Catfight on the runway: Ford files $4m lawsuit after models jump ship to another agency


Models sued for $2million by Ford agency after they jump ship to rival company
Agency claims models Alana Zimmer, 25, and Karolina Waz, 18, broke their three-year contracts with the companyAlleges rival firm Men Women N.Y. Model Management 'maliciously and intentionally' poached the women and attempted to steal other models
Suing the catwalk stars for $1 million each and the agency for $2 million

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UPDATED:

14:15 GMT, 18 October 2012

A pair of ravishing catwalk models are being sued for $2 million by their management, after they jumped ship to a rival modelling agency.

Ford Models has accused Alana Zimmer, 25, and Karolina Waz, 18, of breaking their three-year contracts after being 'maliciously' poached by Men Women N.Y. Model Management.

The company is also suing its 'brazen' competitor, known as 'Women' in fashion circles, for $2 million, claiming that it made 'repeated attempts to target and damage Ford's business.'

Contract terms: Alana Zimmer, pictured left, and Karolina Waz, left, are accused of breaking their three-year contract with Ford

Contract terms: Alana Zimmer, pictured left, and Karolina Waz, left, are accused of breaking their three-year contract with Ford

Terms and conditions: Alana Zimmer (left) and Karolina Waz (right) are accused of breaking their three-year contract with Ford Models

Ford Models said in the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, that it spent a fortune developing the careers of both young women.

The agency has previously represented big industry names such as Christie Brinkley, Elle Macpherson, Christy Turlington and Bar Refaeli.

But,
without warning, both girls decided to ditch the management company this summer, and it
said it only found out when they told fans the news via Twitter.

'Women
has thus shown that it acts brazenly, going after models whose careers
have been cultivated by Ford,' the lawsuit says, according to The New York Post.

Ford
Models said it was particularly devastated to lose Ms Zimmer, who it recently deemed 'one of the most important models to emerge on the fashion scene
in years.'

Lawsuit: Ford Modeling is suing Alana Zimmer, 25, pictured, and Karolina Waz, 18, for $1 million each after jumping ship to Men Women N.Y. Model Management

Investment: Ford claims it has spent a fortune on developing the careers of Karolina Waz, pictured, and Ms Zimmer

Investment: Ford Models claims it has spent a fortune on developing the careers of Miss Zimmer (left) and Miss Waz, (right) and are suing both for $1m after they jumped ship to Men Women N.Y. Model Management

The 5ft 10in Canadian model has appeared in shoots for magazines including Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, and W. Magazine.

She
also graced the catwalk in 2011 and 2012 in runway shows for designers
including Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior and Oscar de la Renta.

'Ford's determined efforts are responsible for moving her to the brink of superstardom,' the suit reads.

While a relative newcomer, Polish model Karolina Waz has dazzled at fashion weeks in New York, Paris and Milan.

According to The New York Daily News, to
legally step away from the contract, Ms Zimmer and Ms Waz had to claim
Ford Models breached the terms of the agreement then formally notify the agency
of their plans to go elsewhere.

Bar Refaeli

Elle Macpherson

Top talent: Ford models has previously represented models and Bar Refaeli (left) and Elle Macpherson (right)

The complaint would then go to binding arbitration if Ford Models couldn't resolve the issues.

But the agency claims it had no idea the girls were unhappy and has accused its competitor of 'maliciously and intentionally' luring away the women.

It is also accusing Women of attempting to poach even more of its star recruits, The Post reports.

'(This) pattern of harm… carries the continued threat of more misconduct,' Ford says in the suit. 'There are, upon information and belief, other models whom Women is seeking to seize from Ford.'

Ford Models claims Women acted in such a way because it was 'unable to compete with Ford fairly in the marketplace.'

Bizarrely, Women sued Ford Models for poaching its models two years ago.

According to The Post, Women claimed Ford Models had used confidential information about its personnel and finances, obtained in 2007 before it tried to purchase the company, in an effort to steal its senior executives and top models.

But much of the suit was dismissed and the remainder was settled outside of court.