A Model Alum

Ivan Bart '85 Shares Insight on Success at Scholarship Dinner 

Ivan Bart '85, CEO of IMG Models Worldwide, addressed a scholarship dinner earlier this month. Pictured above are, from left, President Havidán Rodríguez, Jessica Spiak ’17 (recipient of the Kelsey Scholarship), Bart and Rosy Lopez. (Photo by Brian Busher)

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 27, 2018) — Ivan Bart considers himself a people person. In many ways, he still uses the Psychology degree he earned from UAlbany in 1985 as CEO of IMG Models Worldwide, where he oversees branding and management of the firm’s A-list clients, including Bella and Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss and Ashley Graham.

Though he’s achieved great success throughout his steady climb in the fashion and modeling industries in the past 30-plus years, Bart says he’s reached a turning point in the last five.

“I’ve truly discovered what I’m here for, what I’m supposed to do — take care of people,” he said.

While a student at UAlbany, Bart became close friends with classmate Deborah Kelsey, five years his senior. They maintained a strong friendship for 20 years that ended only with Kelsey’s passing. In 2014, Bart established the Deborah Kelsey ’85 Memorial to support non-traditional students at UAlbany. He returned to campus as the guest speaker at this year’s Celebration of Scholarships Dinner, held March 8 in the University Hall Atrium. Prior to the dinner, Bart met with students and heard update on some of the University programs and initiatives that are near and dear to his heart.

Bart’s itinerary included a meeting with Courtney D’Allaird ’09, ’15, ’16, assistant director of UAlbany’s Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, and a tour of the new Gender and Sexuality Resource Center in Campus Center West. Bart discussed careers in the fashion industry and social media’s impact on modeling with student group FACE (Fashion Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs).



Bart was the keynote speaker at the Celebration of Scholarships Dinner March 8. (Photo by Brian Busher)

"If you’re serious about [working in the industry], having a personal life is challenging and you have to go where the work goes,” he advised.

Bart also shared insider info about getting discovered on social media channels, and warned students against paying for expensive photo sessions to build a portfolio. He strongly encouraged students to consider careers in business, marketing and creative roles within the fashion industry. “We need more diversity in these roles,” he said.

He also stressed the importance of both earning a degree and enjoying the college experience. “I learned so many things here that one isn’t able to learn anywhere else, which has led to my success.”

Bart invited FACE students to visit IMG’s office in New York City. “Come during warmer weather, so we can enjoy the porch,” he suggested before heading to the Humanities building to speak to students in the Career Readiness Program.

Back at the Scholarship Dinner, Bart met Jessica Spiak ’17, a recipient of the Kelsey Scholarship. They chatted, shared photos and contact info, and mingled with President Havidán Rodríguez, his wife Rosy Lopez, fellow UAlbany scholarship donors and recipients.

Bart delivered an inspiring speech that touched on the importance of making a difference through giving, and how his UAlbany experience shaped who he is today: a mentor and career advisor, a role model and a “people person,” and a loyal Great Dane with a huge heart.


— Story By Stephanie Snyder, UAlbany Alumni Association

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