As reported by Vogue: The shuttering of a boutique modeling agency isn’t usually a subject for national debate, but when it is partially owned by the president, that changes things. When news hit last week that Trump Models might be closing its doors, few were surprised. President Trump’s polarizing reputation has taken a toll on many of the businesses that bear his name, but his modeling agency faced a particularly difficult challenge. In a leaked email obtained by Mother Jones, Trump Models’s president, Corinne Nicolas, saluted the agency’s success over the past 18 years and shared the news that the Trump Organization parent company was phasing out its modeling segment to focus on business interests in golf, hospitality, and real estate.
The email followed a week’s worth of speculation spurred on by The Washington Post’s exposé on the high-profile women who’d left the agency. Once home to fashion icons including Carmen Dell’Orefice and Pat Cleveland, what it lacked in influence it made up for in the prestige of its iconic supermodels. Founded in 1999, and calling itself T Models at one point, it never rose to powerhouse status. Though it launched several faces over the years—including redhead editorial favorite Katie Moore, Steven Meisel muse Hollie-May Saker, and Sports Illustratedstar Mia Kang—the agency attained modest success. Ironically, its greatest achievement may be the one farthest removed from its founder’s ideals: When it launched its Legends division in 2012, it helped to revive interest in models over 40.