Model Agency News: Ford Rebrands With The Assistant Of Famed Art Director Fabien Baron

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NEW YORK Ford Models, founded in 1946, by Eileen and Jerry Ford is now adopting a new strategy led by two former rivals, after years of struggling.

The once iconic agency, which every aspiring model dreamt of signing to has been given a facelift by the famed art director Fabien Baron.

The news comes just five months after the arrival of chief creative officer Christopher Michael and vice president of US Women Kwok Chan, both founding members of The Society Management, the US division of (longtime Ford rival) Elite World, who left the company in October 2016.

According to Business of Fashion, “Baron’s rebranding is part of a new content-driven strategy designed to modernise the agency’s public identity“.  “[Baron] is an editorial genius and we wanted the team to create an editorial environment that is more conducive to the storytelling aspect [of the business],” says Michael, who admits the agency has been struggling for years.

Ford has closed divisions, including its once-lucrative catalogue division, to focus instead on digital content creation, harnessing the power of its models’ social media accounts to offer clients multi-faceted — and hopefully, more profitable — packages that include backstage interviews and Instagram posts.”

“[Models] are both creators and distributors of content,” says Michael. “We try to help them understand what works in those spaces, but always prioritise their authenticity. Understanding things that can help them. What’s strange and fascinating about it is that you can feel the authenticity or the lack of it when you see people online.”

People want to know more [about the talent]: Where are they from? What are their interests? What are their causes?” Michael adds. “You sort of become an in-house advertising agency, which is very interesting and exciting.”

The new Ford site reflects the minimalist composition for which Baron is renowned. In the past, he has reinvented brands such as Harper’s Bazaar, Calvin Klein, Vogue Paris and Balenciaga.”

Michael, who previously helped grow the careers of Kendall Jenner and Natalie Westling, says that the focus is now on building and diversifying the agency’s talent roster, which includes gender non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillon and trans supermodel Andreja Pejić.”

It’s not that we have these [diverse] looks in this vending-machine structure, but more that we have these unique narratives,” says Michael. “Some people…are signing a new influencer every day, and you just don’t understand why.”

Photos Credit: Ford Models’ Facebook

Source: Business of Fashion

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Donovan

Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of www.dmfashionbook.com. For all general inquiries please email don@dmfashionbook.com Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.