Ivan Bart, the former president of IMG Models, died on Friday, Oct. 27, after battling a brief illness. The news was announced on Bart’s Instagram account on Sunday with a black-and-white image accompanied by text that read, “Our world has lost one of the greats. Ivan Bart, 1963-2023.”
Named creative director of IMG Models when he joined the company in 1994, Bart was largely responsible for helping to mold the careers of supermodels like SI Swimsuit stars Ashley Graham and Gigi Hadid. Ten years later, he was made the company’s president, and while Bart stepped away from the role in March of this year, he remained on at IMG Models as a senior advisor.
The news of his death was confirmed by Mark Shapiro, president of Endeavor, the brand that owns IMG Models. Since then, Bart’s clients and friends have issued an outpouring of love on social media over the heartbreaking loss.
“I am still processing the news and know I will continue to do so in the coming days, weeks and months,” Graham wrote in an Instagram story on Monday. “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. You were such a champion of mine, I can’t thank you enough for the opportunities you have created for me, the time you invested in me, and the help you have given to navigate such a harsh industry. A storyteller, an icon, a problem solver, a forever friend — I miss you so much already and I love you forever, Ivan.”
Hadid expressed a similarly emotional sentiment in her own 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.”