Supermodels mourn Ford Models founder Eileen Ford, who died at 92
Ford Models modelling agency founder Eileen Ford died yesterday (July 10) at the age of 92.
She died from complications from meningioma and osteoporosis, the agency said.
Since starting the Manhattan agency with husband Jerry in 1946, Ford showed she had an eye for talent, discovering Candice Bergen and Jane Fonda in the 1960s and Lauren Hutton in the 1970s, and signing precocious beauty Brooke Shields as child, reported Reuters.
That economic foundation spawned the high-paid celebrity super model of the 1980s, when Ford Models was arguably the most important modeling agency. Ford represented a few of them herself, including Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Elle Macpherson.
Ford was also fond of models who radiated a wholesome look, such as Cheryl Tiegs and Christie Brinkley, who embodied American beauty for years. “American women mean a great deal to me,” Ford told People magazine in 1983. “They’re such lost souls, particularly the women of my generation.”
Described by many as a legend, Ford was known to demand from her models the "highest level of professionalism, putting them on strict diets and firing those with a taste for late-night revelry", reported The Guardian.
Jerry Ford died in 2008. The couple had four children, including daughter Katie Ford, who became chief executive of Ford Models in 1995. The agency was sold in 2007.
Katie Ford said in a statement that her mother loved New York touchstones such as restaurant Le Cirque, The New York Times and the TV sitcom “Seinfeld,” in addition to “beautiful models, photographers, fashion, Fred Astaire, and life in general.”
Since the sad news went public, Twitter has been buzzing with fan reactions from around the world as well as friends of the fashion icon sharing their fondest memories.
Rest in peace, Eileen Ford.
Sources: Reuters, The Guardian, New York Times, Bloomberg and Twitter