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Donald Trump’s Modeling Agency Is Shutting Down, Leaked Emails Reveal

The negative impact of Trump’s presidency on his brand continues to take its toll

Donald Trump’s brand took another hit this week, as emails leaked to Mother Jones revealed that the president’s modeling agency is shutting down operations after 18 years in business.

The emails from agency president Corinne Nicolas to industry colleagues said that the closure came after the Trump Organization’s sale of the Miss Universe pageant to WME-IMG 18 months ago, with the organization reportedly “choosing to focus on their core businesses in the real estate, golf and hospitality space.”

The email leak comes following reports that Trump’s agency had been rapidly losing models since Trump was elected president, with Trump’s political views and poor treatment of models signed by his agency making his brand toxic in the modeling industry. Trump has also taken heat in the modeling and pageant worlds after Venezuelan actress and former Miss Universe Alicia Machado attacked him for comments he made about her weight during her reign as Miss Universe in 1996. Trump responded on Twitter by calling Machado “disgusting” as part of a series of tweets.

After Trump’s election, there were fears from some of his critics and from ethics experts that he would use the presidency to affect markets through endorsement deals, but a survey from Simmons Research and NBC News revealed that nearly 50 percent of people polled said they would be less likely to use products endorsed by Trump, with 29 percent saying they would actively boycott such products. With record-low approval numbers and now the shutdown of his modeling agency, it seems that reaching the White House has had the opposite effect on Trump’s brand.