Behind The Scenes Family, Work & Life

3 Lessons To Learn From Iman

Iman**update 1/12/2016:

We were devastated to receive the news that the beloved rockstar and husband of Iman, David Bowie, passed away from cancer at the age of 69. David Bowie was an inspiration to so many artists and a light for much of the world. You can learn more about David Bowie and his life here.

Read further to learn more about what we at absolutely adore about our role model Iman.

Iman, the gorgeous Somali Supermodel and entrepreneur, turned 60 last week.

We wanted to celebrate the woman who has paved the way for black models and artists and everyday women alike around the globe. So what lessons have we learned about beauty, life, and love over the course of her 40+ year career?

3 Lessons We’ve Learned From Iman

Iman-2Walk like a Lady, Talk Like A Boss

Iman’s business skills developed long before she became an entrepreneurial mogul. Before coming to America and building her $25-million-a-year Iman Cosmetics company, she was boss. Demonstrating persuasive negotiating skills with well-known photographer Peter Beard, she asked him to pay her college tuition of $8,000 before she agreed to do a photo shoot. After four months of Beard’s convincing Iman to go to New York to pursue a modeling career, she finally considered, by which point agencies were contacting her for her in-demand and unique look.

If It Doesn’t Exist, Don’t Complain: Try Making It Yourself

We can only imagine how challenging it must have been for Iman during her supermodel days, when fewer shades were readily available for women of color. Iman spent nearly 20 years mixing up her own colors and shades to find her perfect tint, thus inspiring her own collection of pigments for ethnic women.

A shrewd entrepreneur, Iman did protest when retailers attempted to place her products at the back of their stores in an ethnic section. “It was a no-go. They wanted me to be placed at the back, which they considered, like it is, for the ethnic section, which I was totally against,” she says according to Daily Mail.

She also authored an ultimate beauty guide for women of color, which was the first beauty and makeup book that addresses skin tones across the spectrum.

Don’t Build Your Life Just Around Your Man

Long before Iman married David Bowie, the future supermodel was married to a young Somali man with whom she had fallen in love. When she had the opportunity to move to America, she did not wait on him: the marriage ended after she moved to New York to pursue a modeling career. She later married American basketball player Spencer Haywood, and shared a marriage that lasted 10 years.

On 24 April 1992, Iman married British rock musician David Bowie, with whom she is still married. From Iman, we learn that we change over the course of a lifetime. While we do not to wish to break up any marriages, it suffices to say: pursue your own destiny and don’t build your entire life around your man.


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