Posted by | October 30th, 2023

Former IMG President, Ivan Bart Passes at 60

Former president of IMG Models, Ivan Bart, has passed at the age of 60 after a brief illness. Throughout his illustrious career, Bart was a key force in the fashion world, nurturing and guiding some of the industry’s most iconic talents like Lauren Hutton, Kate Moss, Tyra Banks, Carolyn Murphy, Stephanie Seymour, Hailey Bieber, Alton Mason, and the Hadid sisters, Gigi and Bella. Beyond the glitz and glamour of the modeling world, Bart’s most lasting contribution was his unwavering commitment to inclusivity, breaking down barriers for models including Alek Wek, Hari Nef, Precious Lee, Ashley Graham, Jill Kortleve, Zach Miko, Quannah Chasinghorse, Wisdom Kaye, and Paloma Elsesser. After joining IMG in 1994, Bart led the global relaunch of the IMG Models’ men’s board in 2012, followed by the launch of the Sydney and LA divisions. He became president of the agency in 2014, a time when the modeling industry seemed entrenched in conventional definitions of beauty.

Bart envisioned a future that celebrated diversity, and his foresight became evident in 2014, a pivotal year in which Bart also picked up another agency’s shuttered curve division and welcomed talents like Ashley Graham into IMG’s fold. Graham, who in 2017 became the first plus-size model to grace the covers of both British and American Vogue, credited Bart with being “one of the most integral parts” of her meteoric rise. In a heartfelt tribute, Graham encapsulated the sentiment of many: “Your impact has moved mountains and broken down so many walls for myself and so many others. You were such a champion of mine.” Many in the industry, including designers, editors, agents, and the models whose careers he cultivated, have overnight shared their condolences on Bart’s Instagram page, which was the first to break the shocking news of his passing. Naomi Campbell wrote, “Shocked and saddened…you were such a positive force.” Cindy Crawford posted, “Sorry to hear this sad news…” and Gigi Hadid added on her Instagram story, “Ivan. I don’t yet have words for this loss. ‘I will never forget your spirit and hugs, your support and fight for others.’ ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.. for everything,’ she continued. Industry stalwarts like Tim Blanks commented, “Feels like you were one of my first friends in fashion…We’ll see each other again,” and Fern Mallis wrote, “This is impossible to process. He was one of my very best friends.” Stylist Katie Grand said, “Ivan was one of a kind, he saw people and recognised their potential and was so funny and witty.” Gabriella Karefa-Johnson wrote, “What a colossal loss for all of us,” and Paloma Elsesser posted, “I love you Ivan…have a gentle rest.”

Ivan Bart was more than just an agent. As a visionary who believed in the power of representation and diversity, his dedication has reshaped the contours of the modeling industry. His passing leaves a void in the fashion world, but his legacy is a testament to the transformative power of believing in talent in all its myriad forms. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and the countless individuals whose lives he touched and uplifted.

Rest in peace, Ivan Bart. You may have left this world, but your vision and positive impact on the world will endure.