They’re intimidatingly beautiful, they’re sexy beyond belief and they make a living out of flaunting foolproof bodies, long legs and luminous skin. We see their perfect faces in every fashion magazine, admire their confident walk on the world’s biggest runways, and read all about the fabulous lives they live.

So it’s not so difficult to understand how we might often fail to see beyond the surface, looking at our favourite supermodels only to register them as just another gorgeous face, or jaw-dropping physique. But beauty and brains are a thing in the fashion industry, with plenty of top models eager to prove that intelligence is sexy.

From Joan Smalls to Miranda Kerr and Daria Werbowy, here are 9 models with surprising accomplishments and talents, pursuing aspirational academic and creative endeavors.

Joan Smalls.

Feline eyes and statuesque body aside, Joan Smalls radiates intelligence and maturity. The model enrolled in college while her teeth were still in braces and completed her degree in psychology at the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico. She graduated magna cum laude , completing her psychology degree in two years instead of four, lamenting missing summa cum laude “by two points”, according to

Pictured: Joan Smalls for Vogue Mexico.

models with beauty and brains

Kate Grigorieva.

Kate Grigorieva is another smart and stunning woman in pursuit of greatness. Few people know that the Russian supermodel is an accomplished ballroom dancer. According to Daily Mail, she graduated from art school and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing before starting her modelling career.

Pictured: Kate Grigorieva for FORWARD by Elyse Walker.

models with beauty and brains

Daria Werbowy.

While she continues to stun in front of the camera, possessing one of the coolest aesthetics in the industry, Daria Werbowy is reportedly just as an avid of a photographer. Surreal scenery to black-and-white self-portraits, the Canadian model loves to take a peek at the world from behind the lens.

Pictured: Daria Werbowy for Violeta by Mango S/S ’15 Campaign.

models with beauty and brains

Karlie Kloss.

You think of Karlie Kloss and you think Victoria’s Secret, you think Vogue and perhaps Taylor Swift, you think pretty and sexy, but you do not think of coding. Well, perhaps you should. It was last year when first signaled Karlie’s mission to learn how to code.

Since then, The Guardian reports, the American supermodel and coding advocate has been “calling on young women to apply for Kode with Karlie scholarships, set up by the model in partnership with the Flatiron school in the US.”

Pictured: Karlie Kloss for Glamour US.

models with beauty and brains

Miranda Kerr.

Former Victoria’s Secret Angel, super mom, supermodel and successful business woman, Miranda Kerr is one to prove that beauty and brains make for a great recipe.

Although she doesn’t have a degree, she has reportedly attended the Academy of Natural Living for nutrition and health psychology. She has released her own book (Treasure Yourself) and skin care line (KORA Organics) and she is driven to build her own empire.

Pictured: Miranda Kerr for Swarovski Holiday 2015.

models with beauty and brains

Hana Jirickova.

Completing an extended list of supermodels with impressive artistic talents, Hana Jirickova studied at the Prague Institute of Art. Her Instagram account, and attest to the talent, one in being filled with everything from sketches and nude paintings, the other in stating the fact that the Czech beauty uses oil on canvas, and also paints on wood and cardboard.

Pictured: Hana Jirickova for skp magazine spring 2015.

models with beauty and brains

Gemma Ward.

Rumours reaching a kind of mythical status circulated ever since Australian supermodel Gemma Ward put her career on hold back in 2008, only to return to the runways opening the Prada show in 2014. But during the 6 year break, the blonde beauty spent her time wisely by enrolling in acting program. In addition to that, she was reportedly accepted into a three-year degree course at Yale.

Pictured: Gemma Ward for Sunday Style.

models with beauty and brains

Sasha Pivovarova.

On Vogue’s list of model artists to follow on Instagram you may have also stumbled upon Sasha Pivovarova‘s name. No surprise there seeing how the Russian stunner studied art history back in Moscow. In 2008, Sasha launched a photography exhibition, titled “I Spy,” and she reportedly had her illustrations featured in books by Miuccia Prada and Karl Lagerfeld.

Pictured: Sasha Pivovarova for Vogue Italia.

models with beauty and brains

Cameron Russell.

Every little bit the striking supermodel, Cameron Russell is one to state that looks aren’t everything. The Victoria Secret Angel displayed an interest in politics at an early age and wrote her Columbia University honors thesis (she majored in economics and political science) about grassroots public art and political power.

Her TED talk “What You Didn’t Know About The Modeling Industry” is one of the 20 most watched, and on top of that she launched Interrupt Mag, a participatory magazine focusing on marginalized youth.

Pictured: Cameron Russell for Next F/W ’15 Campaign.

models with beauty and brains

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