Besides being some of the most beautiful and sexy women around, lingerie models have helped us break a few stereotypes when it comes to empowering women. Not only do these women have the ability to make us want to drop everything and instantly put on a lacy set, but they have the undeniable ability to skyrocket lingerie brands into iconic fashion powerhouses. The best lingerie brands and designers, like Victoria's Secret, La Perla and Bras and Things, use top lingerie models to create brands that have cult followings.
Thankfully, lingerie models are no longer limited to a particular size, with the fashion industry readily embracing women of all shapes and sizes. Ashely Graham worked to be considered one of the world's top models, creating a plus size lingerie brand that women love. Australian model Steph Claire Smith has become a campaigner for body positivity and has starred in two Bras N' Things Campaigns. Iconic models like Alessandria Ambrosio, Adriana Lima and Irina Shayk continue to pave the way for sexy, fierce and powerful women, who also happen to rock the runway in a bra and thong.
Here are some of the best lingerie models in the world.
Candice is arguably one of the most influential lingerie models of all time. The stunning blonde beauty, from South Africa, was crowned Maxim's "most influential lingerie model", and boasts 13.1 million Instagram followers. Candice has become one of the faces of Victorias Secret, having walked the infamous runway since 2007. In 2016, she was listed 8th on the Forbes top-earning models list and has been among the Top 10 earning models every year since 2010.
Boasting 8.9 million Instagram followers and an average of 200,000 likes per picture, it's not surprising British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is among one of the world's most influential models. In 2010, Huntington-Whiteley became a Victoria's Secret Angel, having appeared on the runway every year since 2006. Rosie later went on to create her own lingerie brand, Rosie For Autograph, available at Marks & Spencer.
Dita Von Teese
While arguably not a traditional model, burlesque queen Dita Von Teese has made waves for empowering women through lingerie. The 45-year-old has over 2.1 million Instagram followers. When Von Teese was a teenager, her mother took her to buy her first bra, made from plain white cotton, and a pair of skin coloured pantyhose. Von Teese says she was disappointed, hoping she would receive lacy garments and stockings, of the type she had glimpsed in magazines. This fuelled her passion for lingerie, prompting her to work in a lingerie store when she was 15. She is now regarded as one of the world's most prominent burlesque and lingerie icons.
The incredible strides plus-size model Ashley Graham has made for the lingerie industry are undeniable. The American model has appeared on the cover of high fashion magazines, as well as appearing in the pages of Sports Illustrated. In 2016, she became the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In 2013, Graham designed a lingerie line for Addition Elle, a Canadian plus-size clothing retailer.
Steph Claire Smith
Steph Claire Smith is an Australian model and influencer who has built a name for herself through her bubbly and vivacious social media pages. Campaigning for body positivity, Steph aims to promote a healthy body image that is grounded in healthy living. Boasting over 1.3 million Instagram followers, Steph has fronted campaigns for Bras 'N Things and Midnight Co.
Danish beauty Josephine has cemented her spot as one of the world's leading lingerie models. The Victorias Secret Angel, who first walked the runway for the brand in 2013, is no stranger to turning heads with her killer body and faultless smile. The 25-year-old model is worth an estimated $12 million.
Dunn, as a former Victorias Secret runway star, is among some of the most influential women in fashion. In 2008 she became the first black model to walk a Prada runway in over a decade, and in 2014 she was listed on Forbes top-earning model list having earned over $4 million in a single year. She appeared on the February cover of British Vogue in 2015, becoming the first solo black model to grace the cover in 12 years.
Robyn Lawley is an Australian model who has become one of the loudest advocates for body positivity in the modelling world. Considered 'plus-size', Lawley appeared in the debut campaign for Sculptresse, a line by lingerie and swimwear brand Panache. Lawley has also appeared in advertising for brands such as Calezdonia and Boux Avenue lingerie. She also appeared in campaigns for lingerie brand Chantelle.The 29-year-old also appeared in campaigns for Ralph Lauren, becoming the first plus-size model to be used in their in-store advertising.
The current Victoria's Secret Angel and Dutch beauty has earned her place among the top models in the world. In 2018, the 23-year-old model was chosen to wear the Shooting Star Swarovski Look in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, a huge honour for the Angel. Recently, she has started her own YouTube channel, posting vlogs on her everyday life.
Sampaio has become a modelling regular on the runways and campaigns of Victoria’s Secret, Sports Illustrated, Armani Exchange and Guess, cementing her place as one of the world's most influential lingerie models. The Portuguese beauty won Portuguese Golden Globes for consecutive six years (2011 to 2016) for Best Female Model.
Ambrosio, a Brazilian model, has become an icon for her work with Victoria's Secret. As well as being named the first spokesmodel for the company's PINK line, Ambrosio walked the runway as an Angel from 2000 to 2017. In 2012, she was ranked number six on Forbes' list of the highest-paid models, estimated to have earned $6.6 million in one year. he is often cited by the popular media as one of the world's sexiest women. As an Angel, she was chosen as one of People magazine's annual "100 Most Beautiful People in the World" in May 2007.
Adriana Lima is a Brazilian model best known for her work as a Victoria's Secret Angel, working from 1999 to 2018. She was the lingerie brands longest running model and was named the "most valuable Victoria's Secret Angel" in 2017. In 2012, Lima came in 4th on the Forbes top-earning models list, estimated to have earned $7.3 million in one year. Since then, Lima has remained in second place, earning over $8 million each year. In April 2016, Lima became the face of Italian lingerie brand Calzedonia's Swimwear collection. The 37-year-old stunner's striking blue eyes and dark hair have become iconic.
With her signature full lips and curves, Irina Shayk has earned a place as one of the world's top lingerie models. The Russian-born beauty was ranked at No. 8 by Models.com and has received international attention when she became the face of Intimissimi lingerie. She appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and was also the first Russian model to grace its cover in 2011. Shayk also became one of the first models to walk the Victoria's Secret Runway with her baby bump on display. The model was praised for the runway appearance.
Jenner, who originally gained fame appearing on the E! reality series Keeping Up With The Kardashians, has continued to dominate the modelling scene since 2014. The 23-year-old was crowned Forbes' highest-paid model of 2018, pulling in an estimated $22.5 million. Jenner has walked the Victoria's Secret Runway three times, 2015, 2016 and 2018. Jenner also signed a deal with La Perla in 2017, wearing their designs to the Met Gala that same year.