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A revealing, no-holds-barred portrait of the legendary Eileen Ford—the entrepreneur who transformed the business of modeling and helped invent the celebrity supermodel.
Working with her husband, Jerry, Eileen Ford created the twentieth century’s largest and most successful modeling agency, representing some of the fashion world’s most famous names—Suzy Parker, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Lauren Hutton, Rene Russo, Christie Brinkley, Jerry Hall, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell. Her relentless ambition turned the business of modeling into one of the most glamorous and desired professions, helping to convert her stable of beautiful faces into millionaire superstars.
Model Woman chronicles the Ford Modeling Agency’s meteoric rise to the top of the fashion and beauty business, and paints a vibrant portrait of the uncompromising woman at its helm in all her glittering, tyrannical brilliance. Outspoken and controversial, Ford was never afraid to offend in defense of her stringent standards. When she chose, she could deliver hauteur in the grand tradition of fashion’s battle-axes, from Coco Chanel to Diana Vreeland—just ask John Casablancas or Janice Dickinson. But she was also a shrewd businesswoman with a keen eye for talent and a passion for serving her clients.
Drawing on more than four years of intensive interviews with Ford and her intimates, associates, and rivals, as well as exclusive access to agency documents and memorabilia, Robert Lacey weaves an unforgettable tale of a determined entrepreneur and the empire she built—a story of beauty, ambition, business, and popular culture as powerful and complex as the woman at its center.
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Robert Lacey is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty books, including The Queen; Ford: The Men and the Machine; The Year 1000; and Inside the Kingdom. He lives in London.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Supermodels for Breakfast 1
1 Nothing to do But Look Pretty 12
2 Origins 20
3 The Most Talented Child Ever Born 26
4 Great Neck 31
5 The Bobbsey Twins 38
6 Young and Beautiful 45
7 Something Mellifluous 51
8 Model Student 58
9 Le Meilleur Moment De L'Amour 62
10 Jerry 69
11 Stylist 75
12 Agency 83
13 New Look 90
14 Goddesses and Masterpieces 97
15 Model Types 103
16 Scouts and Bookers 114
17 Ideal for Entertaining 124
18 Shoes Under the Bed 130
19 Bonjour, Paris! 136
20 Celebrity Models 143
21 In the Eye of the Beholder 152
22 Youthquake 1965 163
23 Rivalries 175
24 Breakfast at Seventy-Eighth Street 185
25 The Panorama 193
26 Model Wars 203
27 The Ford Empire Strikes Back 211
28 Cover Girls 219
29 Sex and Drugs and Supermodels 230
30 Hopping Like Bedbugs 239
31 Full Circle 246
Epilogue: Beauty Business 257
Appendix: Top Ford Models 265
Photographic Sources 275