John Casablancas 1942 – 2013

It’s very sad to read about the loss of John Casablancas, one of the original ‘old-school’ fashion people who pioneered and innovated the modelling industry, throughout his career. As the founder of the original Elite network of agencies, Casablancas is somebody who knew everything there was to know about the industry and had seen it all before.

I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but i always keep my eyes open and try to use the wisdom of others, whether it is passed onto me or through something i have read. Of particular interest to me was a great interview that John Casablancas did with just recently. He raised so many points that are on the mind’s of real artists, real talent, genuine bookers and casting agents, rather than the reality/internet ‘fake it till u make it’ entourage and wannabe suckers. The interview also listed some of the ‘supermodels’ that he helped launch – a list that included Christie Brinkley, Stephanie Seymour, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Gisele Bundchen and Naomi Campbell – just amazing! Integrity has always been very important to me and although Casablancas had his fair share of scandal in his career, there is a lot we can learn from him.

I would love to see the return of the ‘super-model’ and the demise of these awful celebrities on covers. I don’t mind seeing actors/actresses and musicians on covers, really talented ones, but not ‘celebrities’. Those who are famous for being famous, not because they have a unique talent. I think Casablancas is one of the few people that could have re-vitalised this supermodel era, but i also have no doubt there are others who are capable and reflect his ideas and beliefs. More likely it is that fashion designers can revitalise the supermodel.

The internet is an incredible invention, but it does allow for people to create profiles of themselves without any accuracy and then they use association with others to make it appear like they are the real deal – fashion and photography like many industries is full of these fakers. They are not real artists, they are commercially minded leaches and when i spot them i avoid them like the plague. Like so many, i’ve had my fair share of ‘copycats’ and I’ve been fooled by a few, but it’s all a part of growing and evolving.

I hope the industry continues to grow and that the old school designers, photographers, casting directors, stylists and creatives continue to speak their mind and insist on ‘talent’ rather than it’s opposite. I also hope that newcomers to the industry actually do a bit of research and respect the profession and the hard work that people like John Casablancas and those that followed him put in. Our thoughts are with his colleagues, associates and family – rest in peace John Casablancas.

Ian Cole, Editor-in-Chief, Client Magazine