John Casablancas Dead: Elite Models' Founder Dies At 70

07/21/2013 12:09 pm ET | Updated Jul 22, 2013
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Sad news: Elite Models' John Casablancas died on Friday, Women's Wear Daily confirmed yesterday afternoon. He died of cancer in Rio de Janeiro at age 70.

Not only the founder of the revolutionary model management agency in 1972, Casablancas was instrumental in launching the careers of several high-profile supermodels, including Cindy Crawford, Heidi Klum, Iman, Gisele Bündchen, Naomi Campbell and many more household names.

"Models were just models," Casablancas told New York Magazine in 2005 of the period before he founded Elite. "We started creating the myth behind the looks." And it certainly worked; now, many models (especially those listed above who fell under John's tutelage) rival the fame of actresses and other celebrity figures.

"[Casablancas] was largely responsible for glamorizing the business and turning models into idols, their egos expanding in direct proportion to their earnings potential," The New York Times writes in their obituary. It's safe to say the trends he started have taken root.

John Casablancas is survived by his wife, Aline Wermelinger, a brother, Fernando and five children from two marriages: John Jr., Fernando Augusto, Nina, Cecile and Julian Casablancas.

John launched these careers:

John Casablancas' Models

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