Victoria's Secret Models Top Forbes List

Victoria's Secret Models Top Forbes List

Out of the 10 women named to Forbes' 2012 list of the highest-earning models, six are or have been Victoria's Secret Angels.

At the top of the earnings list is former VS Angel Gisele Bündchen, who, with contracts for Pantene, Esprit and Versace, earned an estimated $45 million between May 2011 and May 2012. Now it's clear how she and husband Tom Brady afforded their mega-mansion with a moat.

Also topping the list were Angels:

• Adriana Lima scored fourth place with $7.3 million.

• Doutzen Kroes claimed the fifth spot with $6.9 million.

• Alessandra Ambrosio took the sixth slot with $6.6 million.

• Miranda Kerr garnered seventh place with $4 million.

• Candice Swanepoel came in 10th with $3.1 million.

"Becoming an Angel significantly increases a model's earning potential due to their visibility around the world," said Richard Habberley at DNA Model Management, which represents Ambrosio, Kroes and Lindsay Ellingson, another VS Angel. "It changes the girls' careers completely."

Carole White, founder of Premier Model Management in London, said, "It was the most massive thing that could have happened to Miranda Kerr. It made her name. Who had heard of her before Victoria's Secret? They are great at taking a girl - a good-looking model, but a catalogue model - and launching her into the stratosphere. It's like a modeling medal."

But Habberley noted that selling bras and undies can be a tricky business.

"The merchants drive the decisions on the Angels. They [Victoria's Secret] try the girls out, and certain girls sell product. They're women that appeal to other women. And they're special because they never appear in men's magazines. Once you start to do that, they become threatening [to potential female customers]," said Habberley.