One person who won’t be getting a lot of sleep in the next week is IMG’s Ivan Bart, the president of IMG Models and fashion properties. He fills us in on what’s in store for NYFW as Fall/Winter 2019’s prepares for liftoff. Read on for the scoop!
What are you looking forward to this season?
Our collaboration with Harlem’s Fashion Row to celebrate Ruth E. Carter’s legacy in film, as reimagined by the talented stylist Ibrahim Kamara. Ruth is destined to win an Academy Award for her work on Black Panther, and we’re honored that she will include a stop at NYFW: The Shows on her way to Hollywood! I’m also looking forward to seeing the future of American fashion – Brandon Maxwell, Christian Cowan, LaQuan Smith, Matthew Adams Dolan, Staud, Telfar, and many more – as well as the opportunity to see beautiful fashion in curve sizes with the debut of an 11 Honoré fashion show. I just love the energy of New York Fashion Week, which continuously inspires me each season. American fashion is alive and well, and our own style of relaxed elegance and exciting street wear is inspiration for a global community.
What are the panels at NYFW: The Talks at Spring going to be on this year?
We’re hosting a number of new Talks this season, with topics ranging from the rise of sustainable African luxury to misrepresentation in media, to diversity in campaign casting and more. We have amazing talents like Abrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson from Studio 189, journalist and activist Noor Tagouri, and our very own IMG models, Candice Huffine and Precious Lee, rounding out those of-the-moment conversations. Meanwhile, E!, TRESemmé, VISA and REPREVE are presenting Talks and special events focused on female entrepreneurship and disruption, overcoming adversity, and achieving sustainability in fashion during the week.
Last year was your first season in your new role. What surprised you about the new job?
Looking back at my first season, I think I was surprised to learn just how much I truly love American fashion and supporting designers in many ways, aside from talent casting. I have learned so much about the courage and bravery it takes to put your vision on a runway, and how much financial risk is required to make the realization of that dream possible. I have developed tremendous respect for designers, and I want to help find solutions that allow them to communicate their brand’s story to consumers in new and ever more effective ways. That said, not every aspect of the new job surprised me… I have always loved hosting a party, and NYFW the shows feels like a continuous one for eight days! I took my hosting duties very seriously and assisted in greeting editors, journalists, retail executives, and influencers. I even helped a few attendees to their seats! I also liked working with our security team who keep us safe, our sponsors who are also supporting the designer community, and our IMG fashion events team, from marketing to production and designer relations… Getting to know all these talented people has been a wonderful reward, and a lesson in the many important pieces and people that make a successful fashion week!
What was the biggest challenge and do you think you’ve solved it?
One of my biggest challenges thus far has been establishing who we are within the global community of fashion. New York draws talent from all around the world, and we New Yorkers are entrepreneurial warriors. While we may show differently than other markets, the message is always about the clothes. And the looks I saw last season were very exciting! I believe we’re on a positive path toward defining American fashion and New York’s role within the global industry, and I’m proud of the strides NYFW has made in elevating talented designers. In an ever-changing retail landscape, all fashion brands must constantly create new ways to capture consumers’ attention, and with their hustle, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, I believe New York’s designers are best suited to take on these unprecedented challenges. There’s no easy solution, but as long as fashion continues to move forward and technology continues to advance, we at IMG will continue to partner with designers to chart innovative paths forward – that’s our commitment to the fashion community, and to the future of NYFW.
How many hours of sleep do you get a night during NYFW?
I have a lot of energy and I don’t tire easily – but sleep is important. I’m a wreck on anything less than five hours per night, and during New York Fashion Week, that’s probably my average. But even without ample sleep, I do make sure to fit in a meditation each day, and thank goodness for that healing ginger tea at Spring Place! I run around, but I make sure I slow down at times during the day. Maintaining a balance during the day is key to becoming the belle of the ball at night!