Legendary supermodel and business icon Iman has been serving us looks for almost five decades, and in a recent British Vogue feature, she revealed that she has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
The 67-year-old founder of Iman Cosmetics said part of her staying power has been due to her embracing the aging process.
“I come from Africa, we celebrate getting older. A friend was telling me there’s been a rise in cosmetic surgery, all because [people] have been looking at themselves in Zoom meetings,” Iman told British Vogue in her cover story published Wednesday.
Turning back the hands of time is useless, she further added, stating that the recent rise of cosmetic procedures being done to look younger is a “very Western mentality. If you are worried about that, just put the camera up [so it’s tilted down on your face], for God’s sake!’”
Iman, who was born in Somalia before moving to the United States to begin her modeling career in the 70s, said that holding on to youth “really is a mentality rooted in the West.” But for her “it has never been a problem.”
Iman was married to English singer and songwriter David Bowie for 24 years before he passed away of cancer in 2016. She said he was a primary source of support for her when she decided to launch her cosmetics line in 1994. She vividly remembers a conversation she had with him about the fears she had of starting the business.
“I said, ‘Suppose it fails?’ And he replied, ‘And? If it fails, what do you think is going to happen? You’re not going to die of it. You know that there isn’t a single black model who ever goes to a job without having her foundation in her pocket. This is a reason to create,” she said, adding that Bowie “is not my ‘late husband.’ He is my husband.”
The mother of two and grandmother of one said now that Bowie is gone, she is more focused on her family and is aware of her setbacks. She retired from the modeling industry in 1989.
“I can’t really wear heels anymore. I know my limitations,” she joked.