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Shop your way to a modeling contract: the weird ways some major models were discovered


Unfortunately for all those girls lined up at the local mall outside of the Sears wearing too much lipstick and practicing walking in their too-high heels, most models don’t actually get their big breaks at so-called modeling competitions. In fact, most models were just trying to go about their day when someone walked up and told them they could make millions of dollars with their beauty. Here’s some of the best scouting stories we’ve heard about some of the top supermodels.

Shopping beauties

Leave it to Brit model Lily Donaldson – the face of Burberry – to get picked out of a crowd even while bedraggled from the rain. As a 16-year-old, Lily was shopping in Camden, London when the sky opened up and began drenching everyone. She was spotted by a scout from Select Model Management as she was taking shelter from the rain.

One of the current It girls Jourdan Dunn was also out shopping in London when she was scouted. Take note, aspiring models. London seems to the most lucrative place to spend your money.

Rags to riches

Natalia Vodianova – or as you may know her, Supernova – was third on the Forbes 2012 top-earning model list thanks to her eight year contract with Calvin Klein. Since she’s become one of the top supermodels, Natalia has also become one of the industry’s top philanthropists. Her giving heart is largely attributed to her impoverished upbringing in what was then the Soviet Union. Natalia had a single mother and two sisters, one of whom had Cerebral Palsy. In order to have enough money to eat, Natalia sold fruit on the street with her mother. Natalia worked her way up to a fruit stand, which is exactly where she was spotted as young teenager by a modeling scout.

Not a bad trip to the Bahamas

A certain someone was lounging in JFK Airport in New York City on her way back to England after a family trip to the Bahamas at the age of 14 when a modeling scout spotted her and thought her unconventional look – at the time, precisely opposite of everything that was big in the fashion industry – might be what it took to shake up the industry and create a new kind of supermodel. That girl coming home from vacation? Kate Moss. That modeling scout? Pure genius.

A quintessentially Canadian story

Jessica Stam is known as one of the doll-face supermodels, one of Marc Jacobs’ favorites. She was discovered in a Tim Horton’s coffee shop, Canada’s premier chain, on her way home from a trip to Canada’s Wonderland, Canada’s biggest theme park. The only way this story could get more Canadian is if she was on her way to a hockey game.

More about Top supermodels of the  90’s

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