10 Things You Didn’t Know About Iman

If you’re a fan of beauty and fashion, you’ve certainly heard of the iconic Iman. A Somali-American fashion model, actress, and entrepreneur, Iman is recognized worldwide for her extensive work in the industry. However, besides her public persona and professional achievements, there are some intriguing details about her life that are less well-known. This article dives into ten lesser-known facts about Iman that will pique your interest.

1. She Was Discovered by Peter Beard

Iman was discovered by photographer Peter Beard while still a university student in Kenya. At first, she was hesitant about modeling. She even told Beard that she would only do it if her father gave his approval, not really expecting that he would. But to her surprise, her father gave her the green light, and her incredible journey in the modeling industry began.

Peter Beard photographed Iman in Nairobi and with those pictures, he managed to get her a deal with a top modeling agency in the United States. This gave Iman an opportunity to work with some of the most prestigious fashion houses and designers, marking the beginning of an illustrious modeling career.

2. Iman’s Real Name

Believe it or not, Iman is not her real name. She was born Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid. However, when she began her modeling career, she dropped her surname and went solely by Iman, which means “faith” in Arabic.

Iman’s decision to use a mononym was not just for simplicity’s sake. In the modeling industry of the time, exotic names were a common trend, and having an easy-to-pronounce, distinctive name helped to set her apart.

3. Iman’s Philanthropy Work

Iman is not only a successful model and entrepreneur, but also a humanitarian. She has been involved in several charitable causes, focused primarily on improving the lives of children and women in Africa. She serves as an advocate for several NGOs dedicated to ending hunger and promoting education.

In addition, Iman started her own cosmetics company to promote diversity in the beauty industry and to offer beauty products that catered to women of all skin tones. Profits from her company also contribute to charitable organizations.

4. Her Marriage to David Bowie

Iman was happily married to legendary rock musician David Bowie for 24 years until his death in 2016. The pair first met at a dinner party in Los Angeles, and it was love at first sight for Bowie. He pursued Iman relentlessly until she finally agreed to date him. They got married in 1992 and have a daughter together.

Despite being constantly in the spotlight, they managed to keep their marriage strong and private. Iman once stated in an interview that they treated each other as ordinary people, despite their stardom, which helped them to keep their relationship grounded and close-knit.

5. Fluent in Five Languages

Not many people know that Iman is fluent in five languages. Born and raised in Somalia, she was taught Somali and Arabic at home. In her schooling, she learned English and Italian. Later, she picked up French during her travels as a model.

Iman’s multilingual prowess demonstrates her intelligence and adaptability. Many attribute this to her multicultural upbringing and her global travels due to her modeling career.

6. Iman’s Beauty Brand

Iman launched her beauty brand, IMAN Cosmetics, after retiring from modeling. She was inspired to start the business due to the lack of makeup options for women of color in the market. Having had to mix her own foundation during her modeling days, she knew firsthand the struggles women with darker skin tones faced.

Today, IMAN Cosmetics is highly successful and celebrated for its inclusivity, offering products suitable for all skin tones.

7. She is an Accomplished Actress

Iman is not only a top model but also an accomplished actress. She has appeared in several films and TV series including ‘Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country’, ‘Miami Vice’, and ‘The Human Factor’.

Her most memorable role came in 1985 when she played the character of Martia, a shape-shifting alien, in ‘Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country’. She received critical acclaim for her performance.

8. Iman’s Activism

Iman is an advocate for diversity in the fashion and beauty industries. She has openly criticized designers who lack diversity in their runway shows and campaigns. She believes representation matters and has spoken about this issue on multiple platforms.

Due to her influence, Iman has made a significant impact in promoting diversity and inclusivity. Her efforts led to increased visibility and opportunities for models of color in the fashion industry.

9. She Ventured into Home Decor

Iman’s creativity doesn’t stop at fashion and beauty. She has her own home decor line called IMAN Home, which was launched in 2010. The collection features a variety of fabrics and home accessories inspired by her multicultural background.

Iman’s interest in interior design was sparked by her trips around the world. She wanted to bring elements from different cultures into people’s homes, attributing to the line’s unique and diverse designs.

10. She Chaired Fashion for Relief

Iman served as the chairwoman for Naomi Campbell’s Fashion for Relief charity fashion show in 2009. The charity raises funds for disaster relief and other global causes.

Her contributions to the show further emphasize her commitment to humanitarian efforts. Through the platform, she was able to help raise significant funds for various causes.

In conclusion, Iman is much more than just a pretty face. Her varied talents, dedication to philanthropy, and ceaseless advocacy for diversity make her an icon worth celebrating.

For more engaging stories about Iman, consider these links:

ISEE Beauty – Iman’s Beauty Line

IMDb – Iman’s Acting Career

Iman on Diversity in the Fashion Industry (Video)