000 US annually. Experts used to claim that this was merely because more money was tied up in women's fashion, but this excuse doesn't really fly in 2019. A more plausible reason is that a female model's "sell-by-date" is significant shorter than a male model's. "You have to take into account that a male model will have his best earning years between 30 and 50" — by which time most female models' maximum earning potential is behind them" says Rosa Sarli of the Elite modelling agency in Milan.
12. Jacob Hankin
Name: Jacob Hankin
Big break: Jacob was discovered when a scout saw him dancing with friends at Sydney's Future Music Festival in 2013. The former western suburbs labourer didn't have any ambitions to be a model. "Out west you don't meet models, I don't know a model, I don't know any photographers or stylists or makeup artists and so I didn't think anything of it" said Jacob of his serendipitous discovery. Since then, Jacob has appeared in the global campaign for Diesel and has walked for Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren and Givenchy.
Latest work: His latest work includes an appearance on the cover of AFR Magazine.
Social media: You can follow Jacob on Instagram as @jacobhankin
11. Tom Farrelly Rogers
Name: Tom Farrelly Rogers
Big break: Before Tom stumbled into modelling, he worked in PR. A friend was street casting an advertisement, and Tom helped out by posing for a few photos. Next thing he knew, he was handpicked by designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana to walk in the Dolce & Gabbana Fall-Winter 2017/18 show in Milan.
Net worth: Nothing is known about Tom's net worth, but if you're the only Australian male model to be flown in for the D&G show, then surely you'd be amongst the top paid.
Latest work: Tom recently did some modelling for OPSM, and does he look hot in a pair of glasses or what!
Social media: You can find Tom on Instagram as @tomfarrellyrogers
10. Jarrod Scott
Name: Jarrod Scott
Big break: When Jarrod was 21, he was travelling around Asia with his then girlfriend. The couple broke up whilst travelling, and Jarrod found himself in debt and low on funds. He was handed a business card by a photographer and he had no choice but to . dive right in "I didn't have a ticket back home so it made sense to take up the work," he says.
Net worth: According to Taddlr.com , the Australian supermodel is worth $10 million.
Social media: You can follow Jarrod on Instagram as @jarrodscott
Latest work: For fans of classic cinema, or just anyone that likes to admire the male form, Jarrod recently did this American Psycho inspired photoshoot for GQ Australia and the results have got us blown away!
9. Charlee Fraser
Name: Charlee Fraser
Big break: Discovered by a photographer in Newcastle, New South Wales, Charlee began working the model circuit. Her big break came in 2016 when Céline saw a picture of her backstage at the fashion house's show, and Charlee found herself instantly booked for the next campaign. Since then, she's been the face of David Jones and a face for Bonds, and has quickly become one of our most famous Australian models.
Net worth: We don't have information on Charlee's net worth, but she certainly is in high demand after she walked 20 runways at last year's New York Fashion Week.
Social media: You can follow Charlee on Instagram as @charleefraser
Latest work: Charlee is on the front cover of Vogue Taiwan this month - how's that for a girl from Newy!
8. Zac & Jordan Stenmark
Names: Zac and Jordan Stenmark
Big break: Both Jordan and Zac were students at The University of Sydney with hospitality jobs on the side. Then a friend suggested that they give modelling a try. Their first professional shots were shared on Tumblr millions of times, and before they knew it, they were pulled into a meeting with none other than Tom Ford. Since then, they’ve been in campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Net worth: In 2013, the Daily Telegraph estimated Zac and Jordan's net worth as $1 million dollars - so we can assumed that their 2019 net worth has exceeded the $1 million mark.
Latest work: Their latest work has been for V Magazine and Prada.
Social media: You can follow Zac and Jordan on Instagram as @jordanandzac
7. Fernanda Ly
Name: Fernanda Ly
Big break: The western Sydney model was scouted when she was walking through a shopping mall with her mother as a teenager. Soon, her pastel pink hair was turning heads as she walked the Louis Vuitton runway.
