A Model Company
by Jennifer Strailey
In an industry known for its ugly temper tantrums, substance abuse and sexual favors, one company has built a successful business by cultivating the beautiful side of modeling. That company is Ford Models, Inc.
|Title: CEO, Ford Models, Inc.
New York, N.Y.
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Started by Eileen and Gerard Ford in 1947, Ford Models — which has propelled the likes of Cheryl Tiegs, Rene Russo and Christy Turlington to super stardom — began as a small, family-run agency in New York City. The agency grew along with its talent base, and now boasts 12 offices in cities around the world, close to 200 employees and a few thousand models under contract.
Not bad for a little family business.
Daughter Katie Ford, who has been the CEO since 1995, runs her family's business with the same passion and integrity that helped her parents make Ford Models a legendary force in the fashion and entertainment industries.
With the belief that stars are made not born, the Ford agency has made it a point to invest in both the personal and professional growth of its models. "Ford is known for building the stars," asserts Katie Ford. It's not just finding the models, she says, "it's recruit[ment] and then development. We develop them in terms of testing, teaching them what it means to be a model and they develop into stars."