World's Richest Male Models Still Far Behind the Ladies

Forbes says Sean O'Pry earned $1.5 million, while Gisele earned $42 million during the same time.
4:36 | 10/10/13

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Transcript for World's Richest Male Models Still Far Behind the Ladies
in most professions men still out earn women for the same work. In this country women get paid on average 77 cents to the dollar. There are rare exceptions where it is the men trying to close the financial gender gap. For male models the ladies soups model salaries are as unatta unattainable as the the striking good looks are for the rest of us, but why? Here's abc's amy robach. Reporter: They command the fashion run ways of milan and london. And their smoldering good looks heat up ads selling everything from fashion to fragrances. But being a male model in an industry where female models lead the way has the its unique challenges. You are an industry where women get paid more. David gandy perhaps the best known and most successful male model in the world. Set apart by his manly physique, rocketing to icon status with an eyepopping dolce gabana ad. I have a love of the picture, changed my life and changed the industry. Reporter: That success pales to the likes of gisele, miranda, and kate. They get paid incredible money, coverage. People know their names. Reporter: And forbes.Com examined how much the top male models make compared to the top female models. Number one on the men any list, earned $1.5 million in the last year. Not bad. But gisele bundchen raked in $42 million. The disparity continues down the ranks. Though on average, male models make around $200,000 to $5,0 $$500,000 a year. For females $2 million to $5 million. Definitely different. Females do get paid quite a bit more. Reporter: Seven years ago, he was discovered thanks to his myspace page. His career took off. He has been for vogue, hugo boss and in a madonna music video. ♪ This feeling can't be beat ♪ Reporter: Ranked as the world's top model. Even with all of that. He doesn't begrudge success of female counterparts. I don't have to wear high heels and buy key neikinis. His people wouldn't deny or confirm his earnings. But with his fresh face and versatile appeal is clearly at the top of his game. I am very happy with my career. I am not going to be complaining abut not making $42 million. At the end of the day I am very, very blessed with what I do have. Reporter: He also points out there is a reason female models lead the way. I definitely feel women go shopping more often, advertising is based toward, it's female driven. Disparity comes from the general idea that well women are, they buy twice as much as men do. There is a lower return on investment when it is a male model in the campaign. Reporter: For those male models, attaining supermodel status has been no cakewalk. Are male models misunderstood? Yes, I think the fashion industry, and all models are probably misunderstood. There are many cliches, many stereotypical views of models. The male models are very easy targets. Reporter: A target that can be summed up in one word. Zoolander. The famous zoolander. ♪ ♪ zoolander ♪ Reporter: Yes, that zoolander. I guess the look I'm best known for is blue steel. Starring ben stiller. Ben stiller killed us in that. I scant help but love the movie. Reporter: Gandy has the helped change perception of male models. Buck the trends. And you need to be skinny. I'm not a skinny guy. Kind of created that really manly, masculine image for himself. That's what he is known for. Reporter: That something different is just of what it takes for a male model to stand out. It remains to be seen if male models will ever close the wide gap with their female counterparts. They deserve it. As I said they have a huge percentage share in the market. Rancheros g good for you, gisele. You are beautiful. Keep doing what you are doing. Reporter: For "nightline," amy robach in new york.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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