SO LONG, CINDY: Cindy Crawford has flown the Elite Models coop, ending a 12-year relationship with the agency that discovered her.
“Our relationship ended due to the financial restrictions Ms. Crawford attempted to impose on Elite,” said agency head John Casablancas, in a statement Thursday. “We could not concur as we firmly believe that, as long as we represent a model, our services should be justly remunerated,” he said. Crawford couldn’t be reached for comment. However, her spokeswoman, when asked whether Crawford will sign with a new agency, said, “I don’t have anything to say about it right now.”
Elite, which discovered Crawford at an “Elite Look of the Year” contest in Chicago, managed her modeling career and cut lucrative deals with Pepsi and Revlon. According to sources, Crawford asked that Elite charge less commission on her existing deals, and Elite refused.
“She tried to strong-arm them. But if you give to one girl, they’ll be an avalanche,” said one source. Elite’s other models include Shalom, Amber Valetta, Nadja Auermann and Kirsty Hume.
“Our wish is that, as she departs, Ms. Crawford will choose to honor her commitment to Elite so that our separation can be friendly and mutually respectful,” said Casablancas.
Crawford will continue to be represented by William Morris, which handles her fledgling acting career and any spoken commercial role. Morris officials couldn’t be reached Thursday.
LIZ STEPS OUT: Liz Claiborne Inc., whose commitment to advertising has run hot and cold over the years, has decided to plunge in with its first Times Square billboard.
Four of the billboard’s seven rotating panels on Broadway between 44th and 45th Streets were erected Dec. 30., and they offer a preview of the apparel giant’s better-priced designs. The panels feature Niki Taylor, and one reads: “1996: Are You Dressed For It?”
The slogan was conceived by Gotham Inc., which will launch a full-blown Claiborne multi-media campaign in March.
“We’ll be at Times Square for the next five years — for the millennium,” said Al Shapiro, Claiborne’s vice president of corporate marketing. Claiborne’s 1996 ad budget for the apparel campaign is reportedly $20 million to $25 million.