This weekend we were saddened to hear of the death of the legendary John Casablancas from cancer, a true innovator whose revolutionary ideas have had lasting effect on the entire business. As the founder of Elite Models Casablancas revolutionized the modeling world by introducing sex appeal and ushering in the age of the supermodels. The list of modeling icons who began at Elite under Casablanca’s direction speaks for itself; Gisele Bundchen, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Claudia Schiffer and many more. In addition to being one of the foremost champions of the supermodels, Casablancas was a unique public figure who became a star in his own right as one of the most visible spokespeople for the modeling industry.
When asked about his legacy in one of his final interviews, Casablancas simply stated:
“I feel it’s rather presumptuous to speak about legacy in a profession such as model agent! But, if I have to mention what I think I brought to the business, I would say that I was creative, that I refused to bend to the rules established by a small group of fashionista dictators, that throughout my career I imposed a beautiful, healthy, natural woman with a sensual body (which does not preclude an elegant line), and a playful or intriguing personality, and I endeavored to live a life that reminded everyone that, even when you run your business professionally, fashion should be about fun, superficiality and sensuality, and not to be taken as seriously as some tend to do.”