John Casablancas

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John Casablancas
Born (1942-12-12)December 12, 1942
New York, New York
Died July 20, 2013(2013-07-20) (aged 70)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nationality American
Occupation Model agent, entrepreneur
Spouse(s) Marie Christine (1965-1970; divorced)
Jeanette Christiansen (1978-1983; divorced)
Aline Wermelinger (1993–2013; his death)
Children 5, including Julian Casablancas

John Casablancas (December 12, 1942 – July 20, 2013) was an American modeling agent and scout who founded Elite Model Management in 1972.


Casablancas founded the Elite Model Management, a modeling agency, in 1972 in Paris, France.[1] Casablancas is credited for developing the concept of supermodel in the popular culture, turning models into celebrities that were featured in mass media as personalities rather than just faces.[2]

Elite proved to be a success, grossing nearly $100 million in annual model bookings during the years that Casablancas ran the day-to-day operations of the agency.[1]

He also founded the John Casablancas Modeling and Acting Agency and School. The agency and school helped kick-start the careers of actors and actresses such as Julia Roberts and Jim Parsons.

Personal life[edit]

Casablancas was born in Manhattan, New York City, on December 12, 1942, the youngest of three children of Fernando and Antonia Casablancas.[1] His parents had fled to the United States to escape the Spanish Civil War during the 1930s.[1]

In 1983 he had an affair with 16-year-old Stephanie Seymour until Stephanie broke off the relationship[3] - this affair was the reason for his divorce from Jeanette Christiansen, his second wife.[4] Casablancas is the father of Julian Casablancas, the lead vocalist of the American band, The Strokes. He also had three younger children with his third wife Aline Casablancas (née Aline Mendonça de Carvalho Wermelinger),[5] who was the winner of Elite Model Look 1992 in Brazil.


A resident of Miami, Florida, Casablancas died in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he had been receiving treatment for cancer, on July 20, 2013, at the age of 70.[1]


  • "Casablancas: The Man Who Loved Women", documentary by Hubert Woroniecki, 2016, 81 minutes



  1. ^ a b c d e Wilson, Eric (2013-07-20). "John Casablancas, Modeling Visionary, Dies at 70". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  2. ^ John Casablancas obituary: Agent whose company, Elite, ushered in the era of the supermodel - The Independent
  3. ^ "Stephanie Seymour". Wikipedia. 2017-04-20. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Eric (2013-07-20). "John Casablancas, Modeling Visionary, Dies at 70". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-04-24. 
  5. ^ LIMA ABIB, Alberto. A família Wermelinger: uma aventura em dois continentes (a imigração suíça de 1819–1820). 2000, self edition, 391p, ISBN 9788590146612