UPDATE March 28, 2019 — For those seeking success in today’s modeling landscape, Instagram is just as important as the runway. Before the social media boom, models used opportunities like Fashion Week and magazine shoots to kickstart their careers.
Today, though, a new category of social media modeling has emerged through Instagram. To find out who has the industry buzzing and who might be the next big talent, we’ve compiled a list of Instagram’s top 10 traditional models and top 10 Instagram models who are making a name for themselves one post at a time.
Below the infographic, you can find a complete list of the overall 40 top Instagram models, as well as separate lists categorizing them by traditional and “new.”
While most of the models on this list grew famous solely through the photo-sharing platform, a select handful are “traditional” models—they’ve taken conventional paths to build their modeling careers. Their Instagram presence isn’t necessarily responsible for their careers or their fame, but it’s vital to the models’ sustained success.
Here’s a preview of the top 10 traditional models on Instagram:
These “Instagram Models” have used the photo-sharing platform to develop their social media presence and build thriving modeling brands. They’ve taken an unconventional approach to developing a modeling career by leveraging their Instagram presence to achieve and sustain fame.
Here’s a snapshot of the top 30 new models on Instagram:
Now we’ll take a cumulative look at each of the top Instagram models to give more background on their modeling careers, whether traditional or Instagram-based. Below are the 40 top Instagram models in descending order of the number of Instagram followers:
Despite being the youngest, Kylie Jenner has the second largest Instagram following in the Kardashian family with over 129 million followers. Her selfie-dominated account has more followers than the combined populations of Australia and England. Kim currently holds the family record with 131 million followers.
The Kardashian spotlight encouraged Kendall Jenner to find her own path to stardom through modeling. Today, over 106 million Instagrammers follow Jenner for a look at her glamorous lifestyle and career.
As the daughter of a former model, Gigi Hadid is no stranger to the camera. She shares her life and style with 46.6 million Instagram followers, almost 4,600 times the student body of Hadid’s alma mater, The New School.
Cara Delevingne left England at 17 to pursue modeling but found her way to box office success along the way. Delevingne’s Instagram showcases her sense of humor, thrilling adventures, and bold sense of style.
Chrissy Teigen is a former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model with nearly 24 million followers. Her Instagram account has been one of the popular channels she uses to show off her goofy and engaging personality, along with her kids and her husband, John Legend.
Instagram helped Bella Hadid follow in her mother and sister’s footsteps to start a modeling career. She posts photos everywhere from private planes to the runway and shares highlights of her life with over 23 million followers.
Since appearing in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video, Emily Ratajkowski has emerged as a top-tier model. Selfies, high-fashion photo shoots, and celebrity dance-offs are all par for the course on Ratajkowski’s iconic Instagram account.
Gisele Bündchen travels the world to model and spend time with family. Her light-hearted Instagram makes each of her more than 15 million followers feel like they’re a part of the Brady-Bündchen bunch.
Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel’s Instagram reaches over 13 million people. Fans enjoy a behind the scenes look at her modeling gigs, travels, and experiences raising her children.
Alexis Ren signed her first modeling contract at 14, but Instagram has played a key role in her meteoric rise to fame. She’s known as one of the first “Instagram models” due to her paradisiac past relationship with fellow list member Jay Alvarrez. Beaches, swimsuits, and palm trees are key components of her west-coast inspired Instagram account. She also earned a spot on Dancing With The Stars which launched her acting career.
Jen Selter used Instagram to launch her modeling career by posting popular photos of her rigorous workout routines. Her work ethic continues to inspire 12.7 million followers who look to her for exercise challenges and tips.
Brazil’s Adriana Lima holds the record for longest-running Victoria’s Secret Angel. With 12.3 million followers and over 1,600 posts, her Instagram features her worldly travels, favorite looks, inspirational quotes, and more.
Ana Cheri started her career as a traditional model, but with Instagram’s rapid growth, she’s shifted her focus to the digital realm. She was awarded the Maxim Instagram Girl of the Week distinction thanks to her stellar selfies, workout videos, and swimsuit pictures.
Amanda Lee took to Instagram in 2014 to chronicle her journey to becoming a fitness guru. Today, her Instagram inspires more than 12 million fans to achieve even their loftiest fitness goals.
Miranda Kerr is an Australian model whose Instagram showcases her life on and around the runway. She posts tips about her skincare product line, KORA Organics, along with her experiences at the most high-profile fashion events in the world.
Laci Kay Somers posts frequent selfies to Instagram wearing pop culture-themed outfits, swimsuits, and fitness attire. With more than 10.2 million followers, Somers also uses her account to promote her career as a singer and actress.
Brazilian model Cláudia Alende was once ranked as a Forbes Top 15 Instagram Influencer with over 10 million followers. With a remarkable resemblance to actress Megan Fox, Alende shares her many talents on Instagram with content focused on beauty and lifestyle tips.
Tammy Hembrow’s popularity soared as she used Instagram to share how becoming a fitness mogul transformed her life. Her posts receive likes in the six figures as they capture the loves of her life: family and fitness.
For Abigail Ratchford, Instagram modeling was a ticket out of her small childhood town of Scranton, PA. Her Instagram account and vlogs are trusted sources for weight loss tips as well as hair and makeup tutorials.
As a former Playboy Cybergirl of the Month winner, Lindsey Pelas has helped Playboy Magazine revolutionize their digital brand. 8.6 million people flock to her profile for protein rituals, yoga secrets, and workout enthusiasm.
