Over 30 and Still Stars: 12 Models Who Are Changing the Rules

Once models hit age 30, they usually also hit the end of the runway—but there are glorious exceptions. One is Kate Moss, 39, a top model who co-authored a retrospective of her 20-plus year career, Kate: The Kate Moss Book, and comes in fourth on Forbes’s latest richest models list. More and more superstars in their 30s, 40s and, heck, even 60s are continuing to defy the 30-and-out rule to work—a lot. Some, like Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum, are now considered, as Forbes puts it, more mogul than model. But even leaving them out, it was easy for us to come up with this list of a dozen models still strutting on catwalks, starring in ad campaigns and making their beauty marks

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Kate Moss

Moss’s new book, Kate: The Kate Moss Book, is a retrospective of her long-lasting modeling career, which began when she was just a teen. Now 39, the British beauty continues to rock the runway (she closed the Louis Vuitton spring show in Paris last September), still frequently graces the covers of magazines and recently has starred in ad campaigns for Vogue Eyewear, Versace, Mango, Rag & Bone, Salvatore Ferragamo and Rimmel. No wonder she earned $5.4 million between June 2012 and June 2013, according to Forbes.

Landmark / PR Photos

Gisele Bundchen

Now married and a mom of two (daughter Vivian was born in late 2012), Bundchen still reigns as the world’s most successful model—even at age 32. Forbes lists her earnings between June 2012 and 2013 at a stunning $42 million and she remains a magazine cover favorite. Her 2012 ad campaigns included H&M, Chanel and David Yurman, Versace, Esprit, Givenchy and Salvatore Ferragamo, and she still works the runway, too, most recently at Alexander Wang’s fall 2012 show.

Janet Mayer / PRPhotos.com

Lauren Hutton

Who wouldn’t want to look like Hutton, now 69? The model’s career has spanned decades and she’s still hard at work—including an eight-page spread in the September 2013 issue of More. Recent ad campaigns include Alexis Bittar, Club Monaco, L’Oreal and H&M. She has a career the youngest of models can aspire to.

Janet Mayer / PRPhotos.com

Naomi Campbell

Sure, she sometimes makes news for her headstrong, erratic behavior, but look up the word “supermodel” and it might well be illustrated with a photo of the London-born Campbell, now 43. While many of her '80s cohorts have fewer jobs to choose from, Campbell is still a top draw, from magazine covers to runway shows (Zac Posen, Roberto Cavalli) to ad campaigns (Barney’s, PINKO).   

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Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio

Two of the hottest angels in the Victoria’s Secret annual show are older than 30. Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio, both 32, are also some of the top 10 earners in the modeling industry. Lima ranked third on the Forbes list, bringing in $6 million between June 2012 and June 2013. The Brazilian bombshell models for magazines, Mavi Jeans, Miu Miu, Donna Karan, Blumarine, and, of course, Victoria’s Secret. Alessanda Ambrosio, was sixth on the Forbes list last year at $6.6 million, and also Brazilian, counts London Fog and Hugo Boss as clients, in addition to Victoria’s Secret.



Janet Mayer / PR Photos

Carolyn Murphy

Murphy, 39, who has been one of the faces for Estee Lauder since 2001, only looks lovelier as she ages. Ranked No. 7 on the Forbes list—earning $3.6 million—the Florida-born model has recently starred in campaigns for Dior, Ann Taylor, Hugo Boss and Coach, and in 2012 walked the runways of Marchesa and Jason Wu and appeared in more than a dozen magazine stories. 


Janet Mayer / PR Photos

Karen Elson and Liya Kebede

Showing the younger models how it’s done, Liya Kebede (left) and Karen Elson, 35 and 34, respectively, are still some of the world’s top fashion stars. Elson, a Brit, has starred in 2012 campaigns for Miu Miu, Diesel, Reed Krakoff and Roberto Cavalli and continues to be cast in runway shows for the likes of Miu Miu, Marchesa and Anna Sui. Kebede, born in Ethiopia, has starred in recent ads for L’Oreal, Donna Karan, Bottega Veneta and H&M just this year alone. Add 2012 runway shows like Givenchy Couture and Balenciaga and you can see why 35 only seems to be the beginning of her career.


Wild1 / PR Photos

Carmen Kass

Discovered at age 14, Kass is still modeling at 34, as witness her recent campaigns for Esprit, Narciso Rodriguez, Ports 1961 and Etro. Also a runway fave, she walked in 2012 shows for designers including Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, Kanye West and Hugo Boss, and was featured in several magazine editorial shoots. The It Girl is now an It Woman.

Wild1 / PR Photos

Eva Herzigova

The Czech beauty may have made her first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue appearance back in 1997, but today, at age 40, she’s still booking jobs. This year she’s been on a slew of magazine covers and editorials, and, in recent years, has modeled for brands including D&G, Chopard and Escada.  

Landmark / PR Photos

Amber Valletta

Valletta was only 16 when she began landing coveted campaigns and now, at age 39, she’s still the envy of many models. This year she's been featured in magazines, starred in ads for Emilio Pucci and Biotherm and walked in a Stella McCartney fashion show.

Next: MORE's Cover Girls: 1007-2013


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