UPDATED at 2:20pm, Thursday afternoon: The Herald updates the story today. Included in the comments that go with the story is one from an actual South Beach modeling industry insider who lobs a charge at the Herald writer who wrote the story.
Caroline Gleason, of Caroline Gleason Management on Lincoln Road, says in response to her being quoted in the story:
"Obviously the Miami Herald needs to hire new writers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The article clearly represents a one sided story and taking IM’s side !Wow! Just what the Herald needs: another dissatisfied reader.
Yesterday I was called by the “The Miami Herald’ and was asked various questions in regards to the closing of Irene Marie. First of all I never made the statement;
'Think of all these poor young guys and girls, who don't have a place to stay now and have nowhere to go but their parents' couch.''
I have no idea who said this and where the reporter came up with this ridicules [sic] quote.
Here is one of the questions I was asked and my answer;
Do you feel that the overall economy is hurting the modeling industry on South Beach?
We still have many clients shooting here, there were 16 castings this week alone!!!!
So please don’t blame the closing of IM on the economy when your overhead is too high and you can’t afford to have 8 bookers ! Keep it small and pay your models on time !!!!!!!!!! It’s not that hard !!!!!!!!!
Random Pixels contacted Ms. Gleason via email and asked her if she'd like to elaborate on the state of the South Beach modeling industry.
She responded: "Hi Bill: Honestly I am tired of talking about it so sorry I really don’t want to comment. Thank You - Caroline Gleason."
Hmmmm, I guess she's all talked out after talking to the Herald.
Footnote: Another interesting and current detail the Herald story missed is the fact that Bar Refaeli, the Israeli model who graces the cover of the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, got her start with Irene Marie.
UPDATED at 7:35pm. -An automated message at the Irene Marie number says that "talent" may pick up their portfolios and promotional materials at the agency on Thursday Feb. 19.
Models with last names beginning with A thru M may pick up materials between noon and 3pm. Models with last names beginning with letters N thru Z may pick their stuff up between 3pm and 6pm according to the message.
Irene Marie is located at 728 Ocean Drive on the second floor above Johnny Rocket's.
A South Beach modeling industry insider tells Random Pixels that Irene Marie may not be the only South Beach agency to fall victim to the economic downturn. "There are several other agencies that are top heavy and as a result may find themselves in the same fix as Irene."
The same source says that part of Irene Marie's problem may have been her attitude. "Irene always made me feel like I should have used the service entrance to get in the building."
This just in! The Miami Herald has finally posted a story on the closing of the Irene Marie modeling agency on South Beach. The closing is being blamed in part on the economic downturn. It's unknown if fashion models are eligible for any stimulus money.
(Random Pixels broke the story last night.)
Irene Marie has been in business since 1983 and has been in the same location on Ocean Drive since 1989.
The Herald story says that the agency will "re-open its doors for limited hours on Thursday and Friday, for models to get their materials."
That should be an emotional and chaotic scene!
The story also says that Marie may file for bankruptcy. According to the Herald story "a bankruptcy filing is being considered, said Joel Tabas, a Miami bankruptcy attorney who represents the agency.
'We're fielding calls and e-mails from talent and trying to get the lay of the land on the financials and send some letters and account statements,' Tabas said."
Joel Tabas, the attorney quoted in the story, has offices at 14 N.E. 1st Avenue, in downtown Miami.
One question the Herald story doesn't answer is why Marie put on a lavish party last December when she knew as far back as Jan. 2008 - according to the Herald story - that business was bad.
Former Irene Marie models are encouraged to leave comments below and fill in any gaps in this story.