The 67-year-old Somalian beauty was discovered by American photographer Peter Beard
while studying at university and subsequently moved to the United States to begin a modeling career. Her first modeling assignment was for Vogue
a year later in 1976 and soon landed some of the most prestigious magazine covers, establishing herself as a supermodel. With her long neck, tall stature, slender figure, fine features, copper-toned skin, and exotic accent, Iman
was an instant success in the fashion world. She became a muse for many prominent designers, including Halston, Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein, Issey Miyake and Donna Karan. She was also a favorite of Yves Saint-Laurent, who once described her as his "dream woman."
After almost two decades of modeling, Iman started her own cosmetics firm in 1994, focusing on difficult-to-find shades for women. Iman Cosmetics was a $25-million-a-year business by 2010. It is centered on $14.99 foundations in four formulations and 14 shades, and is among the top-selling foundation brands on Walgreens website.
In 2010, Iman received a Fashion Icon lifetime achievement award from the CFDA, a special prize reserved for "an individual whose signature style has had a profound influence on fashion".
In addition to running her global beauty company, Iman is also actively involved in a number of charitable endeavors. Since September 2019, Iman has held the role of CARE's first-ever Global Advocate, where she works alongside CARE to support its mission to create a world where poverty has been overcome and all people live with dignity and security. She is also currently a spokesperson for the Keep a Child Alive program, and works closely with the Children's Defense Fund. She also serves as an Ambassador for Save the Children, and has been active in raising awareness of their relief services in the greater East Africa region.Additionally, Iman works with the Enough Project to end the global trade in conflict minerals.
Iman is the widow
of late musician David Bowie
. They have one daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones
, 20. Iman is also stepmother to Bowie's son from a previous marriage, Duncan Jones
. She also shares a daughter, Zulekha Haywood
, 42, with ex-husband, basketball player Spencer Haywood