People | November 25, 2012

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Iman, full name Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid, is one of the most famous of all supermodels, and is also respected for her humanitarian work. She is the wife of British rock legend David Bowie, who she married in 1992, and she is the mother of two children.

Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, on July 25th, 1955, Iman comes from a well connected Somalian family. As a girl, she was educated in Egypt and Kenya – where she attended the University of Nairobi and studied political science. It was while at university that Iman’s striking looks led to her being spotted by Peter Beard, the notable American photographer. Her modelling career then began in earnest when she moved to the US in 1975. The next year, Iman secured her first modelling assignment with ‘Vogue’ magazine.

Iman followed up her ‘Vogue’ assignment by being a cover girl on a number of famous magazines. Iman’s modest dismissal of her own looks, as being nothing out of the ordinary for a Somalian woman, endeared her to the public, fashion designers and photographers alike. She became well known for her work with Yves Saint-Laurent, who described Iman as his “dream woman”, and other prestigious designers, such as Calvin Klein and Gianni Versace, were also happy to utilize Iman’s statuesque beauty.

In 1994, Iman launched her own cosmetic company, Iman Cosmetics, with a focus on producing make up for ethnic women. Her company is now a multi-million dollar business. She has also found success as a designer with her Global Chic range.

Iman is involved in several children’s charities, including Keep a Child Alive and the Children’s Defense Fund. She is also an ambassador for Save the Children. Her strong moral stance, and support of the Enough Project, led to her split with De Beers over the issue of blood diamonds.

On top of her charity work, a successful career as a fashion model and businesswoman, Iman has dabbled in acting. She most most notably appeared in the ’80s American TV cop show ‘Miami Vice’, and major movies ‘Out of Africa’ and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country’.

Photo by Jennifer Su

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