Gigi Hadid, Ashley Graham pay last respects to Ivan Bart as fashion world remembers top agent

The fashion industry gathered at Spring Studios in New York on Monday to say their final goodbyes to former IMG president Ivan Bart, who passed away at 60 last month.

Model Ashley Graham welcomed everyone to the service — and Bart’s friends, including Brandon Maxwell, Maja Chiesi, Leslie Russo, Chuck Bennett, Bethann Hardison, Jane Hudis, Carolyn Murphy, Stan Herman and Rhea Cohen all gave tributes.

The walls at Spring Studios were covered with photos of Bart — solo and with famous clients through the years, including Tyra Banks.

There was also a quote from Bart that read: “Through fashion imagery, we can affect social change.”

A source, who attended the service told Page Six: “The overall theme was someone who led with integrity and cared for people.”

Karlie Kloss
Bart helped steer the careers of models like Karlie Kloss.
Christopher Peterson /

Casting director James Scully read a eulogy by Bart’s friend, theater critic Charles McNulty, and model Lily Aldridge delivered a farewell, according to the memorial’s program which also included “a very special thank you for the exquisite florals” to supermodel Stephanie Seymour.

McNulty also posted on Instagram of the service, “Cynthia Erivo sang ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ then joined the gospel choir at the end for some final choruses of ‘Going Up Yonder.’” He added that model “Carolyn Murphy made me cry,” and, “Gigi Hadid gave the toast with tremendous heart.”

Bart joined IMG models in 1994 and served as its president for 10 years before he stepped down earlier this year to take on an advising role, he told us back in March.

Gigi Hadid
Gigi Hadid gave an emotional speech at a reception.

He’d guided the careers of models including Graham, Hadid and Karlie Kloss, who were all in attendance.

The service ended with a cocktail reception where we’re told a “very emotional” Gigi Hadid gave an impromptu toast.

“It was not planned. She got up and spoke about how Ivan was someone who believed in you when no one else did,” the source said.


Bart’s longtime friend, New York Fashion Week founder, Fern Mallis, was also at the service. She described him as “one of my best friends” when news broke of his death.

“What a tragic loss. RIP dearest Ivan I loved you so much,” she commented on Instagram.

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