Blondes are supposed to be sexy, redheads are supposed to be feisty, but what about brunette models? They’ve been incorrectly stereotyped as boring or plain for years, but brunette models around the world are here to reveal the truth: that dark hair is just as sexy, gorgeous, and fun as its lighter counterparts.
Don’t believe me? Just look at Adriana Lima and Miranda Kerr, two of the world’s leading models in the fashion industry. Sorry, blondes, these brunette models are defying beauty standards one photoshoot at a time and if nothing else, their Instagram followings prove they’re killing it.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite brunette models — women who have taken over the cover of magazines and haute couture to show that they know how to have fun, too.
Here are some of the leading brunette models in today’s fashion industry:
Adriana Lima is one of the most well-known brunette models in the world, which is no real surprise considering she got her start at the early age of 15. She entered and won Ford’s “Supermodel of Brazil” model search and placed second in Ford Models Supermodel of the World contest; three years later, she moved to New York City to pursue modeling full-time. She snagged her first cover shoot for Marie Claire Brazil in 1998, became a GUESS? girl in 2000, and by 2003, she was the new spokesmodel for Maybelline. Since then, Adriana has graced the cover of one of the highest-selling issues of GQ of all time, has become Victoria’s Secret’s longest-running model and “the most valuable Victoria’s Secret Angel” in 2017, and placed second in Forbes‘s top-earning model list.
Dajana Radovanovic found herself on the fashion industry’s radar after she represented Toronto in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant, finishing in the top 12. This lead to her appearance in the E! Canada reality TV series “Brave New Girls” with her Miss Universe co-contestant Jenna Talackova. Through modeling, Dajana has managed to grow her Instagram following to 104k. However, Dajana doesn’t plan to be a model exclusively for the rest of her life — she’s currently studying criminology at York University and plans to pursue crime prevention.
Sofia Jamora is a social media success story. She was discovered by a designer at a trunk show in Westlake, but rose to fame in 2015 when she became the face of the online boutique Lolli Valfre’s swimwear line and she received a tremendous surge in Instagram followers. She became an Instagram sensation, amassing 2.1 million followers and even earning herself in appearance in Zayne’s music video for “Let Me” — which is also no surprise, considering she’s been dubbed a Gigi Hadid lookalike.
Cindy Kimberly found her rose to fame in a particular unusual way — she was discovered in 2015 after pop star sensation Justin Bieber posted a picture of her online with the caption “Omg who is this!!!” Once the Internet tracked her down, Cindy became an overnight sensation, gaining hundreds of thousands of followers within hours and using her newfound fame to begin modeling in 2016. She now works as a catwalk model and boasts 4.6 million Instagram followers.
Bruna Lírio found her calling as a brunette model at age 16 when she answered a newspaper ad for a brand called Areia Branca. She’s best known for her work with Ragazzo Model Management and MC2 Models, as well as being one of the models who walked during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2015. She currently lives in Brazil and has amassed 235k Instagram followers.
Miranda Kerr is more than just a brunette model — she’s practically a celebrity. At 13, she won the 1997 annual Dolly magazine/Impulse model competition and, within the next decade, became a modeling sensation, walking the catwalk for high profile designers and making appearances in music videos (such as Kanye and Pharrell’s “Number One”) and TV shows, including the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother. In 2007, Miranda signed a contract with Victoria’s Secret and became the company’s first ever Australian Angel. Not only is Miranda Kerr a household name, she’s an online phenomenon, boasting a whopping Instagram following of 11.7 million.
Gizele Oliveira began her career as a brunette model in 2014 and made her fashion week debut walking for Dolce & Gabbana. Two years later, Maxim featured her in the article “15 Brazilian Models You Need to Follow on Instagram,” which may have contributed to her impressive following of 754k. But perhaps the most notable part of her career was when she walked in the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, gaining her international attention. When she’s not working full-time as a model, Gizele is working on her blog “Gizele On The Go!”
Though Alessandra Ambrosio modeled for a few low-key publications as a teen, her career didn’t really take off until she competed in Brazil’s Elite Model Look competition. Her first big modeling job was shooting the cover of the Brazilian Elle magazine, and since then, she’s walked for some of the biggest designers internationally, including Prada, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and Givenchy. In 2004, she launched her own swimwear line called Alessandra Ambrosio by Sais, and two years later she was selected to be the first spokesperson for Victoria’s Secret’s “PINK” line. She has had a long and illustrious career as a Victoria’s Secret model, once wearing lingerie made entirely out of candy, once wearing the heaviest wings ever made for the show, and once wearing the brand’s famous “Fantasy Bra.”
Sara Sampaio was discovered at age 15, but wasn’t allowed to start her career has a brunette model until she turned 16 and could compete in modeling competitions. As soon as she came of age, though, she immediately went on to win the Cabelos Pantene 2007, a hair modeling contest in Portugal, and was offered to star in a commercial. Due to her early success, she began modeling full-time after she graduated high school and eventually made her catwalk debut at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. In 2015, she was chosen as one of the newest Angels. She became the first Portuguese supermodel to make it into the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in 2014, earning her the title “Rookie of the Year.”
Elizabeth R Sawatzky
Elizabeth R Sawatzky started her career as a brunette model in an untraditional way: by posting on her Instagram, which she began in 2014. Though she now works professionally for FORD Models, she’s still perhaps best known for her social media presence, thanks to her 175k followers on Instagram. In her free time, she writes about how to live a healthy lifestyle for various online blogs, including Free People.
After Barbara Palvin was discovered on the streets of Budapest at the age of 13, she moved away from her home country of Hungary to pursue a career as a brunette model in Asia, where she managed to maintain a steady stream of bookings. She made her runway debut was for Prada during Milan Fashion Week in February 2010 and, in 2012, she became an ambassador for L’Oréal Paris. In 2016, it was revealed that she was selected to be part of the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie Class and, later that year, ranked number 17 on Forbes as one of the highest paid models in the world.
Mayra Suarez gained recognition as a brunette model after competing in the Elite Model Look Mexico in 2003. She has appeared on the Italian editions of Vogue and Glamour and made an appearance in one of Paulina Rubio’s music videos. In 2017, she was chosen as one of the new faces of Maybelline.