THE WATCHLIST: CASABLANCAS
Some guys have all the luck, and that certainly seems to have been the case with fashion mogul John Casablancas, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 70. Not only was he born rich, handsome and multinational, educated at the best Swiss schools and then chaperoned into high society, but he went on to create the global powerhouse Elite Model Management, which begat the careers of Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Gisele Bundchen and Stephanie Seymour — the latter whom Casablancas dated for a while, as if life weren’t already good enough.
It’s surely the stuff that dreams are made of, and in Hubert Woroniecki’s new documentary Casablancas: The Man Who Loved Women (Casablancas, l’homme qui aimait les femmes), which features a lengthy one-on-one interview backed by tons of personal archives, TV clips and fashion-spread photos, you’d think you were watching a teenager’s fantasy come true: The girls! The parties! The millions in profit! The luxury homes on several continents! (All that’s missing is the cocaine, which the tycoon apparently didn't care for.)
But whether or not such a life makes for an interesting movie is another question, and Casablancas works best as a glimpse at how one man managed to transform the sleepy world of modeling, circa the mid-1960s, into a star-driven enterprise of the ‘80s and ‘90s that made beautiful women into rich and famous celebrities. Beyond that, watching a successful ladykiller spend 90 minutes detailing his spoils, however humbly — because Casablancas certainly comes across as a decent guy — may not be for everyone’s taste, and after a small theatrical release in France the film should strut its stuff on VOD platforms and fashion channels overseas.