In the digital age, it’s not your ability to strut down a catwalk or strike a pose that matters as a model. Designers are hungry for likes, comments, follows, and shares. The social media game reigns supreme, and Instagram wears the crown.
The photo sharing site is increasingly (and controversially) essential to a model’s career. The most popular stars of runway and print have amassed seriously impressive followings – so impressive that Instagram has compiled a list of the most followed models of 2016.
The top ten represent a mix of old and new, including a few D’Marge favourites. Gisele Bündchen secured eighth place, despite announcing her retirement from the runway last year. Two beloved Victoria’s Secret Angels came in at nine and ten (Taylor Hill and Candice Swanepoel, respectively). Two halves of famous husband-and-wife teams also made the cut: Victoria Beckham in sixth place and Chrissy Teigen, wife of John Legend, in seventh.
The top five places went to a selection of the year’s hottest it-girls (make that it-women). The incomparable Emily Ratajkowski, a headliner of this year’s LOVE advent calendar and master of naked horseback riding, took fifth. Bella Hadid secured the fourth spot with pal Hailey Baldwin in third The coveted second place went to socialite-turned-model-turned-actor Cara Delevingne.
And finally, in first, with a whopping 16,033,757 new followers earned this year, is Bella’s big sis Gigi Hadid. More than 26 million followers now get her updates. Though she’s technically not the most followed overall, her meteoric increase in 2016 means Instagrammers were more obsessed with her than any other model this year. We can see why.