It is a sad day for fashion. The fashion pioneer who helped create the successful agency Ford Models passed away at 92. She had an incredible impact on the modeling industry and the world’s interpretation of beauty and is credited for creating the first ‘supermodels’ of the industry.
Eileen Ford passed away on July 10 at 92. The cofounder of Ford Models leaves behind four children, along with a true legacy in the modeling world. After falling in her New York apartment during the first week of July 2014, she was hospitalized, but unfortunately never fully recovered. We are sad to say goodbye to such and icon and entrepreneur, and our thoughts are with her family.
Eileen Ford — Dead At 92:
Eileen had an interest in the modeling industry at an early age. As a freshman and sophomore in college, she was a model herself for a short time at Harry Conover modeling agency, one of the first modeling agencies in New York. After finishing school, she met Jerry Ford who she would one day marry. Together, they would cofound one of the world’s most successful modeling agencies — and help change the scope of fashion by introducing the first supermodels.
The pioneer assisted in landing modeling contracts with powerhouse companies like Chanel, Estee Lauder, and Revlon, and Ford Models went on to represent big names like Janice Dickinson, Christie Brinkley, Brooke Shields, Melanie Griffith, and Kim Basinger, to name a few. She even helped to launch the career of Naomi Campbell. Eileen took what was at one time considered a shallow hobby and developed it into a respected, prosperous career.
Eileen Ford’s Early Life:
In her young life, Eileen worked as a copywriter, stylist, and a fashion reporter. She never strayed too far from the fashion world, and she always came back to the modeling industry. She worked as a freelance secretary for models, and after getting her husband on board, the pair launched Ford Models in 1946.
By the mid ’50s, the agency was booming. Eileen and her family lived in an apartment on Park Avenue, where she would often allowed models to live with her. Eileen also provided a staff of dermatologists, hair and makeup artists, and nutrition advisors for the girls she represented. Models would often compare Eileen to a motherly figure and she had strong relationships with many of the girls.
Eileen transformed the way we look at beauty, and Ford Models continues to sign and develop top models and talent in the field. Her contributions to the modeling industry will not be forgotten. Our prayers are with her loved ones.
— Michelle Tedder