Modeling agency founder Eileen Ford, who shaped a generation's standards of beauty as she built an empire and launched the careers of Candice Bergen, Lauren Hutton, Jane Fonda and countless others, has died. She was 92 and died Wednesday, according to Arielle Baran, a spokeswoman for Derris & Co., which handles public relations for Ford and announced the death Thursday.
Ford was known for her steely manner and eye for talent. She demanded professionalism from her models, putting them on strict diets and firing those with a taste for late-night revelry.
The typical Ford woman was tall, thin, often blond, with wide-set eyes and a long neck. Eileen Ford was known to tell hopefuls shorter than 5 foot 7 to give up their dreams. The Ford look changed remarkably little over the years, and set a standard for the industry. Height and a willowy build remain paramount, though Ford was disdainful of the "waif" look — typified by British model Kate Moss — popular in the early 1990s. Ford maintained that a model's charisma was as important as her looks, and prided herself on being able to detect successful personalities.
- 1983 profile of Ford (People Magazine)