Fashion's most famous faces have been plunged into mourning following the death of agency boss John Casablancas.

Casablancas, who founded the famous Elite Model Management company, passed away in his adopted home of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday (20Jul13) following a battle with cancer, according to the New York Times.

The 70 year old was responsible for launching the careers of some of the industry's most-well known stars, including Heidi Klum, Gisele Bundchen, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Claudia Schiffer, and he is credited with ushering in the era of the world's first supermodels in the 1990s.

His death has prompted an outpouring of grief on social networking websites from stars of the modelling world.

Supermodel Joanna Krupa remembered her friend and mentor in a post on, writing, "RIP John Casablancas... one of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life and the Closest friend and mentor... The creator of the biggest supermodels in the world. May his legacy live forever and his kind heart. He will be missed."

Alessandra Ambrosio writes in a post on, "Sad Day! Rest in peace John Casablancas! Thank you for all!" and Adriana Lima adds, "Just found out sad news on the passing of John Casablanca (sic). My thoughts and prayers are to (his family)."

Casablancas is survived by family members including his famous son Julian Casablancas, lead singer of The Strokes.