Sommer Ray grew up with the influence of her body-builder father and is famous for showing off her fit physique on Instagram. While she has essentially grown up on the platform since starting her Instagram account at age 16, her posts have evolved from fitness pictures to risqué bikini shots. She has amassed over 20.3 million followers—a following comparable to the most followed traditional models!
Demi first rose to popularity when an underground company called ‘Taz’s Angels’ reached out to her on Instagram. When she decided to try her luck at a reputable modeling agency, she heard back within 24 hours and was signed. With 8,700,000 million followers she has become an Instagram celebrity with regular paparazzi sightings.
Jay Alvarrez rose to fame as the “Instagram boyfriend” of OG Instagram model Alexis Ren. Their status as one of the first “Instagram couples” lead to him gaining over 6 million followers and modeling jobs with Express, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren. His posts regularly feature exotic locations and his signature daredevil hobbies like skydiving and surfing.
Katya Henry started Instagram as a way to document her fitness journey. Now with over 5.6 million followers, her Instagram presence has become an enviable career. Like Jen Selter, Katya is most known for her impressive backside, an asset she largely attributes to hard-work and having a personal trainer mother.
In 2015, Cindy Kimberly began living every modern girl’s fairytale. Justin Bieber posted a picture of her on his personal Instagram asking fans to help him identify the brunette beauty. The then 17-year-old lived a simple life in Spain making $3 an hour babysitting. Overnight, her life was uprooted and she was a full-blown model for top brands within months. She now has over 5 million followers who tune in to admire her Instafamous lifestyle.
The Californian lingerie and swimwear model rose to quick Instagram fame after her photos and videos were shared by millions on the app. She goes by “Sierra Skye” and with over 4 million followers she is one of the most recognized Instagram models of all time.
This Instagram model hails from New Jersey and gained popularity after her social media profile landed her modeling gigs and a spot on a reality show. Her shared Instagram shots, regularly featuring exotic animals, have also landed her in many traditional celebrity circles.
German-born Jasmine Sanders is better known as her Instagram handle “golden_barbie” due to her doll-like features and golden locks of hair. While Jasmine started early in the modeling industry, Instagram is largely attributed for putting her on the map and in the hearts of various celebrity love interests. She is continuously featured by top brands for her beauty and she regularly shares fresh-faced shots to her 3.3 million fans.
Previously known as Sophia Miacova, the Instagram beauty rose to fame for her impressively fit physique which landed her top-dollar modeling deals with brands like Forever 21. She uses the platform to promote her vegan lifestyle and love for animals to 3.1 million followers.
From an early age, Neels started modeling with the help of his sister who ran a modeling agency. Following his passion for acting, Neels started a YouTube channel to showcase his acting and humor. From there, his combined social media following and chiseled looks advanced his modeling career.
A day after her senior prom, Sofia was asked to model by a bikini designer and three years later she has become one of the most recognized faces on Instagram. Her natural body-type and striking facial features have quickly made her one of the most in-demand swimwear and clothing models. Signed with NEXT Model Management, Sofia has been featured as the face of fast-fashion UK brand PrettyLittleThing, and in a music video with pop artist Zayn Malik.
The Australian swimsuit model Instagram sensation gets an average of 100,000 likes per post. The 24-year-old model was one of the first Instagram models to garner over a million followers on the app and has recently started sharing her steps to social media success with her followers.
German-born Pia Muehlenbeck is not the typical Instagram model. Pia graduated from law school at the top of her class and became a junior lawyer before deciding to give in to modeling offers. Now, she is a travel vlogger, fitness and swimsuit model, fashion designer thanks to her impressive social media following.
Better known as her Instagram handle “fatherkels,” Kelsey Calamine quickly gained a large following when she started sharing pictures of herself on Instagram. Her Instagram presence continued to skyrocket when popular actress Lucy Hale questioned if Kelsey was a real person or a morphed persona given the similarities the two girls share in facial features, as well as those of Kylie Jenner.
The 5’4″ beauty works full-time as a banker, while still maintaining her social presence as a fashion blogger and Instagram star to her almost 2 million fans where she documents her travels, fashion, and curly hair styling.
Born into a fashion family in New York, Sabbat was destined to become Instagram famous. His passion for streetwear and skate culture has allowed him to grow a loyal fanbase of 1.7 million followers.
Janice Joostema was a struggling model when she discovered Instagram and fell in love with the platform as a means of sharing her makeup and fashion looks. She attributes her early success to when the beauty brand Anastasia Beverly Hills reposted her makeup looks to the company’s abundance of followers. She has since become one of the most recognizable influencers on the social app.
Shannade and Shannon Clermont are identical twins who have gone viral on Instagram for obvious reasons. The duo has been modeling since they were 14 and found early fame on the reality show “Bad Girl’s Club.” They have most recently been in the spotlight for a risqué collaboration they did for Kanye West’s Yeezy brand.
Another Instagram success story, Mario Rodriguez started off as an entertainment promoter before he was spotted on Instagram and mentored into an impressive modeling career. He goes by “mario8855” on Instagram where he regularly shares fashion shots and gym selfies.
In 2014, Matthew Noszka posted a shirtless photo to his Instagram account not knowing that a few days later, he would not only be signed to a modeling agency but also starring in a campaign with Nike. His Instagram profile is now on its way to racking up 1 million followers.