MILAN — Julia Haart is exiting Elite World Group, WWD has learned, and the international model agency is turning to a trusted executive to succeed her.
Paolo Barbieri will once again take on the chief executive officer role, which he passed on to Haart in 2019 to become deputy chairman. He joined the group in 2013.
Haart rose to the CEO position from that of chief creative officer of Elite.
Kendall Jenner, Naomi Campbell, Mariacarla Boscono, Karlie Kloss, Vittoria Ceretti , Winnie Harlow, Adut Akech and Amber Valletta are some of the models under the Elite World Group’s umbrella. It is the world’s largest international network of model management agencies and includes Elite, Women Model Management, The Society, Supreme, Women 360 and EWG Talent. Elite was founded in 1972.
Before joining Elite, Haart was creative director of La Perla from 2016 until 2018 when the Italian luxury innerwear brand was sold to Amsterdam-based private equity firm Sapina Holding from entrepreneur Silvio Scaglia. Haart also founded her namesake brand in 2013, which she closed when she joined La Perla.
According to media reports on Wednesday, Haart, who is a co-owner of Elite, has filed for divorce from Scaglia, who took control of the agency in 2011, likely leading to her exit.
Last year Haart made news — and controversy — with a Netflix series called “My Unorthodox Life,” sharing with viewers how she left her husband and an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community to seek independence. According to Variety, the series in September was renewed for a second season.
During his career, Barbieri held executive roles at Banca Akros, Pioneer Alternative Investments, MondoBiotech AG and Pacific Capital.
He has also served as a director in several fashion companies, including La Perla and luxury footwear brand Giuseppe Zanotti.