New York Post
April 11, 1998

Added April 14, 1998

Toriphile Joe has sent me a very odd article from the April 11, 1998 issue of the New York Post.


(there is a picture on top that says Strutting their Stuff and it shows Tori from one of the Boys for Pele photo shoots)

by Paul Tharp

Fashion models and music stars are always the stuff of glamor, but until now one one's merged their talents for new profits.

Wilhemina and Atlantic Group have launched and unprecedented venture to market each other's top names and faces in their separate turfs.

In the deal, recording artists such as Brandy and Tori Amos will climb on fashion runways--and supermodels such as Esther Canadas and Daisy Fuentes will make appearances with the musical acts.

The celebrities on both sides hope the cross talent venture will add more endorsement deals, increase magazine spreads, and boost audiences.

"We'll all be able to put recording artists and models in places where you wouldn't expect to see them," said Dieter Esch, president of Wilhemina.

He said his international agency will represent all Atlantic's artists in a variety of deals not usually associated with music stars--such as fashion shows and endorsements, personal appearances, and magazine shoots.

The added fees for putting music acts into the fashion world could push Wilhemina past Elite to become the biggest modeling agency in the US in the next few years, doubling revenue to $50 million.

"By the end of this year, we expect additional revenue of about $20 million from the alliance," said Esch.

Wilhemina is the second largest modeling agency in the US with about 800 men, women and children under contract, followed by Ford.

Last week, the stars of both shops mingled, met and danced late into the night in a big bash to launch the alliance.

The new pact already produced two cross endorsements deals. Atlantic's Poe was booked by Wilhemina for a fasion editiorial spread in Jane magazine. Atlantic singer Linda Eder, currently starring in Broadway's Jekyl And Hyde, was booked for a cover shoot for Fit magazine.

"If Tommy Hilfiger wants Brandy or Tori Amos for one of his runway shows, we'll do it," Esch said of the pop singers under contract with Atlantic.

Atlantic said it wanted to extend the brands of more than 300 musical artists into the world of fashion, and asked Wilhemina to represent its roster, ranging from Phil Collins and Hootie and the Blowfish to Matchbox 20 and Anita Baker.

"Popular music has always been closely linked with fashion and style" said Val Azzoli, co-chairman and co-CEO of Atlantic Group.

Azzoli said a singer's work is often judged by his or her look. "By accident or design, an artists look and presentation are the tangible reflections of their musical approach and cultural identity," Azzoli said.

Wilhemina's models could also embark on musical careers with Atlantic if they have the style and the talent.

"A musical group made up of models? That would certainly be impossible. I'm sure they'd be welcomed by audiences as well as any other good group would be."

Atlantic's executive vice president/general manager Rob Shapiro said a wide range of cross promotions are planeed but wouldnt discuss them. One involves a major shoe company (Note from Joe: Hey! Tori loves shoes!!!! Could be...).

Deals involving movies, TV and books would be handled by the artistsown agents.

Atlantic is expanding the roles of its artists roster to help celbebrate the label's 50th Anniversary this year.

Wilhemina International, founded 30 years ago by the famed model of the same name, was purchased by Esch 10 years ago, a German investor and businessman.

Among Wilhemina's current models are Donna Karan supermodels asther Canadas and her boyfriend, Mark Vanderloo; Idalis, Rebecca Gayhart (Beverly Hills 90210, Scream 2); Karina Lombard (Legends of the Fall); Ione Skye (Say Anything, Gas Food Lodging); Zoe Cassevettes; Michael Bergen (Baywatch, Calvin Klein); Jason Lewis (90210, Hugo Boss); and Alex Lundqviust (DKNY, Guess).

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