Fashion Flashback: Ivan Bart

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Fashion Reverie looks back at the career and life of Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models. On October 27, 2023, Ivan Bart died after a brief illness.

Bart first came to IMG Models in 1994 and helped mold the careers of Gigi Hadid, Ashley Graham, Alek Wek, Hari Nef, Precious Lee, Zach Miko, Quannah Chasinghorse, and Paloma Elsesser. And more recently Bart helped mentor and nurture the modeling careers of Hailey Bieber, Alton Mason, Wisdom Kaye, and others.

Under Bart’s leadership IMG Models picked up the inclusion and diversity mantle, expanding its roster of plus-size models. Bart employed Ashley Graham and other plus-size models when Ford Models dropped its plus-size division.

In under 10 years at IMG Models, Bart was promoted to president of the model management agency. In 2012 Bart lead the global relaunch of IMG Models’ men’s division. Under Bart’s leadership IMG acquired The Wall Group, which represents makeup artists, stylists, manicurists, and hairstylists.

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Bart opened an IMG Models office in Sydney, Australia in 2012. And in 2017 Bart opened in IMG Models’ office in Los Angeles, recognized the intersectionality between fashion and Hollywood, an intersectionality that has continued to gain traction. On the heels of opening in office in Los Angeles, IMG Models has signed celebrities Maddie Ziegler, Lori Harvey, Millie Bobby Brown, and Diana Silvers to its active boards. IMG Models has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Milan, and Sydney.

“During the course of three decades at IMG Models, Ivan quite literally changed the shape and face of the modeling industry from within,” Shapiro shared. “His relentless pursuit for diversity and inclusion challenged fashion’s gatekeepers and created household names whose omnipresence has inspired generations. I literally sat beside him at a table with the former management team at Victoria’s Secret while he politely argued that they had to change their annual runway television special and diversify their models—size, age, race, background. He was the voice before there was a voice. He was courageous. He saw beauty in all its forms,” detailed Mark Shapiro, Endeavor president and COO.

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Bart was named by Business of Fashion one of the fashion industry’s top 500 people shaping the fashion industry. Ivan Bart also serves on the boards of Fashion Institute of Technology and the Neuberger Museum of Art.

 Ivan Bart is survived by his husband, cinematographer Grant Greenberg. Ivan Bart was 60 years old.

—William S. Gooch

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