Net worth: Fernanda is allegedly worth $1 million dollars.
Social media: You can follow Fernanda on Instagram as @warukatta
Latest work: Fernanda appeared in March issues of Elle Australia and Numero China.
6. Duckie Thot
Name: Nyadak "Duckie" Thot
Big break: Duckie finished in third place in series eight of Australia's Next Top Model and went on to make her runway debut at the Yeezy S/S 17 show. She has gone on to become a face for Fenty Beauty, one of the most inclusive makeup brands to date, and walks for the likes of Valentino, Victoria's Secret and Balmain.
Net worth: Duckie is allegedly worth $3 million dollars.
Latest work: Duckie's latest work includes a stunning editorial spread for British Vogue.
Social media: You can follow Duckie on Instagram as @duckieofficial
5. Samantha Harris
Name: Samantha Harris
Big break: As a 13 year old, Samantha entered Girlfriend magazine's annual modelling competition in 2004 and ended up signing with Chic Management. By 2010, she had made the cover of Vogue, making her one of the most successful female Australian model stories of all time.
Latest work: Some of Sam's latest work includes campaigns for Nutrimetics Australia, lingerie company Bras 'n' Things, and modelling swimsuits and active wear for Life Apparel Co.
Social media: You can follow Samantha on Instagram as @sam_harris
4. Jordan Barrett
Name: Jordan Kale Barrett
Big break: Jordan is often described as the Leonardo DiCaprio of a new generation. He was scouted at age 14, and in 2015 he starred in an issue of VMAN magazine. Jordan has since featured in campaigns for Tom Ford, Balmain, Versace and Coach and fronts Paco Rabonne’s 1 Million fragrance.
Net worth: There is no authoritative source on the model's net worth, but in 2017, Jordan received a pay check of $100,000 for a day's work at Australian Fashion Week, so you can bet that he's making bank.
Latest work: It seems that Jordan is branching out into acting, making his film debut in January with Carte Blanche.
Social media: You can follow Jordan on Instagram as @iblamejordan
3. Miranda Kerr
Name: Miranda Kerr
Big break: In 1997, Miranda entered Dolly magazine's annual modelling competition when she just 13 years old, and won. She was signed to Chic Management and started out modelling for predominantly beachwear brands like Roxy and Billabong. Following her success with Maybelline after her move to New York, Miranda became the first ever Australian Victoria's Secret Angel in 2007. She also runs her own successful beauty brand, Kora Organics.
Net worth: As of last year, Miranda was estimated to be worth close to $18 million.
Social media: You can follow Miranda on Instagram as @mirandakerr
Latest work: Miranda has recently been promoting her work with paediatric nutrition company Biostime Australia, and this month she graced the cover of In Style magazine.
2. Robyn Lawley
Name: Robyn Lawley
Big break: Robyn approached a mainstream modelling agency when she was 15, and although they were eager to sign her, she ultimately felt that she wasn't ready for the demands of the industry. At 17, she returned to modelling but found that maintaining a size 8 figure wasn't worth the angst, especially when you take into account her positively Amazonian figure. She then signed with Bella Management, a plus size agency, instead. Robyn went on to become the first plus size model to grace the cover of an Australian magazine, and the first plus size model to be featured in Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue. She has appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia, Elle, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan to name a but few.
Social media: You can follow Robyn on Instagram as @robynlawley
Latest work: Robyn appeared in this promotion video for Fiorella Rubino, shot in Malta.
1. Andreja Pejic
Name: Andreja Pejic
Big break: Just before she turned 17, Andreja was scouted while she was working at her local McDonalds. She signed with Chadwick Models and walked her first catwalk at the Melbourne Fashion Festival. Before coming out as a trans women in late 2013, Andreja was known as the world's first totally androgynous super model. Andreja has appeared on international covers such as Elle, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar and GQ.
Social media: You can follow Andreja on Instagram as @andrejapejic
Latest work: She made her film debut in The Girl in The Spider's Web last year as Claire Foy's love interest, and this year Andreja is the face for Bonds.