Celebrity Style Icon Watch 10: Iman

“If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, let the beholder be you. You have to own it.” 


Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid was born Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid on 25 July 1955 to Mohamed and Marian Abdulmajid in Mogadishu, Somalia. She is a Somalia fashion model, mother, entrepreneur, actress and a pioneer of ethnic cosmetics. She is the widow of English rock musician David Bowie.


She is the mother of three, a Muslim and is fluent in five languages: Somali, Arabic, Italian, French and English.

She was discovered by American photographer Peter Bear, and her first modeling assignment came a year later in 1976 for Vogue. She soon landed some of the most prestigious magazine covers, establishing herself as a supermodel. 

With her long neck, tall stature, slender figure, fine features, copper-toned skin, and exotic accent, Iman was an instant success in the fashion world. She became a muse for many prominent designers, including Halston, Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein, Issey Miyake and Donna Koran and a favorite of Yves Saint-Laurent. 


During her 14 years as a high fashion model, Iman also worked with many notable photographers, including Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Annie Leibovitz. 

As well as her modelling career, Iman has appeared on television, film, music videos and video games.

Iman is Founder and CEO of IMAN Cosmetics, Skincare and Fragrances, a beauty company that created the first cosmetics and skincare collection designed for all women with skin of color. Launched in 1994, the IMAN brand philosophy holds that women with skin of color represent many races, cultures and ethnicities. IMAN Cosmetics, Skincare and Fragrances are designed for African American, Asian, Latina and multi-cultural women with skin tones in a myriad of shades. The brand offers skincare and cosmetics, including 16 foundation shades.


Iman in a Sophie Theallet dress and Siki Im coat


In addition to running her global beauty company, Iman is also  actively involved in a number of charitable endeavors, including The Children’s Defense Fund, Action Against Hunger and the RAISE HOPE FOR CONGO campaign, that aims to build a permanent and diverse constituency of activists who advocate for protection and empowerment of Congolese women and girls.

And she is BeliJose’s Fashion Hauz Celebrity Style Icon for the week.

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