Today, July 25th, ?is Iman’s 60th birthday. And, while?this Somali-American supermodel is known for many, many things — from her iconic face to helping to crack open the ceiling for models of color, she is also known for her amazing sense of style and purpose.
Iman, whose full name is Iman Mohammed Abdul Majid is not only a wife and mother, she?is also a pioneer in the beauty industry, making her mark as the pioneer of ethnic skincare and makeup with her brand, IMAN Cosmetics.
Her career and story have influenced and encouraged?women around the world, and so today,??we pay tribute to the woman who leads with her actions and her words. Here’s to many more years of inspiration.
On the aspirations of young models in the industry: “The funny part is that it’s a double edged sword. Like on this show [Project Runway Canada] they could literally become household names overnight. But to forget that there is hard work that comes with it and just feel and believe in the hype so to speak…it will be their downfall” on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos (2008).
On how she judges success: “Success is not just what you achieve or what you gain. It’s what you really inspire other people to do” on InnerVIEWS with Ernie Manouse (2011).
On how others defined her as an African early in her career: “One of the things that the papers kept on writing was about how regal I am. I’m sorry, all Somalis are regal. That’s how my sisters and brothers carry themselves. That is how my whole nation carries themselves” on conversations with Felicia Mabuza Suttle (2011).
On the challenges that come with being the first African model: “It’s like when I arrived here, in the industry, people would say “the black model”. I mean, I have never considered myself a black person. In my country, we are all black, so there was not a point of me saying I’m black. Of course, I’m black” in the same interview with Felicia Mabuza Suttle ?(2011).
On recognizing one’s?worth: “I remember that as young as seven or eight, my mother telling me ‘Always know your worth and never settle for less’. And that is what I came to this country with” on Black Enterprise TV (2011).
On failure: “I’m not scared of it because it gives the opportunity for change. I think change is very good regardless of what shape or form it comes in. It makes you really observe, reorganize, and really rethink your life” in the same interview with Black Enterprise TV (2011).
On the celebration of her marriage to David Bowie and the secret to lasting love: “Understanding the difference between the personal life and the public life. We never have photographs taken in our apartment, we never do photo shoots together. It is like we do our things separately, but home is private” on the Wendy Williams show (2012).