Eileen Ford, who promoted supermodels, dies at 92

Bloomberg NewsJuly 10, 2014 

Obit Eileen Ford

Ford

MARTY LEDERHANDLER — AP

NEW YORK -- Eileen Ford, whose eye for feminine beauty made her agency a byword for supermodels and influenced women's fashion for generations, has died. She was 92.

Her death was confirmed by Arielle Baran, a spokeswoman for Ford Models in Manhattan. No further details were provided. Ford was admitted to a hospital last week after falling at her New York apartment, People magazine reported on its website.

For more than six decades, Ford represented the world's most prominent models and raised the profile of the glamor business, which became a recruiting ground for Hollywood. Young women flocked to her agency -- which promoted itself as the largest -- partly because it paid reliably and enforced high moral standards in an industry that had a reputation for exploiting its workers.

Among the models and stars Eileen Ford trained and represented were Suzy Parker, Jean Shrimpton, Lauren Hutton, Cheryl Tiegs, Ali MacGraw, Margaux Hemingway, Sharon Stone, Christie Brinkley, Jerry Hall, Melanie Griffith, Kim Basinger, Christy Turlington and Brooke Shields.

A one-time model at New York's Harry Conover agency, Ford started her business in 1946 together with her husband, Jerry Ford, who handled finances. Ford alternatively cosseted and drove her "girls," as she always called them, sending them to dermatologists and hairdressers. Most of all, she was known for her judgment about who would look good in front of the camera.

"It's a process I cannot explain, but the prettiest girl on the block is not always the best model," she said, according to a 1983 profile in People magazine.

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