Rich, Beautiful and on Top of the World

Cosmetics companies could start launching new faces again. In L'Oreal's latest ad campaign, Dutch model Doutzen Kroes is prominently featured next to Longoria.

Models might even be making a comeback as cover girls. Vogue's May issue showcased 10 of the hottest new faces, including three models on our list: Rhoda, Doutzen Kroes and Jessica Stam. Vodianova had the July cover to herself. "It was time for Vogue to do a model again," said Patrick O'Connell, a rep for Vogue editor Anna Wintour. "Models are important."

One consistency throughout the last decade has been Victoria's Secret's modeling machine. The $5 billion lingerie giant — part of publicly traded Limited Brands — has launched the careers of dozens of supermodels over the years, including Bundchen and Klum and newer bikini babes Lima, Ambrosio and Karolina Kurkova.

It has also steadfastly refused to follow the celebrity trend. "Most celebrities are about 5 foot 2 inches," said Edward Razek, the company's chief marketing officer, explaining why he turns down at least one celebrity a month begging to model the brand.

Victoria's Secret takes a similar role in nourishing talent to stardom in the way that Hollywood studios did with actresses back in the 1930s and '40s. A model starts out doing some runway, then advances to catalog, and, provided her professionalism and personality impresses enough people, she might eventually end up with the Academy Award of modeling gigs — a multiyear, multimillion-dollar contract as a Victoria's Secret "angel." The company invests time and money into making their angels celebrities — the girls are given speech lessons and media training and booked on talk shows.

If the girls are lucky, they break into supermodel stardom and then, like Victoria's Secret alums Klum and Banks, become media moguls. This season, Victoria's Secret even began branding its beauty products with the girls' names and likenesses.

"We don't subscribe to that nameless-, faceless-model routine," said Razek.

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