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Iman 1955–

Iman 1955

Model, actress, businesswoman

At a Glance

Sources

Shes the High Priestesswe all call her that (Iman means priest in Arabic), declared designer Fernando Sanchez about exotic model Iman in Vogue. Of course shes dramatic, but behind the slightly grand attitude she is very professional And whatever happens shell handle it: make them laugh, keep them in awewhatever is needed to cover a disaster. But beyond the fact that shes famous, Iman is the perfect model, she gives expression to the clothes. Her long neck and elegant gait made her a favorite of top designers as a runway model in international showrooms. Commenting on the native Somalian beauty, who has been called Iman the Magnificent and Queen of the Runway, Bill Blass told Vogue that the truth is, shes a great actress. She uses her body like an instrument.

Born in 1955 in Mogadishu, the capitol of the East African country Somalia, Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid is the daughter of a Somalian diplomat father and a gynecologist mother. Her mother gave her the masculine name Iman, the model divulged to Linda Konner in Glamour, in hopes that she would compete equitably with others since she was a woman with a mans name. Although Somalia was impoverished, Iman grew up with her two brothers and two sisters in a white house on one of the most beautiful beaches on the Indian Ocean. Throughout her childhood, Imans family took camping trips to the desert, which comprised most of Somalia. Asked about her mysterious demeanor as a showroom model, Iman told Kon- ner, Now, every time Im on a runway, I deliberately think of Somalia, and I try to take the people watching me to where I am in my head. I want them to see what I seethe desert, and the stars that go on forever, illuminating the darkness.

Although Somalia was predominantly Muslim and women were regarded as second-class citizens, Iman learned a different set of attitudes from her parents. Allowed to marry four wives under religious law, her father chose to marry only one woman. Iman related to Konner that her mother, a pioneer thinker, advised her frequently, Iman, you dont have to lie down with a dog. You have a choice; you dont have to do anything you dont want to do. One good woman is far better than ten men. The family relocated to Kenya after being driven out of Somalia in 1969 when Iman was about fourteen years old. She finished high school and enrolled at the University of Nairobi to study political science. Able to speak five languages, Iman was hardly the legendary cattle herder the press portrayed her as after her modeling debut, when high fashion photographer

At a Glance

Born Iman (pronounced ee-mahn) Mohamed Abdulmajid in 1955, in Mogadishu, Somalia; daughter of a Somalian diplomat and a gynecologist; married Spencer Haywood (a professional basketball player; divorced, 1987); married David Bowie (a musician), April 24, 1992; children: (first marriage) Zulekha; (second marriage) Alexandria Zahra Jones Education: Attended University of Nairobi; graduated from New York University.

Career: High fashion model and actress; discovered by photographer Peter Beard in Africa, mid-1970s; film appearances: The Human Factor, 1979, Out of Africa, 1985, No Way Out, 1987, Surrender, 1989, Star Trek VI, 1991, House Party 2, 1991, Heart of Darkness, 1194, Exit to Eden, 1994, The Deft, 1997, Omikron: The Nomad Soul, 1999; television appearances; Miami Vice, The Cosby Show, Dream On, In the Heat of the Night, 1989; and in music videos, including Michael Jacksons Remember the Time 1992; creator of documentary Somalia Diary, BBC, 1992; contributor to Vogue magazine; established cosmetics line to be mass marketed, 1992; launched couture cosmetics line, I-lman, 2000; autobiography, I Am iman, 2001.

Selected awards: Mayor Tom Bradley declared February 29, 1980, Iman Day in New York City.

Addresses: Agent c/o Elite Modeling Agency, 111 East 22nd St., New York, NY 10010.

Peter Beard discovered her on his way to the country to pick up supplies.

