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Ivan Bart, Former President of IMG Models, Dead at 60

The former president of IMG Models, Ivan Bart, passed away. He was sixty.

“Our world has lost one of the greats,” was the caption for a black-and-white photo of Bart that was posted on his Instagram account on Sunday, announcing his passing. Ivan Bart, from 1963 until 2023.

Women’s Wear Daily reports that Bart passed away on Friday after a brief illness.

 

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In an email to staff members, Endeavor’s president and chief operating officer, Mark Shapiro, stated, “It is with overwhelming sadness and deep regret that I share that Ivan Bart, longtime president of IMG Models and a trailblazer in the fashion industry, passed away over the weekend,” according to the outlet.

Bart made a lasting impression on the modeling world over the course of his 30-year career. He helped establish the careers of many well-known models, including Gigi Hadid, Ashley Graham, Gisele Bündchen, Tyra Banks, Lauren Hutton, Kate Moss, and Hailey Bieber.

Born and bred in Brooklyn, New York, Bart got his first taste of the profession as an employee of a public relations firm that also happened to have a tiny modeling agency connected. After working his way up the ranks at IMG as creative director in 1994 and the company’s merger with WME in 2014, he was named president. After four years, he took over as director of all of IMG’s international fashion shows, including New York Fashion Week.

Bart was a well-known advocate for inclusive casting and diversity in Hollywood, as well as a vocal backer of plus-size models.

Shapiro’s email went on, “Ivan quite literally changed the shape and face of the modeling industry from within over the course of three decades at IMG Models.” “His relentless pursuit for diversity and inclusion challenged fashion’s gatekeepers and created household names whose omnipresence has inspired generations.”

In his letter, Shapiro narrated how, when seated across from Bart at a dinner with the previous Victoria’s Secret executives, he gently demanded that they broaden the model cast for their yearly TV special to include a wider range of sizes, ages, races, and backgrounds.

“He existed before there were any voices at all. He exhibited courage. Shapiro remarked, “He saw beauty in all its forms.”

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The late modeling executive was also a proponent of social media’s ability to help models get recognition and a voice. He was born with the understanding that a picture speaks a thousand words, and Shapiro claimed that his contributions to the creation of images served as an essential impetus for societal change.

In March, Bart left his position as president of the organization to take a senior advisory position.

Upon learning of Bart’s passing, a number of gifted models whose careers he assisted in launching made tributes. In a message on Bart’s website, Bieber, 26, said, “Love you, Ivan. ???.”

“Oh no!” wrote Cindy Crawford. I’m sorry to hear this awful news ?.
Bart’s passing “shocked and saddened” Naomi Campbell, she claimed. “You were such a positive force, and loyal friend,” she wrote in a letter. “You will be so missed .. my deepest condolences to your family and loved ones and chosen family ?️??️??.”

Additionally, celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe offered her condolences. “My heart is broken, and I’m at a loss.” I have been in the industry since the day I met and fell in love with Ivan. The greatest of the best…one and only ?️??? is gone.”

Shalom Harlow, Tonne Goodman, and Rickie De Sole host the Nordstrom NYFW Dinner, which is attended by Meghan Roche, Ivan Bart, Joan Smalls, and Shalom Harlow.
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In a lengthy post on her Instagram Story, Graham, 36, expressed that she was “still processing” the tragic news about Bart. “You were one of the most integral parts of my career, your impact has moved mountains and broken down so many walls for myself and so many others,” she wrote in a letter.

“You were one of my biggest supporters. “I am incredibly grateful for the chances you have given me, the time you have taken to get to know me, and the support you have provided in navigating this challenging industry,” she continued. “A storyteller, an icon, a fixer of problems, and a lifelong companion. Ivan, I love you forever and I already miss you very badly.”

The 28-year-old Hadid also paid tribute to Bart on her Instagram story, referring to him as “forever my boss.”

“Haivan. I’m still at a lost for words,” she wrote. “Your kindness, hugs, support, and battle for others are things I will always cherish. I am so grateful for all that you have done. Peace be with you, legend.”
In an Instagram tribute on Monday, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) praised Bart as “a trailblazer who championed a better industry and a voice for greater representation”.

“The CFDA CEO, Steven Kolb, stated that Ivan was a close friend of the organization and collaborated with us on New York Fashion Week, the CFDA Initiative for Health, Safety, and Inclusion, and other CFDA projects.” “The CFDA is dedicated to upholding and advancing the values that Ivan held dear. We extend our sincere sympathies to his loved ones and his family.

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