President Trump’s modelling agency could be in trouble.
Three sources, including an anonymous fashion industry insider and two bookers who have previously worked with Trump Models, told Mother Jones that they have heard the agency is on the brink of closing due to Trump’s politics. Some current employees are looking for other work, while others have left to create their own agencies.
“Yeah, it’s closing,” booker Virginie Deren, who works with a Paris-based firm that co-represents many Trump models, told Mother Jones in a recent interview.
Another booker who previously worked with Trump Models and still works in the industry claims that current employees are getting in touch for employment opportunities. “They’re all pretty much sort of scrambling to get out,” the source told Mother Jones. There are still, however, many models listed on the agency’s website, and it’s not clear how many employees have left.
Trump opened the agency in 1999 — his first foray into the business side of fashion.
In February, Refinery29 reported that various groups of people in the fashion industry, including casting directors, makeup artists, and hair stylists, were calling for a full boycott of Trump Models.
More recently, a former manager at Trump Models left the agency to create his own, calling it Anti Management. Several former Trump Models have already signed with the new agency. Anti Management’s founder, Gabriel Ruas Santos-Rocha, told The Washington Post he wanted his models to be “nurtured and treated fairly.” He added: “I did not start an agency with the intent of taking someone out of business. Outside of that I have no comments.”
Trump Models has been under fire since 2016, when Mother Jones reported that the agency skirted immigration laws in bringing in young women who didn’t have visas to work in the US.
Business Insider also interviewed two former Trump models in February of this year. They spoke candidly about their experiences working with the agency, saying that they were told to lie about their professions to customs agents. One of the two models said she was left in debt to the agency.
A spokeswoman for Trump Models did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.