Agent at Trump’s modeling company leaves to form his own all-inclusive agency named ANTI, along with other former staffers – but insists it’s NOT a dig at his ex-employer
PUBLISHED: 14:12 EST, 5 April 2017 | UPDATED: 19:45 EST, 5 April 2017
A former manager at Donald Trump‘s modelling company has launched his own inclusive agency, giving the new brand the intriguing name of Anti – but insists the name is not a dig at his former employer and current President.
Gabriel Ruas Santos Rocha, who worked at the New York-based Trump Model Management (also known as Trump Models) for five years, is one of several employees and models who have left the mogul’s venture in the wake of his political career.
Trump Models began in 1999 and eventually gained attention for its ‘legends’ section, which has included famous names such as Jerry Hall, Carol Alt and Ali Macgraw.
But some of the models signed by Trump’s agency began facing backlash last year, during the tycoon’s political campaign, Rocha told Refinery 29.
‘They’d arrive on set and people would say, “Oooh, you’re from Trump [Models]? How dare you,” or “Why are you still with them?” ‘ he told the website.
‘The girls would explain how hard we worked for them, how much they trusted us, and how we never made them feel unsafe: They were constantly harassed by employees on shoots, especially by other models.’
Anti, Rocha’s new agency, opened for business last week. It currently has four agents, some of whom used to work at Trump Models, Refinery 29 reported. The new agency’s models include Trump Models alums as well.
The new company has recruited more than 20 models so far, including Brazilian beauty Shirley Mallmann, who used to be represented under Trump Models’ ‘legends’ section.
Anti announced last week the veteran model had joined its ranks.
Rocha, however, insisted that he doesn’t intend to take a stance against his former agency, and said the name Anti refers to another meaning of the word taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which defines it as ‘serving to prevent, cure, or alleviate’.
Anti has made its values known and advertises itself as a champion of diversity and integrity on its website. It intends to represent models of all races, abilities and sizes.
The company has also opted not to divide its models into traditional categories, such as ‘plus-size’ or ‘new faces’, so as not to limit their opportunities to one particular market.
Prior to Rocha’s departure, model Maggie Rizer left Trump’s agency just two days before the presidential election, explaining she didn’t want to be associated with the mogul’s name regardless of the outcome.
‘As a woman, a mother, an American and a human being, I cannot wake up Wednesday morning being the least bit related to the Trump brand; win or lose,’ she wrote in an Instagram post announcing her decision.
‘I owe it to myself and to my children to proudly stand up for what I believe in and that is a world where Donald Trump has no voice for the future of our country.’
Former Trump Models booker Patty Sicular has also left the company to create her own agency, IconicFocus. On its roster are two models who formerly graced the tycoon’s company’s ‘legends’ section: Carmen Dell’Orefice and Beverly Johnson.
Anti intends to have a complete office set up in New York City’s Soho neighborhood in September, and wants to have 150 models signed on by the next New York Fashion Week.