The 2000s was a decade with many fashion trends, as what’s popular in the early years of the decade is different from what is trendy in the later years. These fashion trends are often set and changed by the popular models who wear them for magazine covers or ads. Here is a list of the most popular models that helped shape the fashion trends of the 2000s.
One of the most prominent figures of the fashion industry in the 2000s was Tyra Banks, who started her career in modeling in 1991 and has become one of the biggest supermodels by the 2000s. Tyra Banks first became known worldwide for being a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 1997 to 2005. In case you don’t know, the Victoria’s Secret Angel is a position given to a model who will wear pieces from Victoria’s Secret underwear collection, which would then be showcased for the brand’s annual fashion show.
Besides being a fashion model, Tyra Banks is also an actress who appeared in various films, including Higher Learning (1995), Love & Basketball (2000), and Halloween: Resurrection (2002). Tyra Banks was also the host of the reality television series America’s Next Top Model, as well as her own talk show called The Tyra Banks Show. Tyra Bank is considered by many as one of the most influential people not only in fashion but also in reality TV and hosting.
Devon Aoki is an American fashion model and actress who debuted on the runway in 1997 and has worked for popular brands like Chanel, Comme des Garçons, and Balenciaga. In just one year after debuting, Devon Aoki replaced 90s fashion icon Naomi Campbell as the face of Versace, another popular luxury brand.
In addition to having a prolific modeling career, Devon Aoki also appeared in films such as 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), D.E.B.S. (2004), Sin City (2005), and Mutant Chronicles (2008). Devon Aoki is the daughter of Hiroaki Aoki, the founder of a Japanese-influence restaurant called Benihana, and she also has a famous half-brother named Steve Aoki, who is a DJ and music producer.
Gisele Bündchen is a Brazilian model who was one of the highest-paid figures in fashion in the 2000s because of her many projects, collaborations, and deals with different fashion brands and companies. Bündchen is often credited for ending the “heroin chic” trend that made models with emaciated and waifish figures popular in the 1990s. Bündchen helped spark the resurgence of the vibrant look for fashion models in the 2000s, which then allowed models to be much healthier and fitter instead of forcing themselves to strict diets in order to achieve the “heroin chic” appearance.
Gisele Bündchen also appeared in several films, including Taxi (2004) and The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Nowadays, Bündchen is more focused on her charity work, particularly with the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and Save the Children. Bündchen has also been the United Nations Environment Program’s Goodwill Ambassador since 2009.
Coco Rocha is one of the first “digital” supermodels because of her prominence in social media, which was relatively new during the 2000s. Rocha is a Canadian model who started her modeling career in 2002 after being discovered by an agent during an Irish dance competition. By the mid-2000s, Rocha had already appeared in numerous magazines like Vogue Italia, Harper’s Bazaar, Time Style & Design, and Dazed and Confused.
In recent years, Rocha has helped train fashion models, including Kylie and Kendall Jenner, and she also opened the Coco Rocha Model Camp so that more aspiring models can get training. She has also ventured into managing businesses, with a very successful one being the Nomad Management Modeling Agency.
Karolína Kurková is a Czech model who first came into prominence by being a Victoria’s Secret Angel throughout the 2000s. Kurková started her career in modeling at the age of 15 after a friend sent photos of her to a modeling agency in Prague, Czech Republic. At the age of 17, Kurková already moved to New York in order to further pursue her career.
Throughout the 2000s, Kurková became a model for dozens of brands, particularly Victoria’s Secret, Versace, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Chanel, and Dior. Much like many models in the 2000s, Kurková appeared in various TV shows and films. Some of these shows and movies that Kurková appeared in include My Sexiest Year (2007) and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009). She was also a guest judge for the 15th season of America’s Next Top Model.
Daria Werbowy became one of the highest-earning fashion models in the 2000s, which is an incredible feat given that the decade has dozens of popular models with multiple deals. At first, Werbowy didn’t consider modeling due to her tomboyish personality, but because of her beauty and height (5’11”), she quickly stood out among aspiring models in the 2000s. Some of the brands that Werbowy walked and worked for are Balenciaga, Dior, Givenchy, Gucci, Versace, Prada, Valentino, and Fendi.
In 2016, Werbowy decided to retire from modeling in order to pursue her interests, namely in sailing and photography. After her retirement, Vogue Magazine stated that Werbowy was the “ultimate model muse” because of how she could adapt to various fashion trends throughout the 2000s and 2010s. In 2023, Werbowy returned to modeling to serve as one of the models for Gucci’s new creative director Sabato de Sarno.
These are just some of the most popular fashion models of the 2000s. What’s surprising about most of these models is that they are still quite popular in today’s era, as they have already cemented their place in the history and culture of fashion. Many aspiring and current models today are still inspired by the hard work and dedication that the mentioned models have given to the modeling industry.