Standout supermodels are so big you hardly need a last name (think Christie, Naomi, etc), but the name behind them all is the most important in some regards: Eileen Ford. As one of the most famous agents, ever, she founded Ford Models in the late ’40s and was essentially responsible for turning models from nameless beauties into stars. She died yesterday in New Jersey at the age of 92, reports the New York Times.
Who are some of the names that flourished under her guidance and management? Naomi Campbell, Christie Brinkley, Christy Turlington, and Elle Macpherson, for starters, plus Jerry Hall, Cheryl Tiegs, Brooke Shields, and Carmen Dell’Orefice (and a college-age Martha Stewart!).
“I remember actually crashing a Ford Models party, like a Christmas party or something, and I thought it was the most amazing thing in my life, being in a room with all these amazing, beautiful women and cool people,” Richard Blandino, Glamour‘s Bookings Director, told me. “I thought it was the best thing in the world. It’s kind of the gold standard. If anybody knows any modeling agency name, it’s Ford. It’s one of the big iconic names. I’ve heard stories from fashion editors that have been around for a long time, they’d tell me about how she was such a den mother and would always watch over the girls and keep tabs on where they were going and who they were with.”