Wilhelmina Models

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Wilhelmina Models
Industry Modeling agency
Founded New York City (1967 (1967))
Founder Wilhelmina Cooper
Bruce Cooper
Headquarters Dallas (headquarters)
New York City
Los Angeles
, U.S.
Area served
Website wilhelmina.com

Wilhelmina Models (NASDAQWHLM) is a talent management agency that was founded in 1967 by Dutch supermodel Wilhelmina Cooper and her husband, Bruce Cooper. In February 2009, New Century Equity Holdings Corp., a publicly traded company, acquired the business.

Wilhelmina Models provides full-spectrum model management for women, men, full-figured, fitness, and children models, as well as athletes, entertainers, and musicians.

Founding and early days[edit]

Dutch supermodel Wilhelmina Cooper founded the agency with her husband Bruce Cooper and two minority partners, Bill Weinberg and Fran Rothchild in 1967.[1] Wilhelmina developed numerous models, including Iman and Beverly Peele. Cooper died of lung cancer in 1980 at 40.[1] The agency was transferred to her business partners after her death.[1] Soon after her death, many of Wilhelmina's top-tier models left for other agencies.[1]

Dieter Esch bought the agency in 1989 for a reported 4 to 7 million dollars.[1] In 1993, he appointed his 21-year-old daughter Natasha Esch president of the agency and gave her his shares as a college graduation present.[1][2] She was criticized when she took the position for being too young and inexperienced.[1] In 1997, Natasha Esch resigned from her position in order to pursue other opportunities.[1] Dieter Esch succeeded her as president.[1]

21st century[edit]

In February 2009, New Century Equity Holdings Corp., a publicly traded company, acquired Wilhelmina Models. Esch sold his stake in the agency for 22 million dollars.[3] New Century subsequently changed its name to Wilhelmina International, Inc. and now trades under the ticker symbol 'WHLM'.[4]

Wilhelmina International, Inc. is headquartered in Dallas, Texas[5] and also has offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. The company also licenses its brand to third-party agencies throughout the world including the United States, Panama, Tokyo,[6] and Thailand. As an extension of Wilhelmina’s talent representation business, Wilhelmina Artist Management specializes representing entertainers and musicians.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Steinhauer, Jennifer (2 February 1997). "The New Wilhelmina Wears a T-Shirt". New York Times. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Gross Michael (7 July 2013). "Model Citizen?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Kosman, Josh (28 April 2010). "Not a good model year". New York Post. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Investor Relations". wilhelmina.com. Wilhelmina Models. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "WILHELMINA INTERNATIONAL INC (WHLM:OTCBB - OTCQB): Stock Quote & Company Profile - Businessweek". Business Week. August 7, 2013. Retrieved 7 Aug 2013. 
  6. ^ "Wilhelmina Japan". wilhelmina.co.jp. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 

External links[edit]