Who gets paid most at New York Fashion Week

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen
Getty Images

New York once again becomes a catwalk for the world's most glamorous fashionistas today as the world's top models and fashion professionals descend on Manhattan for New York Fashion Week.

The bi-annual fashion show, held in September and February, is said to bring over $900 million to the city each year, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

With five percent of the city's workforce employed in the fashion industry, generating $11 billion in wages – and an average annual salary of $73,000 – just who are the best and worst paid on and off the catwalk?


Gisele Bündchen - $30.5 million

Adriana Lima - $10.5 million

Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss - $10 million

Kendall Jenner walks the runway at the Alexander Wang fashion show during New York Fashion Week at Pier 94 on Sept. 10, 2016, in New York City.
Presley Ann | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

According to Forbes, the world's 20 highest-paid models earned a total of $154 million in the year to June 2016. Since 2002, Gisele Bündchen has topped the charts as the highest earning model, earning $30.5 million last year – well ahead of Adriana Lima, who came in second place, and Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss who took joint third position.

A lesser-known model, however, could earn anywhere between $18,000 and $300,000*

Fashion Designers

As with models, the pay of a fashion designer can vary broadly depending on whether or not their style is in vouge on the fashion scene. Earnings for the Tom Fords and Dolce and Gabbanas of the world will be in the millions, but a more attainable annual salary for a fashion designer may be close to $93,000.

Public Relations

Public relations managers, whose job it is to guard the reputations of the famous outgoing model set, could also be among the best paid at fashion week, with the most successful among them earning an average of $92,000.


Fashion buyers are likely to be the fourth highest earners at New York Fashion Week, obtaining an average salary of $83,000 for their ability to spot the next big trend.


Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of top fashion magazine Vogue, is reported to earn an annual salary of $2 million according to the New York Times. Her assistant is said to earn $40,000.

Other editors with approximately 20 years' experience might expect to earn closer to $78,000 per year.

Clothes Stylists

Those responsible for adorning models in this season's most desirable creations are set to take home an average salary of $69,000 for their work.


Photographers' salaries are likely to range vastly but those employed at New York Fashion Week, thought to be among the best in their field, could earn an average salary of $62,000.

A model walks the runway at the Victoria Beckham Spring Summer 2016 fashion show during the New York Fashion Week on September 13, 2015 in New York City.
Victor Virgile | Gamma-Rapho | Getty Images

Makeup Artists

Top makeup artists will be looking to showcase their work on the most beautiful faces in the business. They can expect to earn $60,000 for the honour.

Hair Stylists

Hair stylists should earn an average of $42,000 for coiffing the manes of top models.


An experienced security guard employed to ensure the safety of some of the world's most famous faces is likely to be amongst the lowest earners at this year's Fashion Week, taking home a salary of around $38,000 for keeping his eyes away from the camera.

*estimates are based on the average salary of senior professionals, or those thought to be amongst the best in their field, based in New York. Data provided by salary benchmarker PayScale.