Iman Story - Famous Model Who Pioneer In The Field Of Ethnic Cosmetics

Iman Story - Famous Model Who Pioneer In The Field Of Ethnic Cosmetics

Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid

Iman is a Somali-American supermodel, activist, actress and businesswoman. This black model started her modeling career when blonde, blue-eyes models were in high demand. In a way, she used her attitude, body and posture to set a successful career for herself. Her different looks made her a muse for a number of designers and photographers in the industry, and she continued excelling at both print modeling and runway fashion industry. In addition to modeling, she has appeared in a number of TV shows, music videos and Hollywood movies. After modeling, she has started focusing on charitable activities, and doing business in makeup products and cosmetics.


Born in Somalia during the Italian ruling years, Iman was given a male name by her parents to make things easier for her in future. Her mother was a gynecologist and father was a Somali ambassador of Saudi Arabia. She has two brothers and two sisters as well. She is a Muslim by religion, and is fluent in English, Italian, French, Arabic and Somali languages. Peter Beard, an American photographer, discovered her in her college days, and asked her to move to US for modeling.

Early career

iman abdulmajid showcases her supermodel figure at the glamour awards 2015

Iman moved to the US in 1975, and received her first assignment with Vogue in 1976. She was instantly welcomed in the industry for her different looks, and worked with a number of notable photographers, including Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, Irving Penn and Helmut Newton. She was highly revered for her copper-toned skin, slender figure, tall stature, long neck and sharp features. She retired from the modeling industry in 1989, and started focusing on business and charity.

Career highlights

In 1994, Iman created Iman Cosmetics, her own line of makeup that is dedicated to producing cosmetics for the ethnic skinned people. She has played roles in a number of movies and TV shows, most noted for her appearances in Out of Africa and No Way Out. In 2007, she produced Global Chic, a line of clothing and accessories for Home Shopping Network. She has also hosted and produced shows on TV, including The Fashion Show and Project Runway Canada.

Awards & Achievements

In 2010, Iman received Fashion Icon Lifetime Achievement Award from Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Personal life

iman and david bowie at the 2006 glamour women of the year awards

Iman married a Somalian in her college years in 1973, but separated from him in 1975 to move to the US and pursue a modeling career. Then she married Spencer Haywood in 1977, and divorced him in 1987. Now, she is married to David Bowie since 1992. She has two children of her own, and one step child too.


In 2001, she came up with I am Iman, her autobiography. In 2005, she published The Beauty of Color, a guide on cosmetic tips and skin care.

the beauty of color writer

Although Iman modeled for just 14 years, she became an apple of the eye for a number of designers and photographers in the industry. Now, she is concentrating solely on her business and charitable activities.


Fashion Icon lifetime achievement

IMAN on InnerVIEWS with Ernie Manouse