Women Entrepreneurs

Models Turned Millionaires: 10 Women Who Launched Their Careers From the Pages of 'Sports Illustrated'

Entrepreneur Staff
3 min read

The women who grace the cover of Sports Illustrated may have won the genetic lottery, but many of them didn’t stop there. Using their beauty as a financial weapon, these 10 models harnessed the magazine’s promotional power to launch a different type of career: entrepreneur.

Thanks to savvy business decisions that extend far outside the world of modeling, here's how they're raking in the millions.

Related: Rihanna Gives Boost to Puma With Original Clothing Line

Models Turned Millionaires: 10 Women Who Launched Their Careers From the Pages of 'Sports Illustrated'

Kathy Ireland

Kathy Ireland
Image credit: WikiCommons

Sports Illustrated debut: 1989

She’s known for Kathy Ireland Worldwide, which includes a clothing line for babies, intimates and handbags, furniture, vacation packages and wedding resorts, a publishing imprint and a music label.

She’s worth about $420 million.

Research by Carolyn Sun.

Related: How Women Leaders Win and Help Others to Do the Same

Models Turned Millionaires: 10 Women Who Launched Their Careers From the Pages of 'Sports Illustrated'

Gisele Bünchen

Sports Illustrated debut: 2001

She’s most known for her flip flop line Ipanema and appearing as a spokesperson for Victoria’s Secret, C&A, Pantene, H&M and Chanel No. 5.

Her net worth has been estimated to be about $360 million.
Models Turned Millionaires: 10 Women Who Launched Their Careers From the Pages of 'Sports Illustrated'

Cindy Crawford

Cindy Crawford
Image credit: Cindy Crawford | Facebook

Sports Illustrated debut: 1988

Crawford’s most known for her ventures including Omega Watches, Meaningful Beauty, Cindy Crawford Home Collection and the Cindy Crawford furniture line for Raymour & Flanigan.

Her net worth is about $100 million.
Models Turned Millionaires: 10 Women Who Launched Their Careers From the Pages of 'Sports Illustrated'

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks
Image credit: Tyra Banks | Facebook

Sports Illustrated debut: 1996

She’s known for her Next Top Model franchise, being a Victoria’s Secret model, Tyra Beauty, The Tyra Banks Show and FABLife.

Her net worth is roughly $90 million.
Models Turned Millionaires: 10 Women Who Launched Their Careers From the Pages of 'Sports Illustrated'

Christie Brinkley

Sports Illustrated debut: 1979

Brinkley is known for Hair2Wear extensions, Christie Brinkley Eyewear, Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare and working as a Total Gym spokesperson.

Her estimated net worth is $80 million.
Models Turned Millionaires: 10 Women Who Launched Their Careers From the Pages of 'Sports Illustrated'

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum
Image credit: www.heidiklum.de

Sports Illustrated debut: 1998.

She’s most known for her work in the Project Runway franchise, as host of Next Top Model, as a Victoria’s Secret model, Dannon spokesperson and the New Balance line HKNB.

She’s worth about $70 million
Models Turned Millionaires: 10 Women Who Launched Their Careers From the Pages of 'Sports Illustrated'

Rachel Hunter

Rachel Hunter
Image credit: www.rachelhunter.com

Sports Illustrated debut: 1994

She’s known as an TV personality on Make Me A Supermodel, worked on Style Me with Rachel Hunter and as a judge on New Zealand’s Got Talent.

Her net worth is $60 million.
Models Turned Millionaires: 10 Women Who Launched Their Careers From the Pages of 'Sports Illustrated'

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell
Image credit: Naomi Campbell | Facebook | Oxygen Media LLC

Sports Illustrated debut: 1992.

She’s known for her work as an Victoria’s Secret model and as a judge on The Face.

Her worth is about $48 million.
Models Turned Millionaires: 10 Women Who Launched Their Careers From the Pages of 'Sports Illustrated'

Elle Macpherson

Sports Illustrated debut: 1986.

She’s known for her work as an Victoria’s Secret model, founding Elle Macpherson Intimates and The Super Elixir By Welle Co.

Her estimated net worth is about $45 million.
Models Turned Millionaires: 10 Women Who Launched Their Careers From the Pages of 'Sports Illustrated'

Rebecca Romijn

Rebecca Romijn
Image credit: WikiCommons

Sports Illustrated debut: 2006.

She’s known for her work with Victoria’s Secret and as an actress in X-Men films.

Her net worth is $25 million.
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  • Models Turned Millionaires: 10 Women Who Launched Their Careers From the Pages of 'Sports Illustrated'
  • Kathy Ireland
  • Gisele Bünchen
  • Cindy Crawford
  • Tyra Banks
  • Christie Brinkley
  • Heidi Klum
  • Rachel Hunter
  • Naomi Campbell
  • Elle Macpherson
  • Rebecca Romijn
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