I really first saw her one day, Beard recalled in Vogue, as I was driving down Standard Street in Nairobi with Kamante, who was, as you know, [writer] Isak Dinesens faithful retainer. Iman was dead anxious to get out of Africa. In her autobiography, I Am Iman, Iman explained that she did not even know what modeling was when she was approached by Beard. Just months before Beard sent Imans photos to Wilhelmina, a prestigious modeling agent, Iman had married, in rebellion, her teenage sweetheart. Iman knew the marriage was a mistake, so that when Peter called with the offer to go to America to become a model, she leapt at the chancemore to escape the marriage than to become a model. In October of 1975, Iman, the young college student, traveled to New York, where upon her arrival, she thought that her new home was worse than a third world country. New York was in the midst of a garbage strike, the city was filthy and the climate was cold. Iman told Ingrid Sischy writing for Interview magazine, It was worse than any village I saw in Africa.

A publicity blitz that bypassed the customary interview route of aspiring models brought Iman immediate employment with Wilhelmina and with luminary fashion designers, including Bill Blass. Audiences were more likely to crowd showrooms to catch a glimpse of the model-star than to view the clothes in a collection. Instantly attaining international fame, Iman divulged to Konner later in her career, Im a black model, succeeding in a country that craves blonde, blue-eyed teenagers. Ive taken work away from blonde women. Ive even taken work away from men. Im secure within myselfindependent, a survivor.

Working with fashion photographers more in partnership than seclusion, Iman applied her own make-up and often styled her own shots while modeling. She also commanded unheard of fees, such as $100,000 for one designer collection. French designer Thierry Mugler described Iman at the top of her profession in Vogue, She feels the atmosphere of the crowd (and holds their attention like nobody else). She knows how to use those hips. I know how to dress them. We go to the extreme together.

Imans career almost ended in 1983 when she was nearly killed in a taxi cab accident. Her shoulder was dislocated, and she also broke three ribs as well as her collarbone and cheekbones. After she fully recovered, Iman received a merchandising contract to market a line of authentic African fabrics called kikois. With an acting career underway by the 1980s, Iman revealed in Essence, Im a workaholic. I feel that when I wake up in the mornings, if Im not working, attending acting class, going to the gym the world is passing me by. Whatever this rat race is about, Im a part of it. Im one of the rats!

In 1987 Iman divorced basketball star Spencer Haywood. The couple had been married for eight years and had a daughter, Zulekha. In 1989 Iman quit modeling. She simply woke up one day and said to herself, AThis is it. This year Im closing up shop. A few years later, Iman began dating British rock star David Bowie and married him in a civil ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 24, 1992. In November of that year, the model lost a long custody battle with Haywood over their daughter. Craving more children, Iman disclosed in People, Im an old woman. But Ill try to squeeze one in. After Bowie gave her a 10.5-carat canary diamond to celebrate their union, she had a bowie knife tattooed on her right ankle. After several years of trying to conceive a child, Iman decided to rely on an African custom to stimulate fertility. The custom is to hold another womans baby. So, Iman borrowed fellow model Christy Brinkleys baby and several months after, she conceived. In August of 2000 Iman and David welcomed the birth of their daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones.

Iman planned to broaden her acting career beyond the scope of cameo appearances in such motion pictures as Star Trek VI. She experimented with videos, including Michael Jacksons Remember the Time, in which she gave the pop superstar a kiss. She also completed a documentary called Somalia Diary for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) about famine in her native country, which she visited for the first time in twenty years in October of 1992. That year a People correspondent commented on Imans enduring beauty: The face, the frame, the name: all so perfectly exotic (or perhaps, since they all belong to Iman), so perfectly Ixotic. One of the first black models to appear on major magazines covers and lure prestigious cosmetic companies to offer contracts, Iman divulged in People, Im happy with my life. Everything is going the way I wanted it to.

In 1992 Iman, who always had to mix two or more foundation colors to find the right shade of make up, decided to create a reasonably priced line of cosmetics for women of color. Two years later the line was mass marketed and licensed to Color Me Beautiful, selling only at J.C. Penney department stores. In 2000 she established a couture cosmetics line for all women, I-Iman, that was sold at Sephora cosmetics stores. Her business ventures have been successful, establishing ethnic cosmetics during a decade when many other prominent cosmetics companies followed suit and created their own line of cosmetics for women of color.

