Paul Rowland is on a Mission to Diversify Ford Models

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China Machado, a Ford classic. Photo: Richard Burbridge/New York Times T Magazine

Paul Rowland is about to do his biggest hat trick yet: reinventing Ford Models. Earlier this year, the venerable modeling agency appointed Rowland, creator and owner of Women and Supreme Management, to spearhead Ford's head-to-toe reinvention. (The agency, till now, was known mostly for its classically beautiful models.) In the latest issue of T Magazine, Rowland speaks out about this surprising move, saying:

"My vision is very different from Eileen Ford’s,” he says one afternoon at the agency’s headquarters on lower Fifth Avenue. “My ideal legacy at Ford — and hopefully there will be one — would be to open up the idea of beauty not only being classic but being, you know, global. I’m just obsessed with finding these amazing creatures in all these exotic countries. I want to find girls in Egypt or Sri Lanka or India — all the places where people don’t look."

During the shift, Rowland brought over a few of his favorite girls — Tao Okamoto, Rose Cordero, and Hanne Gaby Odiele — to supplement Ford's preexisting roster, which already included Carmen Dell'Orefice, China Machado, and Crystal Renn. Rowland has also signed artist Hannelore Knuts and American Vogue cover girl Anna Jagodzinska. But his boldest move yet was opening a scouting office in North Africa. He's off to a good start. [T Magazine]