How Kendall Jenner Became the Highest-Paid Model in the World

Kendall Jenner is known for being the second to youngest daughter in the Kardashian/Jenner household. She first got her notoriety from appearing on her family’s hit reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Kendall Jenner
Kendall Jenner at the 2019 Met Gala | Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic

Like all of her other sisters, Kendall is known for more than just being a reality star. She started modeling when she was just 14 years old, and her career soon skyrocketed to unimaginable heights.  Now, at the age of only 23, Kendall is known as one of the highest-paid models in the world.

So, how did Kendall become one of the most top-paid fashion models? Here is what we know.

How did Kendall get her start in the modeling industry?

Back in 2009, Kendall went to her parents and told them that she had a dream to be a model. Thanks to her mother’s connections, it didn’t take long for her dreams to come true. As depicted on an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, shortly after her daughter said she wanted to be a model, Kris Jenner had one of the top modeling agencies willing to meet with her.

At the time, her dad, Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner) was pretty worried about his 14-year-old daughter entering into such a cut-throat industry at such a young age.

However, a few days later, in July of 2009, Kendall met with the Wilhelmina modeling agency and they agreed to sign her. By December of that same year, Kendall completed her first modeling job for Forever 21 when she did the Rocker Babes with a Twist campaign.

Kendall becomes a Victoria’s Secret Angel

After her first job, Kendall aspired to do greater things with her modeling career. She was featured in several magazines, including Teen Vogue, Teen Prom, and Flavour Magazine. Although she had accumulated an impressive amount of jobs before even graduating high school, she still had one dream that had not yet been achieved: do a show for Victoria’s Secret.

Once again, Kendall asked her mom to make her dreams come true. And her mom did not disappoint. According to Harper’s Bazaar, Kris watched a documentary and learned that the photographer for Victoria’s Secret was named Russel James. She then did some super sleuthing and found out his number. Kris left a message on his phone asking him to call her back. He eventually did call her back and agreed to meet with Kendall.

After meeting Kendall, James instantly knew that he wanted to work with her. Over the next few years, James took various pictures of Kendall that ended up being featured in Miss Vogue Australia and Kurv Magazine.

In 2015, Kendall appeared in her first Victoria’s Secret fashion show and also walked for them again the very next year. 

Kendall Jenner became the highest-paid model

Kendall Jenner has many high-end contracts with some of the world’s top fashion brands, including Adidas, Calvin Klein, and Estee Lauder. It is these contracts in combination with her other modeling jobs that landed her the number-one slot of the Forbes Highest-Paid Models list in 2018. She reportedly made $22.5 million from her modeling career alone last year. The only other model that even came close to earning the amount of money that she did was Karlie Kloss, who earned $13 million.

Her Career has not been drama free

Even though Kendall earned an impressive amount of income last year, she, unfortunately, got into some hot water with her fellow models.

Last year, Kendall did an interview with Love Magazine. In the interview, Kendall had said, “Since the beginning, we have been super selective about which shows I would do. I was never one of those girls who would do, like, 30 shows a season or whatever the F— those girls do. More power to ’em.”

After Love magazine had posted that quote onto their Instagram page, models from all over the world commented to vent their frustration over Kendall’s words. Many models were saying that the reason why so many other girls do “30 shows a season” was because they did not have the connections that she had. They had to actually work their way to the top the old fashioned way. This meant most of them had to work as many shows as they could for however much pay they were offered. They did not have the luxury of being able to pick and choose which designer they got to work for.

After the extreme backlash that followed her comment, Kendall was quick to take to twitter to clarrify. In one of the tweets, she had said that her words were “twisted and taken out of context.” She later went on to send out another tweet that said that she is inspired by all of her peers and that she did not intend to disrespect anyone.