In 2001 Iman published her autobiography, I Am Iman, not only to convey to the public who she is and where she came from, but to address universal issues such as self-esteem, identity struggles, and the pressures of pop culture. Essence described I Am Iman as a strikingly impressive photo-autobiography.

Sources

Black Enterprise, November 1994.

Essence, January 1988; November 2001.

Glamour, September 1989.

Interview, October 1994.

Newsweek, November 2, 1987.

Oakland Press (Oakland County, MI), October 19, 1992.

People, May 4, 1992; May 18, 1992; May 8, 2000.

Vogue, October 1989; December 1992.

WWD, March 3, 2000.

Marjorie Burgess and Christine Miner Minderovic

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"Iman 1955–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Iman 1955–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/iman-1955-0

Iman 1955–

Iman 1955

Model, actress, activist

At a Glance

Sources

Shes the High Priestess we all call her that (Iman means priest in Arabic), declared designer Fernando Sanchez about exotic model Iman in Vogue. of course shes dramatic, but behind the slightly grand attitude she is very professional.... And whatever happens...shell handle it: make them laugh, keep them in awe whatever is needed to cover a disaster. But beyond the fact that shes famous, Iman is the perfect model, she gives expression to the clothes. One of the highest paid models in the world, Iman is in transit in her career. Her long neck and elegant gait made her a favorite of top designers as a runway model in international showrooms. She hopes those same features will transfer to the screen to make her a television and movie star as well. Commenting on the native Somalian beauty, who has been called Iman the Magnificent and Queen of the Runway, Bill Blass told Vogue that the truth is, shes a great actress. She uses her body like an instrument.

Born in 1955 in Mogadishu, the capitol of the East African country Somalia, Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid is the daughter of a Somalian diplomat father and a gynecologist mother. Her mother gave her the masculine name Iman, the model divulged to Linda Konner in Glamour, in hopes that she would compete equitably with others since she was a woman with a mans name. Although Somalia was impoverished, Iman grew up with her two brothers and two sisters in a white house on one of the most beautiful beaches on the Indian Ocean. Throughout her childhood, Imans family took camping trips to the desert, which comprised most of Somalia. Asked about her mysterious demeanor as a showroom model, Iman told Konner, Now, every time Im on a runway, I deliberately think of Somalia, and I try to take the people watching me to where I am in my head. I want them to see what I seethe desert, and the stars that go on forever, illuminating the darkness.

Although her country was predominantly Muslim and women were regarded as second-class citizens, Iman learned a different set of attitudes from her parents. Allowed to marry four wives under religious law, her father chose to marry only one woman. Iman related to Konner that her mother, a pioneer thinker, advised her frequently, Iman, you dont have to lie down with a dog. You have a choice; you dont have to do anything you dont want to do. One good woman is far better than ten men. Hardly the legendary goat herder the press portrayed her as after her

At a Glance

Name pronounced ee-mahn born Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid in 1955 in Mogadishu, Somalia; daughter of a Somalian diplomat and a gynecologist; married Spencer Haywood (a professional basketball player; divorced, 1987); married David Bowie (a musician), April 24, 1992; children: (first marriage) Zulekha. Education: Attended University of Nairobi; graduated from New York University.

High fashion model and actress; discovered by photographer Peter Beard in Africa, mid-1970s; actress appearing in motion pictures, including The Human Factor, 1979, Out of Africa, 1985, No Way out, 1987, Surrender, 1989, and Star Trek Vl 1991; on television, including Miami Vice, The Cosby Show, and In the Heat of the Night, 1989; and in music videos, including Michael Jacksons Remember the Tiem, 1992; creator of documentary Somalia Diary, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), 1992; appeared as a guest on television programs including Dateline NBC and Arsenio Hall Show, 1992; contributor to Vogue magazine.

Selected awards: Mayor Tom Bradley declared February 29, 1980, Iman Day in New York City.

Addresses: Agent c/o Elite Modeling Agency, 111 East 22nd St, New York, NY 10010.

modeling debut, Iman was studying at the University of Nairobi when high fashion photographer Peter Beard discovered her on his way to the country to pick up supplies.

