Irene Marie, the iconic Miami Beach modeling agency, has shuttered. A friend of mine also confirms this after he stopped by the agency's Ocean Drive offices today and found the doors locked.
Irene Marie occupied a second floor office in a building at 728 Ocean Drive that was once the Sunray Apartments. The famous chainsaw scene in the movie "Scarface" was filmed there in 1983. Irene Marie moved into the building in 1989.
According to a 2200 word profile in the Miami Herald two years ago,
"Marie 's most famous find...was Pembroke Pines supermodel Niki Taylor, whose mother started sending the agency pictures of her 11-year-old, still in braces. When the girl was 13, Marie brought her in. Fort Lauderdale photographer Scott Teitler remembers Marie telling him, "I just discovered the baby Cindy Crawford.What's interesting about this story is that no one in the local media, including the Herald, has written a word about the closing despite the fact that Irene Marie was a major influence in making South Beach's modeling industry what it is today.
"Marie 's multimillion-dollar agency, which employs 18, represents roughly 1,500 faces around the world -- about 850 are full-time models -- and some 1,800 clients, ranging from magazines to advertising agencies."