>> Paul Rowland is heading into his first major show season as head of Ford's women's division. Though he recently said that as he aims to reinvigorate the 64-year-old agency, adding that his vision "is very different from [Ford co-founder] Eileen Ford’s," the first show package showcasing his stable of models — which gives a first visual idea of his brand presentation — does pay tribute to the Ford Model of yore. Teased wigs, retro twinsets, and pearls adorn the likes of Tao Okamoto, Karmen Pedaru, and Alana Zimmer. As Models.com points out, "Irony is the original Ford girls (sans the Rowland twist) looked something like this, all white gloved and be-hatted."
>> Last week, rumors of a major shift in the New York modeling agency setup floated around; eventually, it came out that Paul Rowland, the founder of Women Management and its Supreme offshoot, was leaving Supreme to head up the women's division at Ford.
According to Page Six's industry insider, Rowland, who sold the company which he founded in 1988 a few years ago, "had a huge salary there, but wasn't really getting along with management. So basically, he just left." Ford "cleaned house and canned everyone," says another source, to make way for Rowland and the agents he was bringing with him.
Caroline Poznanski, meanwhile, who ran Ford's women's division until Rowland's arrival, has been chosen by Supreme to take Rowland's old job. "It's one big game of musical chairs," reports the source. "There were rumors around that Supreme was just going to close, but instead they hired Poznanski and absorbed some other people who had been let go from Ford."
One booker notes: "The models at these places are in a tailspin. A lot, including [Ford girls] Chanel Iman and Jacquelyn Jablonski, don't know if they're staying or going. There will likely be a spate of lawsuits because both Paul and Caroline are trying to bring their girls over, but they have noncompetes in their contracts."
>> Backstage at Givenchy today, a sign read: "No girls on the runway if they haven't eaten before." The show ran over an hour late, was in a hard-to-reach location, and guests froze in the outside venue, but they were allayed by Riccardo Tisci's homage to the Middle East, complete with live musicians playing karkabou. "I dream of Riccardo's genie!" Joe Zee exclaimed.
Tisci not only attracted editors but fellow designers: Pucci's Peter Dundas joined Christian Lacroix in the show's front row. And all the models had their hair dyed black especially for the occasion — which was apparently quite impressionable on Lara Stone; Iris Strubegger debuted a new crop and newcomer Antonella Graef opened the show.