Last week the inauguration of President Trump captivated the world. On Friday afternoon and evening I watched the news absolutely stunned, the speech, the protests, the arguments and interviews, it was clear that there are a lot of angry people. There is a lot to talk about, a lot to think about, but one thing I couldn’t help picking up my phone to google was

How did Donald Trump meet his beautiful Slovenian wife?”

Thanks to Wikipedia I quickly found out that she was signed to Trump’s agency Trump Models! Who knew?? Donald Trump owns a model agency! I certainly was not aware of this and it made me realise that I don’t know a lot about the Trump business empire, most of what I know of him is to do with his election campaign. I decided to do a bit of research and find out more.

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After looking at their website, I started to read some articles and interviews with ex models of the agency, I wanted to write a balanced and fair piece so was trying to find some good reviews or positive articles about the agency, I could not find a single one. The pieces that were coming up were industry horror stories, stories of underage girls partying with old, rich men, models from outside of America working without proper working visas and living in appalling conditions, some articles including one by the Daily Kos even go as far as describing the business as “child sex trafficking”.

Nobody could read these articles without being deeply troubled and concerned for the models on their books, so my research into Trump Models did not get off to a good start!  I decided to take a step back and look at the surface of the agency. Trump models have landed their models some amazing jobs, we are talking covers of Vogue, covers of Elle and Bazar magazine to name but a few. There is no denying they have some great talent on their books. I also love that their mature models are called ‘Legends’ the women in that category look pretty legendary! I was a little disappointed to find that the agency only represents female models, where are all your guys Donald??

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You can apply to Trump models from the age of 14, there are a lot of very young looking models on their books, to be honest most of the ‘legends’ don’t look much older than 30!

Something that is also hard to get away from is the first page of google when you type in ‘Trump Models’ you cannot miss the investigations into models working illegally without US Visa’s. This is particularly striking for an agency owned by a man who’s campaign has been largely about cracking down on immigration. The mother Jones investigation and articles by The Independent and Merry Jane cover some of these cases.

I would like to think that there has been progress in our industry in recent years and that agencies treat their models with the respect that they deserve, I sincerely hope that the stories I read about Trump models are stories of the past.

So back to Melania, she was represented by Trump models and they landed her a cover of GQ magazine, which is pretty cool! I wonder if when she set out on her modelling career she had any idea that she would end up being the First Lady. I must say at the moment I do not envy her, being constantly scrutinised by the media, journalists have even been cruel about her son.. She must have seen some of the memes that compare her husband’s behaviour to the love and care that Barack Obama shows Michelle. I can’t help but thinking that maybe she didn’t sign up for this.

First lady Melania Trump stands with President Donald Trump as former President Barack Obama kisses the hand of his wife Michelle Obama, during a departure ceremony on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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