Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Irene Marie modeling agency closes

UPDATE: Channel 10 has a story with more info here and a video report.

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.
"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."
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.


  1. funny how the media works..irene marie did close, and they owe tons of $$$ to their loyal models.. Irene only cared about herself and she screwed over alot of people..she fell hard and she deserves it but her models deserve to be paid..

  2. Maybe Irene and Michelle Pommier should start an agency together..they have everything in common now!

  3. As a former model with IM I am so pissed off about what the former employees (bookers) are saying and doing. I am also surprised how the models are following these people to other agencys.

    The Agents(bookers)know alot more than they are saying. Did they tell you that their payroll checks where bouncing as long 6 months ago? Did they tell you that their health insurance was shut off? Did they tell you that they did not get paid by clients for jobs and that is why you have not been paid yet? (85% get paid within 30 days) Did they tell you that they will sue you if you left IM and broke your contract?

    An agent is supposed represent & protect you. Did they do this? They are not supposed to hide behind boss (like hitler's generals) and say they were only following orders. A good agent will have a good moral character and look out for models best interest at all times. It is simple, If you did not get paid for your work in 15-30 days, your agents sucks. These agents (Allie, Mia, Lindsy, Dan, Rheina) saw the writing on the wall a very long time ago and did nothing to help you get your money or out of your contract? Did they? They will also say that they are "so surprised" about the closing of IM. If they are, than they are as dumb as a rock and you should not trust them ever.

    If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, IT IS DUCK........
    IM is nothing less than a common thief and should go to jail for fraud. The agents are also implicated because they knew all along what was going on and did NOTHING!

    If you are model and stupid eneogh to follow any of these agents to other agencies than you most likely are a moron and deserve to get screwed again.

    Think about it.

  4. the only booker worth following is Mia anyway..SHE took care of the guys through everything and will continue too..The other ones, weren't worth anything anyway, or Irene Marie would still be open..think about THAT

  5. rene marie is the number one agency if she is closing others will soon follow.I

  6. By no means is Mia worth following, she was part of the problem. I will bet that a good part of her "guys" are owed $$$ as well. She knew all along what was going on......

  7. I have worked 22 times this month..A ton of my friends have also worked more than ever this season.We have amazing bookers.I get paid every 2 weeks.I had freinds with Irene and they would always complain their bookers didn't know what they were doing and they werent getting paid. Many models of thiers left a year ago.One agent was a kids booker on the women's board..Irene is known for never having a connection with her models and letting great bookers go, depending on prayers and wierd spiritual tactics to bring in money to the agency. Rumor has it she lost her marbles a long time ago. I dont think the Miami fashion buisnes is suffering yet..Rates are a little less but there is so much work still.It's height of season in Miami, there are 5 castings every day and so many european clients in town shooting. I dont know why she thinks its a bad season when all this work is going on. I hope the models from Irene Marie land at an agency like mine and start making money, I feel bad for them, they just got stuck in a bad agency.

  8. Dear Anonymous: What agency would that be?

  9. It is a shame that no one at that agency had the decency to tell the models beforehand. That is a good reason why they should have closed their doors anyway. An agent is supposed to look out for your interest- not tell you, oh by the way, next Friday, pick up your book (but the $ for those jobs you worked? Good luck with that). These guys knew about this months ago- the models found out days before it hit the press.
    While I am not sad to see her go, I am very saddened for the models, some of who were living in models apartments (which are the crappiest on the beach, but at least they had a roof over their heads).

  10. It's funny how all these models followed their agents to other agencys. Did they tell you that trouble was brewing at IM???? Nope, they kept their mouths shut and let someone steal your $$$$$$.
    To me, any model that goes along with these agents to their new agency is a complete idiot. I bet you just signed a new contract and were promised the world.
    What is wrong with you people? I switched to a smaller agency and what a difference. I get every casting and work more. Did I mention that get paid?

  11. I have been with Irene Marie for 25 years. Started when I was 15. The bookers we're the ones who we're good to the models. As for Irene, she was too good for everyone. It is a shame the way it was done. The lady made millions upon millions from the models. I made her at least one of them. All of a sudden to just close the doors and Oh my! I am bankrupt. Right. Over the past 2 years it went from getting paid every 2 weeks to a month then 2 months then three then four. To where you have to basically threaten for your money. She didn't skip a beat in her lifestyle. Then you see models hugging her as their collecting their stuff and pictures. Someone said that she needs to go to jail. It is simple. FRAUD. She stole from everyone of the models who made her. Simple. I have not even recieved a call from anyone and she owes me a bunch still. I found out by my clientas that she was paid in 30-days. I would get paid in 100. Do the math. I have no pity on her, good riddance. The city needs to get back the key to the city too. MR

  12. very few clients pay within 30 days. Youre lucky if they pay within 90 days. and all the while the agency has to pay the bills it costs to operate. the agency closed, it closed because obviously it wasn't doing well. Models are the most unappreciative people, and they all think they KNOW the business.


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