With the influx of inspiring movements aimed at shattering beauty myths and standards about women, the term 'role model' is expanding to include a variety of individuals.
Supermodels tend to be the fixation of many for their incredible looks that command attention on runways worldwide, but it's rare for these models to be spotlighted for their initiatives, hobbies and other projects they pursue off the runway.
From charitable work to business ventures, check out these eight supermodels in the gallery above who have created a name for themselves beyond the fashion sphere.
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Heidi Klum | German-born Klum has become quite a savvy lady in her ventures in television, business, charity and fashion. Since retiring her wings as a Victoria's Secret Angel in 2010 after 13 years with the major lingerie label, Klum has kept herself busy as host of designer reality show "Project Runway" and Germany's version of "Next Top Model." In addition to being a mother, Klum has launched a maternity line and an anti-aging skin care line.
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Giselle Bündchen | At one point in her career, Brazilian model Bündchen conquered the modeling world as the world's highest-paid supermodel. Opting to explore her passions in wellness and the environment, Bündchen has expanded her brand beyond being a model, mother, Goodwill Ambassador, and wife. She is a big investor in her native country having established a sandals brand and a Brazil-based hotel, Palladium Executive. Most recently, Giselle founded Sejaa — an environmentally-friendly skin care line.
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Karlie Kloss | Classically trained ballet dancer-turned-model Kloss has been gracing the most coveted runways and fashion campaigns since the age of 13. Now, at 23, Karlie is an established entrepreneur and a flourishing magnate with her line of cookies and newly-launched YouTube channel. In addition to attending NYU this fall, Karlie is committed to learning about coding and hopes to encourage girls to learn about coding from an early age with her scholarship program #KodeWithKarlie.
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Iman | Somalian-born Iman was a pioneer in the modeling world as one of the first black supermodels. Though she was a highly sought after model, Iman retired from the industry in 1989 to pursue other endeavors. Her successful cosmetics brand fulfilled a void for ethnic cosmetics in the market. The former model also dedicates her time to charitable work with organizations like Keep a Child Alive and Children's Defense Fund.
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Cameron Russel | Model and activist Russell made headlines with her viral TED talk about shattering beauty myths and winning the "genetic lottery" in the modeling world. Since then, Russell has continued to harness the Internet as a platform to share her work as founder of Interrupt Mag, and grassroots public art blog ArtRoots.info. She's also used the Internet to share her views on social issues such as climate change, racial injustice and women's rights.
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Tyra Bank | Iconic supermodel and runway extraordinaire, Banks transferred her diva charm to the big screen as a TV personality, producer, actress and talk show host. The global juggernaut also found time to pursue a full-time business degree at Harvard in the midst of launching her daytime talk show, "The Fab Life."
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Liya Kebede | Ethiopian-born model Kebede is a vibrant jill-of-all-trades. In 2007, she was named by Forbes as the 11th highest-paid model in the fashion industry. Since then, Kebede has distributed her fortune across a wide variety of causes and projects dedicated to raising awareness around global, maternal and newborn health. In addition to being a WHO Goodwill Ambassador, she has contributed her philanthropic efforts in her Liya Kebede Foundation, which focuses on the health and wellbeing of women and girls in Africa. Kedebe was named one Glamour's Women of the Year in 2014.
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Lily Cole | English model and actress Cole is as well known for her intelligence as she is for her red locks. Cole deferred her acceptance to Cambridge University twice to pursue high fashion jobs and Hollywood roles. She has always been vocal about her support for a wide range of humanitarian and environmental causes. Cole is a supporter for Water Aid and an ally for Western Shoshone. She has most recently founded a project called Impossible — a social networking platform that aims to build a global community of people helping others.
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