Donald Trump’s 18-year-old modeling agency, Trump Model Management, is closing their doors after multiple models have come forward to share their horrific experiences with the agency, alleging that they worked illegally without obtaining proper visas and were housed in ‘sweatshop’ like conditions.
Another Trump business appears to be biting the dust! Controversial agency Trump Model Management plans to close the doors for good after multiple models have left the agency. Not only did they lose top talent, but they also faced scrutiny as former models came forward with harrowing tales recounting their experiences working with the agency. President Donald Trump currently owns an 85% stake in Trump Model Management.
Mother Jones published an excerpt from an email President of Trump Models, Corinne Nicolas, sent out to colleagues over the weekend. “The Trump Organization is choosing to exit the modeling industry,” Nicolas wrote. “On the heels of the recent sale of the Miss Universe Organization, the company is choosing to focus on their core businesses in the real estate, golf and hospitality space.” A spokesperson from the Trump Organization confirmed the news to the New York Post. “While we enjoyed many years of success, we are focused on our core businesses in the real estate and golf industries and the rapid expansion of our hospitality division,” the statement read.
In September 2015, WME-IMG Talent Agency bought Miss Universe from the Trump Organization after they faced backlash surrounding Donald’s racist comments about Mexican immigrants. Since then, models and agents have exited Trump Model Management due to the negative connotation associated with the Trump name. An insider told Jezebel the switch was “a direct result of Trump’s divisive politics, which have made his brand toxic in the modeling world.”
The agency was founded in 1999 and recently came under fire as former models alleged that the agency hired them without valid employment visas and provided terrible living conditions to the models. Mother Jones published the accounts of multiple models and spoke to Kate, a model employed by Trump Model Management in 2004, who used a pseudonym for the sake of anonymity. “He doesn’t want to let anyone into the US anymore,” she said. “Meanwhile, behind everyone’s back, he’s bringing in all of these girls from all over the world and they’re working illegally.”
The models were housed in a two-floor, three-bedroom apartment in the East Village. An agency representative had a one-bedroom on the ground floor while the models dwelled in two bedrooms in the basement, which featured two sets of bunk beds in one bedroom and three in another, with an additional mattress in the common area. There were over 11 people occupying the apartment at one time. “We’re herded into these small spaces,” Kate said. “The apartment was like a sweatshop.” Kate said she paid $1,200 a month to live in the Trump apartment in 2004.
Since the election, models and agents, including Katie Moore and Mia Kang, have left the agency. The remaining talent will have to find a home with another agency.