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

Ivan Bart, former president of IMG Models, has died at 60. Bart is remembered for championing diverse casting and inclusion in the modeling industry.

Ivan Bart, the former president of IMG Models, has passed away at the age of 60. The news of his death was shared on his Instagram account, accompanied by a black-and-white photo of Bart with the caption, "Our world has lost one of the greats. Ivan Bart, 1963-2023." According to Women's Wear Daily, Bart died on Friday after a brief illness.

Mark Shapiro, the president and COO of Endeavor, the company that owns IMG Models, sent an email to employees expressing his sadness and regret over Bart's passing. Shapiro described Bart as a trailblazer in the fashion industry and praised his contributions to the modeling world. Over his 30-year career, Bart played a significant role in launching the careers of iconic models such as Lauren Hutton, Kate Moss, Gigi Hadid, and Tyra Banks.

Bart's journey in the industry began when he started working for a public relations firm that had a small modeling agency attached to it. This experience gave him insight into the world of modeling, and he joined IMG in 1994 as creative director. He steadily climbed the ranks and was appointed president in 2014 after the company merged with WME. In 2018, he also took on the responsibility of overseeing all of IMG's global fashion events, including New York Fashion Week.

One of Bart's notable contributions to the modeling industry was his advocacy for diverse casting and inclusion. He was a vocal supporter of plus-size models and challenged the fashion industry's standards of beauty. Shapiro praised Bart's relentless pursuit of diversity and inclusion, which inspired generations and created household names in the modeling world.

Bart was also an early adopter of social media and recognized its power in amplifying a model's career and giving them a voice. He understood the impact of images in driving social change and used this knowledge to create meaningful campaigns and collaborations.

In March, Bart stepped down from his role as president and assumed the position of senior advisor at the agency. Following the news of his death, many models whose careers he influenced paid tribute to him. Hailey Bieber, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Rachel Zoe, Ashley Graham, and Gigi Hadid were among those who expressed their condolences and shared heartfelt messages about Bart's impact on their lives.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) also honored Bart, describing him as a trailblazer who championed a better and more inclusive industry. The CFDA pledged to continue pursuing the principles that Bart believed in and extended their deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.

Ivan Bart leaves behind a lasting legacy in the modeling industry, with his contributions to diverse casting, inclusion, and the empowerment of models resonating throughout the fashion world. His impact will be remembered and celebrated by those whose lives he touched.

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