Australia's Next Top Model

Australia's Next Top Model

Scarlett Cayford author photo
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5 Top Models You Didn't Know Were Australian

ARTICLE

Given its relatively small population, the UK has produced an outstanding number of outstanding looking women, all of whom have carved out a career on the catwalk. Kate Moss. Naomi Campbell. Cara Delevingne.

But before we get too arrogant about our superlative supermodels, it’s worth casting an eye across the world at another continent that’s been quietly producing more than it’s fair share of stunners: Australia. While you might think of the Antipodes more in reference to big spiders, big snakes and even bigger sharks, you might also have heard of one or more of these big names…

Elle Macpherson

We tend to think of her as a bit of a Brit, perhaps due to her turn on Friends as Joey’s beautiful and balletic roommate, or maybe because of her appearance on Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model in 2010 – but you only have to look at her to figure out where the ideals of Australian beauty come from. All long legs, long hair and big grin, she looks like she’d be just as at ease on a surfboard at Bondi as she would be on a catwalk in her knickers.

These days, at 51, she’s more The Businesswoman than The Body, having founded Elle Macpherson Intimates, among other lingerie ventures. While it might be a surprise for some to see a model making her way in the business world, it’s old news for Elle – in fact she only became a model in the first place to earn money to study a law degree. Yep, The Body is first and foremost A Brain, which only goes to show how deeply unfair the world can be.

Miranda Kerr

Miss Kerr is that person you hate-follow on Instagram: she’s all big eyes and sunsets and unlikely yoga positions. And while she’s probably best known through her romantic associations with elf-boy Orlando Bloom, she’s also one of the world’s better-known models, having earned her wings on the Victoria’s Secret catwalk. 

All of that might lead you to think of her as a northern hemisphere kind of person, but Miranda got her start in Sydney, when she won a nation-wide model search hosted by Dolly magazine. Only 13 years old when she won, her subsequent appearances on the front of magazines provoked outrage from some, who protested that she was too young to be exposed to the world of modelling. Now 31 years old, a mother, and 2014’s third-highest earning supermodel, she’s pretty good proof that some people have what it takes to survive as model – no matter how young they start.

Ruby Rose

Yep, the woman who’s been making you feel all kinds of weird and wonderful sensations since her appearance on Netflix’s smash-hit series Orange Is The New Black hails from the southern hemisphere – Melbourne to be exact. That’s the arty one, if your knowledge of big Aussie cities is a little behind the times. They also have a lot of bushfires.

She might have risen to international fame as an actor, but Ruby has a long catalogue of skills behind her, including that of DJ, recording artist and television presenter. And model, of course – her unique androgynous beauty has led to appearances in Vogue Australia, InStyle Magazine, Marie-Claire Magazine, Cleo, Cosmopolitan, Maxim, Nylon and New York’s Inked Magazine. She’s also the face of Maybelline in New York (though that beauty of hers? She was born with it. It’s not Maybelline).

Jessica Gomes

31 year old Jessica is a favourite with America’s Sports Illustrated, having appeared in every swimsuit edition of the publication since 2008. She’s another member of that exclusive Australian club of models who kick-started their career with a competition win at the grand old age of 13.

Her unusual looks (hailing from a background that includes Portuguese and Chinese) have led her to fame primarily in Asia’s major markets. Her Instagram is well worth a follow if you’re a fan of black and white shots of bellybuttons, which we know you are. She also has the unusual and sad honour of having been one of the last people to dine with Heath Ledger before his accidental overdose the very next day.

Jessica Hart

Jessica is almost as famous for her teeth as she is for the rest of her face, being one of the first models to proudly display a gap between her two front pearly-whites. She’s proof-positive that you don’t have to be a cookie-cutter beauty to make it in the modelling world, having begun her career in modelling in 2000 with yet another magazine model-search win (apparently the only way to make it as a model in Australia).

Jessica has since modelled for Marc Jacobs and Vogue, as well as appearing in multiple fashion week shows across the years. Our favourite fact about her, though? She was a Victoria’s Secret model until she was removed from the catwalk at the command of Taylor Swift, who had heard word of Jessica insulting her own Victoria’s Secret fashion show appearance. With the kind of sway Taylor holds over the music and fashion industries alike, you might want to take a good long look at Hart’s pretty face while you can. She might not be around for long… 

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