Karlie Kloss--cover girl, Victoria's Secret catwalker, model over-achiever--has made an abrupt switch from Next Model Management to arguably the industry's top agency, IMG.
Not only that, but it seems that with the move from Next to IMG, Karlie may have also dropped her mother agency (a term for the agency that first signs a model), the appropriately-named Mother Model Management. If you take a quick look at Mother's Facebook page, the agency seems none too pleased about it. Here's a post from late last week:
“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.” -Mother Teresa (1910-1997); founder of the Missionaries of Charity
The agency's cover photo, uploaded last Thursday, reads "Mother is not defined by one model." Could this be hinting at a split between Karlie and the agency, whose relationship was once said to be very close? Nothing has been confirmed yet, but we've reached out to Mother Model Management for comment, and will update when we hear back.
Why would Karlie choose to leave Next? Perhaps she was being mismanaged? Or maybe it was just the almighty dollar. Back in 2008, Karlie switched agencies (from Elite Model Management to Next) and it resulted in a lawsuit. Elite sued claiming Next offered "improper compensation" and that she was "poached through improper means." Sounds shady, and we're wondering if history will repeat itself.
Or maybe Kloss, who has already established herself as a personality in the industry, is looking to expand her career horizons beyond modeling. IMG, who reps the likes of Gisele and Kate Moss on its regular women's board, as well as actresses and mega stars like Julianne Moore and Heidi Klum on its special bookings board, has a good track record of facilitating second careers for its girls.
"Karlie has an immense and loyal following, and we welcome the opportunity to help expand her relationships through endorsements as well as our global network that reaches beyond fashion," Ivan Bart, IMG Models’s senior vice president and managing director, recently told WWD.
Karlie is still featured on the women's boards for both agencies, and nowhere to be found on IMG's website, so needless to say this is still in the beginning stages. The awkward part of it all is that Karlie will still be represented by Next during fashion week, at the very least in New York. She's been included in the agency's show package.
UPDATE: IMG has issued a release about signing Kloss, which includes a statement from Karlie herself. She says, "I think there is a world of opportunity and this is the perfect place to help me continue to navigate through fashion and beyond in the next phase of my career." She continues on to say that she is grateful to those who have helped her build her career over the past four years.
The release ends with the announcement of Karlie's cookie collaboration with Momofuku, stating that "this will be the first of several new partnerships and projects to be announced in the upcoming months."