Iman – The African Queen


Iman was born on July 25, 1955, in Mogadishu, Somalia. Iman was discovered by the famous fashion photographer, Peter Beard, and had her first modeling job for Vogue in 1976.

Iman was featured prominently in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar in the late 1970’s and 1980’s, and the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent’s “African Queen” collection is centered around her, and the designer referred to her as his “dream woman”.

She has been a favorite of many of the top fashion photographers, such as: Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon,Irving Penn and Annie Leibovitz.

In 1994, Iman launched her own cosmetics firm, Iman Cosmetics, currently one of the top selling brands in the category for Walgreens.

Iman also has a fashion line based on African style named Global Chic which is featured on the Home Shopping Network.


“Nobody has ever said to me that I was pretty, ’til I met Peter Beard.”

“Beauty is being comfortable and confident in your own skin.”

“I beg you, don’t use the verb, ‘discover’, I hate it. What does it mean, that I didn’t exist before?”

“I suffer from low self-esteem. I had horrible self-esteem growing up. You really have to save yourself because the critic within you will eat you up. It’s not the outside world – it’s your interior life, that critic within you, that you have to silence.”

Iman In Person:

Notable Work:

Calvin Klein , Darvel , De Beers , Diane Von Furstenberg , Donna Karan , Escada , Genny , H&M , Iman cosmetics , Imari , Kenzo , Kirk Stieff , Kohler , New York & Company , Nikos Apostolopoulos , Rendezvous Bay , Revlon , Senhoa , Tommy Hilfiger , Valentino , Versace , Yves Saint Laurent

Also published on Medium.

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