Beauty’s Where You Find It in Modeling Agency Retrospective “Wilhelmina”

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defining beauty coverSpend some time with the beautiful people as you make your way through the pages of Wilhelmina: Defining Beauty (by Eric Wilson with a foreword by Patti Hansen). It’s a photographic retrospective in honor of the 50th anniversary of one of the world’s foremost modeling agencies. A combination of stunning images and essays exploring the notion of beauty highlights the fabled history of the institution that acted as the genesis for the careers of such unforgettable faces as Anjelica Huston, Isabella Rossellini and even Whitney Houston. Behind the glamour of fierce photo shoots and captivating catwalks lies an often vicious world of brutal competition between agencies (and even models themselves), which came to a fever pitch during the “Model War” years of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Wilhelmina remained well above the fray, taking its cue in ethics and compassion from founder and namesake Wilhelmina Cooper. Since its founding in 1967, the agency has gone to great lengths to ensure that it promotes diversity within the modeling community — including the careers of the first black supermodel, Naomi Sims, and trans models like Avie Acosta.

Last modified: February 5, 2018