July 10th, 2014
In Memoriam

Eileen Ford

Eileen Ford

The pioneering model agent Eileen Ford died yesterday. My friend Neal Hamil and I were scheduled to have lunch with her this past December and sadly I had to cancel, I was snowed in.

When I started at Vogue as the Bookings editor (models and photographers), I was in my early 20s and Eileen looked out for me. I traveled far and wide with her and Jerry as a judge for their Ford Supermodel of the Year contest, and she thanked me in Hermès scarves. Frank and opinionated, I always knew where I stood with Eileen, which was refreshing. Christmas lunch at “21”, parties in their brownstone, and weekends in NJ. The end of an era.


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  • Sorry for the loss of your mentor, Preston.
    I have never been part of the modeling world, but one would have to be living under a rock to have not heard of Eileen Ford. She was a leader in her industry and, I expect, a great friend to have.

    AprilJuly 10th, 2014  5:33 PM

  • Yes, sorry for your loss. How wonderful that you had that time with her at the top of her game.

    MargoJuly 10th, 2014  11:32 PM

  • Having a mature female friend and mentor is an incredible gift. I am sorry for your loss and can empathize. There were women I would place in this category whom I either worked along side or observed and admired from afar when I was in my 20’s and worked in an elegant ladies clothing store during my college/post-college years. These women have so much in the way of wisdom and are indeed of another era. I miss my mother for her gracious and elegant example, and I miss the women on the pages of magazines of the past (Nancy Kissinger, Nan Kempner, Nancy Reagan, etc.), who were not models, not ‘celebrities’ (they would have choked on the word), and they were not foolish. Serious women who grew up during serious times. Ms. Ford is lovely in the photo above.

    paulaJuly 11th, 2014  1:28 AM

  • I am also very sorry for your loss. I was a model at Ford starting in the mid 1970’s and it was truly a blast. I was quite a tall gangly kid with a very young face and at 13 years old Eileen told me I wasn’t ready, but to come back in a couple of years when I grew up a bit. I also went to see Wilhelmina and she told me exactly the same thing.Of course I was destroyed but true to her word two years later I went back, Eileen took me on and so began an amazing journey. I grew up on the teen board and spent, like all the other girls my weekends in Studio 54 and whatever else was going on at the time but she ran a tight ship and I always did what I was told. Every Christmas she sent us lovely little glass animals which I still have to this day. I stayed until 1980 when I was a sophomore in college and when I felt my college work had to come first. I was incredibly sad to leave that little townhouse with the brick walls. For me Jerry and Eileen were the original power couple and just the loveliest people.

    RTGJuly 11th, 2014  10:56 AM

  • What a woman. What a power. Eileen Ford will be remembered and she will continue inspiring.

    VisualTherapyNYJuly 11th, 2014  11:48 AM


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