Ford Models, originally the Ford Modeling Agency, is an American international modeling agency based in New York City. It was established in 1946 by Eileen Ford and her husband Gerard W. Ford.
Gerard W. Ford
|Headquarters||New York City, U.S.|
Ford Models was started in 1946 by Eileen and Gerard W. "Jerry" Ford. Ford was the first company to advance their models' money-owed by jobs that had been completed but not yet paid. The Ford family had the tradition of allowing teenage models who originated far from New York City to stay in their home.
The company was the pre-eminent New York agency until John Casablancas of Elite Model Management opened up in the city, leading to the "model wars" of the 1980s. Ford, like many of the original agencies of the 1970s, now has to compete with a broad field of contenders, such as Women, IMG and DNA.
The agency has represented a diverse list of models and celebrities. In 1980, the company established the Ford Supermodel of the World Contest, which attracted more than 60,000 hopefuls annually from around the world. Today, the contest lives on in the form of the annual V/VMan Ford Model Search run in conjunction with the two Visionaire publications.
Eileen and Jerry began the business in their home. Their daughter Katie Ford took over in 1995 after working in the agency for 16 years.
In December 2000 Magnum Sports and Entertainment signed a letter of intent to acquire Ford, but the transaction fell through. The Fords sold a stake of their agency in December 2007 to private equity firm Stone Tower Equity Partners. The firm was renamed Altpoint Capital Partners in 2009. Altpoint is operated by managing partner Gerald Banks, also known as Guerman Aliev, and owned and funded by Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin through his holding company Interros. In January 2011 Altpoint increased its stake in Ford Models to 93%. In May 2020 Ford Models Brasil purchased Ford Models from Altpoint amidst uncertainty related to covid-accelerated industry digitalization and the lack of a CEO at Ford Models for a number of months.
In 2007, John Caplan became Ford Models' chief executive officer.
In the 2000s, the company diversified through Ford Artists to represent talent in the hair, makeup and wardrobe industries. It has also promoted itself through its social media platform, which includes the Ford Models Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Ford Models has also lent its name to an imprint of Random House books, which created a series of teen novels that served to try and glamorize working with the agency.
The company also diversified into the art gallery business under the leadership of chairman Guerman Aliev in 2011.
In 2019 Ford Models sued a former executive, claiming she invented a story about her husband having a terminal illness in order to have the company agree to render null the non-compete clause of her employment contract. Ford Models charged that among other things the executive was liable to forfeiture of her compensation back to the company, inasmuch as she had been a "faithless servant."
In September 2019, the executive filed a countersuit against Ford Models, claiming that the chairman Gerald Banks (Guerman Aliev) had been spending company funds inappropriately for years, and that by July 2019, Ford had over $8 million in debt. She further claimed that she had quit when she realized Banks and Ford Models owner Vladimir Potanin had close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In May 2020, Ford Models Brasil acquired Ford Models, with Decio Restelli Ribeiro set to be the CEO of the talent management agency.
Ford Artists and Ford ModelsEdit
In recent years the company has diversified into other professions related to the fashion industry through Ford Artists. They represent hair stylists, makeup artists, manicurists, stylists, set designers, prop stylists, art directors, and photographers. Ford Artists locations include Chicago and Los Angeles.
In addition to the New York City headquarters, Ford Models has offices in Paris, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago.
Ford's clients currently include:
- Sigrid Agren
- Monica Aksamit
- Charlene Almarvez
- Alex Binaris
- Kacey Carrig
- Estelle Chen
- Oliver Cheshire
- Sora Choi
- Hailey Clauson
- Cintia Dicker
- Daniel Di Tomasso
- Cora Emmanuel
- Kelly Gale
- David Gandy
- Kris Grikaite
- Kenya Kinski-Jones
- Sui He
- Brad Kroenig
- Alexandra Micu
- Hannah Motler
- Alison Nix
- Radhika Nair
- Giselle Norman
- Andreja Pejić
- Tyson Ritter
- Charo Ronquillo
- Miriam Sánchez
- Paul Sculfor
- Evandro Soldati
- Hana Soukupová
- Fran Summers
- Caroline Trentini
- Maddy Belle
- ^ Ford Models Acquired by Brazilian Outpost WWD.
- ^ "Biography for Katie Ford". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 21, 2008.
- ^ "About « Ford Models Blog". fordmodelsblog.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2011.
- ^ Roberta Bernstein (September 8, 1997). "Katie Ford". People Magazine. 48 (10).
- ^ "Living: Come with Me to Casablancas". Time. August 25, 1980. Archived from the original on May 26, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- ^ "Magnum tells SEC back's to the wall". www.sportsbusinessjournal.com. Retrieved December 10, 2022.
- ^ "Stone Tower Equity Partners LLC - Company Profile and News - Bloomberg Markets". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
- ^ "Ford Models Inc. Announces Strategic Investment". Bloomberg.com. December 5, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2022.
- ^ Wilson, Eric (July 10, 2014). "Eileen Ford, Grande Dame of the Modeling Industry, Dies at 92". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
- ^ "Gerald Banks / Guerman Aliev". Gerald Banks / Guerman Aliev. Retrieved December 10, 2022.
- ^ DePuyt, Bruce (July 14, 2018). "FBI, State Probe Russian Oligarch's Ties to Maryland Election Board Contractor". Maryland Matters. Retrieved December 10, 2022.
- ^ Wachtel, Katya. "Meet The Russian Fund Manager And Former Merrill Banker Who Gets Paid To Manage Supermodels". Business Insider. Retrieved December 10, 2022.
- ^ "Ford Models Brasil acquires Ford Models, Inc. to create global talent management platform". www.fordmodels.com. May 14, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2022.
- ^ Hays, Kali (May 14, 2020). "Ford Models Acquired by Brazilian Outpost". WWD. Retrieved December 10, 2022.
- ^ "Katie Ford announced that Stonetower, the prestigious private equity company has made an investment of the sale of the majority". Archived from the original on July 25, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
- ^ Stephen Gundle (2008). Glamour: A History. Oxford University press. p. 369. ISBN 9780199210985.
- ^ Orden, Erica (January 12, 2011). "Ford Models on Exhibit". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
- ^ Wachtel, Katya. "Meet The Russian Fund Manager And Former Merrill Banker Who Gets Paid To Manage Supermodels". Business Insider. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
- ^ Jensen, K Thor (August 21, 2019). "Ford Models Executive Lied About Husband Dying in Order to Get Out of Her Contract: Lawsuit". Newsweek.
- ^ Bowden, Ebony; Hauswirth, Heather (September 13, 2019). "Ford Models chairman accused of plunging company into debt with "reckless" spending". New York Post. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
- ^ Hays, Kali (May 14, 2020). "Ford Models Acquired by Brazilian Outpost". WWD. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
- ^ "Ford Models Brasil acquires Ford Models, Inc. to create global talent management platform". www.fordmodels.com. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
- ^ a b "Ford Artists Website". Retrieved December 10, 2011.
- ^ "Ford Models". www.fordmodels.com. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
- ^ "Ford Models – New York – Modeling Agency – Profile with contact details and their models on FMD – MVA verified agency". Fashionmodeldirectory.com. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
- ^ Actors-Women, FORD/RBA (Scottsdale) Archived January 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Ford Models on archive.org
- Ford Models Blog
- Ford Artists
- Ford Models – New York in the Fashion Model Directory