During Fashion Week it’s easy to forget some of the pretty ladies walking down the runway do more than just act as coat hangers for fabulously over-priced garments. That’s why our girls at Glam put together this list of models who do more.
The (oft over-used) term supermodel gets tossed around a lot. But whether or not these catwalk queens have been officially coined with that status, they’re all super in our eyes. Somewhere between strutting down the catwalk in New York and Paris, and shooting high-fashion spreads at some exotic locale in the South Pacific, these beauties have also found time to become social activists, authors, and aspiring actresses–proving that they’re much more than just a pretty face.
The Writer: Alek Wek — Discovered at an outdoor market in London, Alek Wek’s strikingly unconventional look can be found grazing the catwalks of leading designers across the globe. But what has remained undiscovered, is her unconventional upbringing in the south of Sudan. Published in 2007, Wek released the autobiography, Alek, which probes into those youthful years: the bold escape from a home torn by civil-war and ultimate climb to stardom.
The Philanthropist: Gisele Bündchen — Her wavy tresses, curvaceous limbs, and bronzed skin aren’t the only assets that exude a glistening radiance, Gisele Bündchen also has a heart made of gold. The Brazilian bombshell dedicates her time to a bevy of philanthropic endeavors that are near and dear to her heart: the I Am African and American Express Red Card campaigns (both aim to address the HIV epidemic in Africa), St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. Her most recent undertaking has been directed towards protecting the Amazon Rainforest and its water sources. By fusing the power of fashion and activism, Bündchen has created a line of sandals named Ipanema Gisele Bündchen, which donates a percentage of its profits to various projects including: Nascentes do Brasil, ISA, Y Ikatu Xingu and De Olho nos Mananciais.
The Designer: Kate Moss — Spurring such trends as the waif look, Kate Moss is a style icon in her own right. When clad in skinny jeans–fashion followed, when she sported the Balenciaga bag, we all coveted one. So what’s a fashionable supermodel to do? Design a clothing brand, of course! Moss released her highly anticipated collection in 2007, which is sold exclusively at Topshop stores. Noted as a muse for many designers, Moss is causing a stir with her own influential style.
The Entrepreneur: Heidi Klum — This gorgeous German-born busy body has the world schwitzing over her blonde tresses, exuberant smile, and well endowed bank account. Ranked as the second highest paid supermodel (Forbes 2008), Heidi Klum has dipped her heels in everything from designing to producing. The long-legged entrepreneur is best known for her role as host and executive producer of the highly watched reality show, Project Runway and Germany’s Next Top Model. Also designing collections for Birkenstock, Jordache, and Victoria’s Secret, and guest starring in several films and television shows, Klum has no plans of slowing down. Move over, Donald Trump — you’re out!
The Student: Lily Cole — Armed in 5-inch heels, Lily Cole is stomping all over industry stereotypes. A dim-witted model? Not this fiery red head. Sought out by fashion hierarchs and magazine editors alike, she is also making an impression on the academic circle, gaining a spot at King’s College of the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s most academically renowned institutions. She was awarded the Mikdadi Prize for Politics in 2006 and is an adamant environmental ally for Western Shoshone, an organization that seeks to end gold and diamond mining. This doll-faced model has definitely earned an A in our book.
The Actress: Gemma Ward — Keep an eye on fashion’s reining beauty, Gemma Ward. But if you can’t find her strutting down the runway, look no further than the silver screen. Her baby blues have been cast in The Black Balloon (2008), which won a Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for best feature-length film, and in the suspense thriller, The Strangers (2007). This Aussie’s talents are sure to keep her far from down under, Ward is a rising star.
The Singer: Agyness Deyn — Part of this generation’s crop of supermodels, Agyness Deyn has become the new face of fashion. While popping up on every runway, cover and ad campaign, she’s also been busy making lyrical strides in the music world. Recently releasing a single titled “Who” with rockers Five O’Clock Heroes and playing in her own punk band, Lucky Knitwear, the adorable Brit seems to have melody teeming in her blood.
The Dancer: Karlie Kloss — Karlie Kloss is no stranger to prancing around on her toes. During New York’s Fall Fashion Week 2008, she rocked a total of 64 shows with her signature down cast walk and deathly stare. But the 15-year old beauty looks far from menacing when gracing a different stage–she spends her off time practicing with the Caston Chamber Ballet. This young and fearless newcomer has got the moves!