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Iman was recognized at last night’s Council of Fashion Designers of America awards gala with their Fashion Icon honor, an award that goes to “an individual whose signature style has had a profound influence on fashion.” Pop the hood for more

The Somalian-born beauty, born Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid, was also the subject of a recent New York Times feature which chronicles her journey from Nairobi, where she was attending university when she was discovered by photographer Peter Beard, to her current success as an entrepreneur, covering her three decades as a model revered by fashion designers and publications, as well as her marriages to Spencer Haywood and David Bowie. Check out an excerpt here:

The choice of Iman by the council’s board wasn’t obvious — it’s not as if she is known for her distinctive way of dressing, like the recent honorees Kate Moss (2005) and Sarah Jessica Parker (2004). But the decision seemed to have come almost spontaneously, according to Diane von Furstenberg, the group’s president: “Somebody, I don’t remember who it was, mentioned Iman’s name at the meeting, and everybody said ‘Wow.’ The vote was unanimous.”

The designer Michael Kors, who was at the meeting, said that Iman instantly clicked with the board because she is “an icon for our times.”

“It’s not just enough to say that she is beautiful or beautifully dressed, although that is a part of the equation,” Mr. Kors said. “Iman cuts across all ages and experiences. Today women are out there trying to juggle and to make sense of it all. You look at the way Iman looks, her success in business, her need to try new things and to have her own point of view and be a wife and mother — well, not many people have come full circle like that.”

“She has this amazing skin — it sets off color and clothes in a way white women couldn’t do,” Calvin Klein recalled. “On the runway, she exuded style. She was an actress, a natural. She knew how to sell the clothes better than anybody.”

DURING an interview at the Seventh Avenue office of her cosmetics company, where she works three days a week, Iman — 5 feet 9, 133 pounds and a fit size 6 — is soignée in flared denims, wedge peep-toes and a navy jacket over a white T-shirt. The walls are covered with images of herself by the likes of Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber and Helmut Newton, a testimony to her stellar career.

The fashion designers’ award, which came as a surprise to her, “does the ego good,” she admitted. Among the well-wishers was Alexander Wang, the hot young designer, who offered to dress Iman in something special. “I plan to take him up on that,” she said, chuckling.

She tells the well-documented story of how she arrived in New York in 1975, the daughter of a Somalian diplomat. She spoke five languages but had never worn makeup or high heels.

She credits the nurturing she got from designers, who gave her confidence in an era when model-muses were prized for their individuality — and their own ideas. “We were allowed to talk and to change things,” she said.

Designers like Yves Saint Laurent or Mr. Mugler expected her to speak up. “ ‘Do you like that? Would you wear it that way?’ ”she said. “You could be your own person. And nobody walked the same way on the runway.”

Read the rest HERE

Congratulations! We salute you Iman!



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