Donald Trump’s campaign focused on his proficiency as a businessman. But since taking office at least one of his companies has foundered as employees sought to disassociate themselves from his divisive politics.
The latest Trump-branded business to tank is his New York modeling agency, Trump Models. Their “hemorrhaging is substantial,” according to a report from the Washington Post.
Some models jumped ship as early as November, including industry veteran Maggie Rizer. She wrote that as “a woman, a mother, an American, and a human being, I cannot wake up Wednesday morning being the least bit related to the Trump brand.“
The recent departure of founder Gabriel Ruas Santos-Rocha, was also a massive blow. Rocha left Trump Models to start his own company, Anti Management, and took many of his clients with him, although the Post couldn’t confirm an exact number.
And, while his agency’s name sounds like a direct dig at his former boss, Rocha denied any subliminal branding, telling Refinery29 that the name was inspired by Meriam-Webster’s official definition of the word: "serving to prevent, cure, or alleviate.” Rocha also refused to say whether or not he left because of his involvement with Trump.
He claimed, instead, that the impetus for his departure and subsequent business venture was a desire to have his models be “nurtured and treated fairly,” and that their “talents are utilized as part of their career,” which in itself sounds like a dig at the business practices of Trump Models. Remarkable that fairness and nurturing are considered shots at the president, but here we are.
At the time of writing, the Trump Models website is still active, and the company has not returned our request for comment.