I really first saw her one day, Beard recalled in Vogue, as I was driving down Standard Street in Nairobi with Kamante, who was, as you know, [writer] Isak Dinesens faithful retainer. Iman was dead anxious to get out of Africa. A publicity blitz that bypassed the customary interview route of aspiring models brought Iman immediate employment with the prestigious modeling agency Wilhelmina and with luminary fashion designers, including Bill Blass. Audiences were more likely to crowd showrooms to catch a glimpse of the model-star than to view the clothes in a collection. Instantly attaining international fame, Iman divulged to Konner later in her career, Im a... black model, succeeding in a country that craves blonde, blue-eyed teenagers. Ive taken work away from blonde women. Ive even taken work away from men. Im secure within myselfindependent, a survivor.

Working with fashion photographers more in partnership than seclusion, Iman applied her own make-up and often styled her own shots while modeling. She also commanded unheard of fees, such as $100,000 for one designer collection. French designer Thierry Mugler described Iman at the top of her profession in Vogue, She feels the atmosphere of the crowd (and holds their attention like nobody else). She knows how to use those hips. I know how to dress them. We go to the extreme together.

Imans career almost ended in 1983 when she was nearly killed in a taxi cab accident. Her shoulder was dislocated, and she also broke three ribs as well as her collarbone and cheekbones. After she fully recovered, Iman received a merchandising contract to market a line of authentic African fabrics called kikois. With an acting career underway by the mid-1980s, Iman revealed in Essence, Im a workaholic. I feel that when I wake up in the mornings, if Im not working, attending acting class, going to the gym... the world is passing me by. Whatever this rat race is about, Im a part of it. Im one of the rats!

In 1987 Iman divorced basketball star Spencer Haywood. The couple had been married for eight years and had a daughter, Zulekha, who lives with her father in Detroit. Iman began dating British rock star David Bowie and married him in a civil ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 24, 1992. In November of that year, the model lost a long custody battle with Haywood over their daughter. Craving more children, Iman disclosed in People, Im an old woman. But Ill try to squeeze one in. After Bowie gave her a 10.5-carat canary diamond to celebrate their union, she had a bowie knife tattooed on her right ankle.

In the future, Iman plans to broaden her acting career beyond the scope of cameo appearances in such motion pictures as Star Trek VI. She has experimented with videos, including Michael Jacksons Remember the Time, in which she gives the pop superstar a kiss. She also completed a documentary called Somalia Diary for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) about famine in her native country, which she visited for the first time in 20 years in October of 1992. That year a People correspondent commented on Imans enduring beauty: The face, the frame, the name: all so perfectly exotic (or perhaps, since they all belong to Iman), so perfectly Ixotic. One of the first black models to appear on major magazines covers and lure prestigious cosmetic companies to offer contracts, Iman commented in People, Im happy with my life. Everything is going the way I wanted it to.

Sources

Essence, January 1988.

Glamour, September 1989.

Newsweek, November 2, 1987; November 23, 1992.

Oakland Press (Oakland County, MI), October 19,1992.

People, May 4, 1992; May 18, 1992.

Vogue, October 1989; December 1992.

Marjorie Burgess

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"Iman 1955–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Iman 1955–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/iman-1955

"Iman 1955–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/iman-1955

Īmān

Īmān (Arab., ‘be secure’ ‘trust’). The Muslim word for faith and trust in Allāh, and in the Prophet Muḥammad, and hence in the content of his message. In the Qurʾān, therefore, īmān is sometimes the same as islām (allegiance to God). Does it follow, then, that īmān is all-important in relation to salvation, and that one who makes profession of īmān will be saved, no matter what his works? This was a deeply divisive issue in early Islam (cf. faith and works in Christianity), with the Khārijites declaring that īmān accompanied by evil works designates such a person as no longer Muslim (and therefore to be treated as such) and the Murjiʾites postponing the decision until Allāh reveals all secrets (and therefore treating as Muslims all who perform ṣalāt facing the qibla).

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"Īmān." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/iman