Somalian born model Iman Abdulmajid celebrated her 57th birthday on Wednesday and that is reason enough to give her props for decades of imaginative poses and seamlessly transforming her accumulative portfolio into a full blown cosmetics empire.
Her father was a diplomat and her mother a practicing gynecologist, so Iman’s beginnings were not necessarily humble, and as with most African families, education was a top priority in her household. She studied Political Science at the University of Nairobi. Talk about beauty and brains! The story goes that while pursuing her degree she was spotted by American photographer Peter Beard who ended up being the catalyst for what has now become a rich legacy filled with striking moments that propelled her to instant stardom. She went from juggling library books to providing endless inspiration to a legion of fashion designers including Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Versace. She also heeded the call when Vogue Magazine came knocking on her door, that became her golden ticket into a world that only had room for a very select few. And for the gamine, high-cheekboned girl from Africa, this automatically made her the template for models of African descent hoping for a chance at global success.
She has worked with the top names in the industry and ended up marrying the master of them all, British icon David Bowie. But she wasn’t content to just rely on her insatiable good looks. Iman decided to initiate her own cosmetics line, geared towards the needs of multi-ethnic women, a market that was lacking consistent attention. Her early days as a model exposed her to the limited options for women of color especially when it came to makeup options. So she founded Iman Cosmetics, which has now become a trailblazer in the beauty world and continues to rake in massive profits yearly.
Aside from her multi-faceted career, Iman is a thriving philanthropist who makes a habit of putting her money where her heart is and that includes being the spokesperson for the Keep a Child Alive program and helping to spearhead Save the Children, an initiative that focuses on uplifting the needs of children in East Africa.
Iman has definitely evolved into a model with a cause, who uses her God given gifts for the greater good and that’s probably why she has managed to remain ageless and flawlessly beautiful after all these years.
Check out the selected images below!