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Iman
December 2, 2012 9:34 PM   Subscribe

...the story said that they were trying to get me here to become a model, that I was a goat herder… I mean, I’d seen goats, but really? And that I didn’t speak a word of English. I spoke five languages! Totally mythology. I had no clue about that… I arrived, and the next day, I had 64 members of the press. An interview with Iman. Part I and II. (Via The Beheld.)

Part I focuses on cosmetics, parenting and aging, part II on her history coming to the US and working in the modeling industry.
posted by latkes (18 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
And my husband [David Bowie] can’t say anything! Once, my daughter saw the pictures of Ziggy Stardust and she said, ‘Why are you wearing makeup?’ And he was like, ‘Why didn’t she say anything about my hair?’ [Laughs] He just said, ‘It was the ‘70s.’ We all tell her, ‘Oh, it was the ‘70s!’—we tell her that for anything! She’ll say, ‘Oh, you smoked,’ and we say, ‘It was the ‘70s.’ [Laughs]

"So what about Rura Penthe?"

"It was the 23rd century, darling."
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:32 PM on December 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've always been a big Iman fan so it's interesting reading Part II where she talks about being irreplaceable and thinking about her career and the importance of being knowledgeable. I used to watch America's Next Top Model and the girls seemed painfully clueless. It's all "I want to be a model" but many have no understanding or sense of fashion as a business. What they mean is, "I want to be famous."
posted by shoesietart at 10:40 PM on December 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


LOVE her. She seems so down to earth in some of the interview, like when she talks about fracturing her foot walking down the street - I HATE THAT. Hurting yourself not doing anything stupid or naughty is the worst. Or some of the writings in her blog - she's a professional beautiful person, but an unusually insightful one.


Then I remember she is IMAN, and if she actually walked up and spoke to me I would probably pass out or run away and hide or cry.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:05 PM on December 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


And I kind of love her forever for her stern defense of goth as fashion on Project Runway Canada.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:09 PM on December 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


I don't know why but the fact that she used a forged passport makes me particularly fond of her.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:10 PM on December 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a lovely chatty interview. I am utterly charmed.

And then Cindy Crawford walks in and yer fucked!
posted by Iteki at 11:34 PM on December 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


She's not only breathtakingly beautiful but also very smart and savvy. And in addition very strong to have known and acted on so much at such a young age. If she could only meet up with the right investor and strategist she could take her cosmetics business flying. She should be doing it like Olay and stop trying to enter through the conventional big businesses.
posted by malach_sadriel at 1:10 AM on December 3, 2012


"Full-on drag takes less than an hour, but flawless, ‘nothing’ makeup? Two-and-a-half hours!"

Iman rocks and all, but if "full-on" drag (as in the kind of drag you'd wear for performance or a photo shoot) is taking you less than an hour, you're not doing it right. Whenever a woman crabs about the horrors of getting dolled up for some fancy event, I bite my tongue and don't tell her about the full-body shave, the plucking, the corsets and padding and duct-tape, the makeup to cover the beard shadow that somehow survives even after you've spent like all day shaving, and then the makeup to cover that. And oh sweet Jesus, the cleanup afterwards. You come home from a night out, and it's like a showgirl exploded in your bathroom. Full-on drag is like cosplay times getting suited up to play pro hockey or something.

Take it from an old queen who knows: compared to drag, "nothing" makeup is... nothing. Nobody throws their back out doing "nothing" makeup!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:16 AM on December 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


I come from a country that’s known for beautiful women. And at my high school ‘prom,’ so to speak, the girls couldn’t decide which boy to go with. Nobody asked me! My father paid my cousin to take me! I was not considered beautiful at all. Really. And this is what all models say. But I’m still not considered that beautiful in my country. I don’t know the beauty ideal where I come from—but it’s not me.

This is what all models say.
posted by three blind mice at 1:42 AM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is what all models say because it's true. Having dates for a prom and being popular are social skills, which is what puts teenagers over the top far more than looks. If a model in her teens is shy, quiet, not a daddy's girl, or slightly taller or thinner than her peers, she can very easily be marginalized or ostracized. Not to be too cliched, but being a successful teenager is much more about fitting in than standing out.
posted by malach_sadriel at 3:24 AM on December 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


A lot of famously beautiful people aren't beautiful IRL, especially close-up.

I once was standing with some acquaintances when a very ordinary-looking (to me) pale girl with a frizzy perm walked up and started talking to us. I couldn't work out why they were fawning over her as if she were a supermodel.

Later they told me it was Kate Moss.

Another friend of mine threw a party, and told me in a voice quavering with excitement that he'd invited a lot of models and THEY WERE GOING TO COME. And they did indeed. Imagine his disappointment when they all sat together in the kitchen discussing calories and conditioner.
posted by unSane at 4:27 AM on December 3, 2012


I love Iman -- she's my favorite supermodel. (Is "favorite" the right word when you only admire the one person?) Beverly Johnson was beautiful, but Iman was glamorous. I loved her even more when she created her cosmetics line, one of the few non-drugstore brands marketed towards women of color. Thanks for this post!
posted by Neneh at 4:57 AM on December 3, 2012


I'm much more than a scrappy genderqueer tomboy than I used to be, but back when I was fashion-obsessed and really into cosmetics I found the scene out there real depressing as a woman of color. Just try picking out some foundation without wanting to slit your wrists. Forty shades for white women, from porcelain to cream to vanilla to beige to creme brulee to peach, and then three shades of brown that are supposed to cover every single woman in the world with origins in Africa, Latin America, and South Asia.

I absolutely love Iman's The Beauty of Color, which is lushly photographed and glorifies women with many, many diverse skin colors; gorgeous glowing deep blue-black, freckled creamy mixed-race Asian, a thousand shades of brown. It feels good to feel represented, and to read advice specific to women of color; how to balance out hyperpigmentation, for example, or how to apply eyeshadow on eyes without epicanthal folds.
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:17 AM on December 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


If she could only meet up with the right investor and strategist she could take her cosmetics business flying.

I think perhaps a world-famous supermodel icon married to David Bowie can probably meet up with anyone she wants to at any time ever. If she hasn't done so, then it seems more likely that there's a specific reason she's marketing her line the way she is, and it's not due to an inability to find the right business contacts.
posted by elizardbits at 8:25 AM on December 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Other than thinking

'Damn!"

Never had an opinion about her much one way or the other, but I'll tell you what.

If a woman ever tells me she is irreplaceable, I will know right then that she is indeed, replaceable.

I dont care what you look like. Vapid is, as vapid does.
posted by timsteil at 8:47 AM on December 3, 2012


If a woman ever tells me she is irreplaceable, I will know right then that she is indeed, replaceable.

I don't care what you look like. Vapid is, as vapid does.
Did you read the article? She's talking about a point where there was a clothing line designed around her. For the purposes of that campaign, she was irreplaceable because she was an integral part of the product, which gave her negotiating power. How is that vapid?
posted by Karmakaze at 9:38 AM on December 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Karmakaze - Maybe he meant it ironically? ;)
posted by IAmBroom at 3:45 PM on December 3, 2012


I think perhaps a world-famous supermodel icon married to David Bowie can probably meet up with anyone she wants to at any time ever. If she hasn't done so, then it seems more likely that there's a specific reason she's marketing her line the way she is, and it's not due to an inability to find the right business contacts.

Yes. See also: Home shopping superstar
posted by Room 641-A at 7:50 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


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