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In 1974, City Models Paris was seeking to place a group of their models in Miami and tapped former model and fashion columnist Irene Marie for assistance. City Models was dissatisfied with the regional scope of the agencies they visited in Miami, and proposed to Irene to open a branch of City Models in South 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'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. For the first time a Florida based agency was taking an international perspective to the fashion industry. 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), Irene soon decided to move her agency South to the relatively undiscovered South Beach. In 1989, Irene 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) located at 728 Ocean Drive. Over the next half decade the influx of photographers, models and productions transformed Miami Beach into the third fashion capitol of the world.


The agency continued to grow during the early 1990s with the discovery and development of talent such as Niki Taylor, David Fumero, Amber Smith, Tom Pricone, Garcelle Beauvais, Brandi Quinones, Yollie Roman and Britt Bradford. In 1992 Forbes magazine listed Irene Marie Models as one of the top 8 most successful modeling agencies in the world. The following year Irene 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, Bruno Santos and Ana Nicole Smith. In 1997 after giving birth to her fifth child, Irene decided to consolidate her agency branches into one entity, again based out of her Miami Beach office.


Over the next decade, Irene continued to discover and develop talent including Cindy Taylor, Amber Arbucci, Vinci Alonso and Brett Novek.  The agency expanded with the development of new divisions including Irene Marie Creative Management (an artists' division), IM Publishing, and IM Sports.


In 2006, Irene 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.  The show was a hit and helped to put the fashion spotlight back on Miami Beach. Soon after, Irene launched an extensive online initiative to utilize new media to further her brand name and to scout for new talent. The agency which was first to launch an online booking system was now the first to effectively harness the power of online social networks such as MySpace, FaceBook and YouTube. In 2008, in recognition of its outstanding achievements, Irene's agency received the key to the City of Miami Beach and December 13th was declared, ‘Irene Marie Models Day’ in the City.


In 2009, after celebrating 25 years as Miami's premier model and talent agency, Irene decided to bring the historic agency to a close. The legacy of her agency and her talent remains visible and strong.

For more historic videos and images from the Irene Marie Agency, please visit the official Irene Marie Models MySpace page.


Gaining representation with one of the nation's top modeling agencies is a highly selective process. Of the thousands of yearly submissions made by prospective talent, less than 1% goes on to be represented by top tier agencies. Although Irene no longer accepts submissions for talent, the guidelines she has outlined below serve as industry-standard requirements. Prospective talent are encouraged to only submit their photos to an agency if they meet the guidelines listed below:

Men's and Women's Fashion
Fashion Divisions book models for catalogs, editorials, advertisements, runways and other promotions in which clothing or beauty products are featured. Applicants must stand between 5'11 and 6'2 (men) or 5'8 and 6'0 (women). Plus models should meet the same height requirements and wear a dress size between a 10 to a 16.

Commercial Print/Lifestyle
Commercial Print, also known as Lifestyle Modeling involves modeling in newspapers, magazines and catalogs in which any product (non-clothing) or service (such as cruise lines and resorts) is featured. Applicants must be 25 years of age or older and be in good physical condition. Male applicants must be 5'10 or taller, Female applicants must be 5'7 or taller.

TV & Film
TV & Film Divisions book actors for TV shows, music videos, webisodes, commercials, theatre productions and movies. Applicants must have prior acting experience to gain representation by a top tier agency. For teenagers 'acting experience' can include high school theatre, drama and singing experience. Adults must have the previously mentioned experience plus some formal acting/vocal training.

If you do not meet the requirements above, but still have a passion for fashion, there are many careers in the model/fashion industry to explore. Photography, casting, production, talent agent, and hair/makeup styling are all related fields that can be equally rewarding.