||The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's notability guideline for biographies. (January 2011)|
August 22, 1950 |
Miami Beach, USA
|Occupation||entrepreneur, modeling agency president|
|Irene Marie official website|
Irene Marie (born August 22, 1950 in Miami Beach, Florida) is a former fashion model, model agency founder and mother of five. After her first marriage, Marie's Greek/Austrian mother remarried a pilot for Pan American Airlines. In 1960 the family relocated to West Berlin, Germany where her stepfather was stationed. Marie attended school in Germany until 1967 when the family was again relocated, this time to Beirut, Lebanon. Marie completed her last year of high school and first two years of college in Beirut.
Entering the entertainment industry
In 1969 Marie was stopped on the street in Beirut by the producer of a French language variety show. Marie, who had no previous on-camera experience, was cast as the hostess of the television program based on her compelling looks and personality. Shortly after in 1970, Marie was signed by Models International Modeling Agency, one of the top agencies in Paris, and moved to France to pursue modeling. After two successful years, Marie returned to Beirut as a fashion columnist for Le Magazine.
In 1974, Irene met her future husband, Patrick Marie, while on vacation in Miami Beach. Soon after, Patrick introduced Irene to his cousin; the owner of Paris based City Models. City Models was seeking to place a group of their models in Miami, and requested Irene's assistance in finding a suitable agency. City Models was dissatisfied with the regional scope of the agencies she visited in Miami, and proposed to Marie to open a branch of City Models in Florida. In 1980, City Models Florida opened in Ft. Lauderdale as the first full service ‘on location’ exclusive model and talent agency in Florida.
Irene Marie Models
For the first time a Florida agency was taking an international perspective to the fashion industry. Marie's contacts in Europe allowed her to persuade foreign photographers and designers to produce their campaigns in Florida, from Palm Beach to the art deco oasis of Miami Beach. In 1983 the name of the agency was changed to Irene Marie Models and by 1988 had outgrown its current location in Ft. Lauderdale.
Having realized Miami Beach's potential as a fashion production superpower (unpopulated beaches, vibrant colors, unique lighting), Marie soon decided to move her agency South to the relatively undiscovered South Beach. In 1989, Marie was one of the first real estate investors in South Beach to purchase and renovate an original ocean front building. She moved her agency to the former Sunray Apartments (made famous by the chainsaw scene in the movie Scarface (1983 film)) located at 728 Ocean Drive.
The agency continued to grow during the early 1990s with the discovery and development of talent such as Niki Taylor (L'Oréal, Elle, Vogue, Cover Girl), Amber Smith (Wonder Bra, Sports Illustrated), Michael Ostheim (Esprit, Armani), Scott King (Calvin Klein) and Britt Bradford (Versace).
In 1992 Forbes magazine listed Irene Marie Models as one of the top 8 most successful modeling agencies in the world. In 1993 Marie opened agency branches in Atlanta, Tampa and was the first Florida based modeling agency to ever open in New York. During this period Irene represented the top models in the business including Marcus Schenkenberg, Jason Shaw, Kimora Lee, Beverly Peele and Anna Nicole Smith. In 1997 Marie joined the Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program, she continues to participate by motivating at-risk young women to live up to their full potential through mentoring.
Over the next decade, Marie continued to discover and develop talent including Cindy Taylor, Galen Gering and David Fumero. In 2006, Marie along with MTV launched the hit reality television series 8th & Ocean which chronicled the lives of 10 models and their relationship with Marie and her staff. In 2007 Marie received the key to the City of Miami Beach in recognition of her cultural and commercial contribution to the development of the city. The City's proclimation declared July 11 Irene Marie Day in the City of Miami Beach. In 2008, Irene's agency was given a similar distinction with December 13 being proclaimed Irene Marie Models Day. The agency closed in 2009 due to the effects of the worldwide economic recession.
Irene Marie Enterprises
In 2010 Marie began providing brand and lifestyle consulting. She also launched a line of personally designed Angel Bags handbags and jewelry.
- 2003 Business Woman of the Year - National Republican Congressional Committee
- 2004 Business Woman of the Year – Women in International Trade Organization
- 2007 Key to the City of Miami Beach
- Hoag, Christina (12 February 2007). "The Grand Dame of Modeling". Miami Herald.
- Valdemoro, Tania (18 December 2008). "Beautiful Lessons". Miami Herald. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Chang, Daniel (21 February 2006). "MTV PEERS INTO LIFE OF YOUNG, BEAUTIFUL". Miami Herald.
- "Irene Marie Receives the Key to the City of Miami Beach". MiamiBeachTube. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Cordle, Ina Paiva (8 February 2009). "Irene Marie Modeling shuts down, may file for bankruptcy". Miami Herald.