NEW YORK — Didier Fernandez, director of Elite Paris, has been named director of W Management, a new supermodel division of Wilhelmina Models being launched today, said Dieter Esch, president of Wilhelmina.
Wilhelmina’s biggest models currently under contract are Esther Canadas and Mark Vanderloo, represented by Sean Patterson, executive vice president, along with Kevin Garnett and Brandy in its celebrity division.
The launch of W Manage-ment is being made to give the agency more of a presence in the supermodel arena. At Elite, Fernandez represented models including Amber Valletta, Nadja Auermann and Linda Evangelista.
Neither Esch nor Patterson would comment, but industry sources said it was a strong assumption those clients would move to W with Fernandez.
“This will be our superstar division,” Esch said.
Fernandez’s departure from Elite marks a second major handler’s departure from the agency in the past year, following Anne Nelson’s move to IMG, bringing with her clients like Gisele Bundchen.