NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Wilhelmina International, Inc. (Nasdaq: WHLM), one of the world's leading model management companies, is pleased to announce Wilhelmina Models closing its acquisition of Union Models based in London, UK.
Founded in early 2005 by Rachel Du Preez, Union Models is an international model agency known for its selective representation of talent, its development of models and its strong client relationships, making it the ideal fit to become Wilhelmina London. The boutique agency represents talent such as Jessica Gomes and Sora Choi, as well as Elisabeth Erm, Charlotte Carey, and Sung Hee, who are already a part of a notable Wilhelmina Models roster that spans the likes of Coco Rocha, Armando Cabral, Soo Joo, R.J. Mitte, Cindy Bruna, Robyn Lawley, Alexandra Richards, Marlon Teixeira, RJ King, and Clark Bockelman just to name a few. Beginning today, Union Models will officially operate under the name Wilhelmina London.
"Within the industry, Union Models is recognized for its highly curated style, deeply experienced team, and impeccable international reputation," states Mark Schwarz, Chairman, Wilhelmina International. "After great patience and perseverance in seeking the right opportunity for Wilhelmina, we believe Union will be a perfect fit and natural complement to our ongoing record of successful growth."
Alex Vaickus, CEO Wilhelmina states, "It is an exciting time to establish a physical presence in Europe. We see London as the foundation to further enhance our brand recognition in key international markets and continue to establish Wilhelmina as a global player in the modeling industry."
"After 10 exciting years of nurturing and developing Union Models into the successful dynamic agency it is today, the time has come for us to take the next step in our evolution," exclaims Rachel Du Preez. She continues, "I am thrilled to be a key player as Union Models evolves into Wilhelmina London." Ms. Du Preez will continue to provide guidance and consultation to Wilhelmina London during the transition and for a period of time thereafter.
In addition, the day to day operation of the agency will be directed by Victoria Rich, who has been the Creative Director and Head of Image at Union Models for the last three years. Boasting sixteen years of experience overall, Victoria was previously Creative Director at FM Models and Head of Image at Storm prior to joining Union.
"I'm proud and excited to be part of the next chapter of such a unique and prestigious agency opening in London as Wilhelmina as it goes beyond where Union Models leaves off," states Ms. Rich. "We look forward to the continued support of all our clients and models."
Also part of the team will be, Annette Koonjean, who heads up the women's board and has 14 years experience in the industry, developing and representing models, photographers and stylists in both London and Sydney, Australia.
About Wilhelmina International, Inc. (www.wilhelmina.com):
Through Wilhelmina Models and its other subsidiaries, including, Wilhelmina Artist Management, Wilhelmina International, Inc. (Nasdaq: WHLM), provides traditional, full-service fashion model and talent management services, specializing in the representation and management of leading models, entertainers, artists, athletes and other talent to various customers and clients, including, retailers, designers, advertising agencies and catalog companies. Wilhelmina Models was founded in 1967 by Wilhelmina Cooper, a renowned fashion model, and is one of the oldest and largest fashion model management companies in the world. Wilhelmina Models is headquartered in New York and, since its founding, has grown to include operations located in Los Angeles and Miami, as well as a growing network of licensees comprising leading modeling agencies in various local markets across the U.S. as well as in Thailand, Dubai, Vancouver and Tokyo.
About Union Model Management, Ltd. (www.unionmodels.com):
Union Models was founded early in 2005 by Rachel Du Preez. Union has become recognized for its personal style of management and keen eye for what's happening now and next in the industry. Union established strong relationships with leading players in fashion and beauty markets.
SOURCE Wilhelmina International Inc.