In 1977, Eileen Ford — the tough-as-nails headmistress of Ford Models — bought a stack of Bibles.
Going through each one, she underlined every reference to “Judas Iscariot” in red marker.
Then she had couriers hand-deliver a copy to each of the international residences of her cigar-chomping employee-turned-rival, John Casablancas, whose new Elite New York agency was so aggressively poaching her models that he had earned the nickname “The Body Snatcher.”
‘Elite and Ford are in the business of not liking each other.’
Such was the ferocity of the notorious Model Wars, a cutthroat, years-long back-and-forth of bidding battles and litigation between Ford and Elite in the 1970s and ’80s.
Well, spandex and shoulder pads are still out of fashion — but the Model Wars are making a comeback.
The combatants are, once again, Elite and Ford, for decades the two biggest names in the modeling industry.
But 40 years after Mrs. Ford sent out her infamous stack of Bibles, the stiletto is on the other foot.
In a newly revealed Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit, Elite now says it is Ford doing the body-snatching.
“Elite and Ford are in the business of not liking each other,” the judge on the case, Charles Ramos, noted wryly during a hearing in the spring.
In the past year, two of Elite’s top New York executives, two of its key Paris staffers and three of its top mannequins have all jumped to Ford — including Brazilian model Caroline Trentini, a staple of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows and a perennial favorite of Marc Jacobs.
Elite is crying foul, claiming in its suit that its two top New York execs broke their noncompete agreements and are now luring Elite’s models to Ford.
“Caroline Trentini is a huge talent, and her defection sends a clear signal to other supermodels that Ford is back on top, in a big way,” an industry source told The Post.
In addition to Trentini, German-born blonde Alena Blohm and Frenchwomen Josephine Le Tutour and Cora Emmanuel have also recently catwalked over from Elite to Ford, according to Elite’s lawyer, Brian S. Cousin.
The two alleged turncoat execs are modeling-biz powerhouses Kwok Kan Chan and Christopher Michael Williams, both named as defendants in the suit along with Ford Models itself.
The Hong Kong-born Chan formerly repped gap-toothed beauty Georgia May Jagger — Mick’s daughter with former model Jerry Hall — and was top scout for The Society…