IMG Model’s longtime president Ivan Bart is out after ten years as the head of the vastly powerful modelling agency, Page Six has learned.
The veteran agent-turned-exec told Page Six Wednesday that he had decided to step down. But insiders strongly suspect he was canned.
On Tuesday, execs said in a video call with IMG offices across the globe that Bart — one of the most influential figures in the fashion business — was leaving to take a consultancy position, a source told Page Six.
But when we called him on Wednesday afternoon, a stunned-seeming Bart initially told us: “I have absolutely no comment.” But then called us back and said: “I am stepping into a new role as a senior advisor.”
“I am going to be advising all IMG models,” he added, “That’s what I want to say.”
“I have years of experience and I am giving my guidance and counsel,” he said.
Industry journal Business of Fashion has said of Bart, “[he] has guided the agency to represent such success stories as Kate Moss , Carolyn Murphy, Gisele Bundchen, Joan Smalls, Kate Upton, Lily Donaldson and Tyra Banks.”
We hear that insiders in the company aren’t sold on the idea that he quit. “There’s lots of upheaval [at IMG Models],” the source said.
But Bart insists that he was not fired, telling us: “It’s a mutually agreed upon decision for me to be senior advisor.”
IMG Models was founded in 1987 and is one of the top modeling agencies in the world with clients like Hailey Bieber, Alek Wek, Ashley Graham, and sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid. Giselle Bundchen was a client for 22 years before she parted ways and took her representation in-house back in 2021. Bart started at the company in 1994 and has been president for the past ten years.
He has been credited with helping to broaden the diversity of models at the elite level.
“Thank you for paving the way,” Graham said to him when he was named as one of the Out100. “Thank you for being a leader. Thank you for believing in so many different types of people.”
A rep for the modeling agency did not get back to us by deadline.