ABU 4: GRILLED BY IMAN
A Somalian beauty, model and humanitarian, Iman was amongst the first models to be known by first-name alone. Breaking it big in the 70s, Iman was booked by all the big designers and photographers for her noble features and elegant grace. Marrying David Bowie in 1992, Iman has since worked for many charities and has a strong e-commerce presence on the net. She launched her new venture www.destinationiman.com at The Electric Room, NYC this week and Mike Abu stopped by to say hello…
Iman: Who are you?
Mike Abu: My name’s Mike Abu, um–
Iman: I know, but who are you?
MA: Oh, I work with Milk Studios. I’m here writing for their online editorial Milk Made.
**Iman: Are you? [laughs]
MA: Yeah, I just got asked if I could stop by…
Iman: Oh, thank you!
MA: I’ve got a couple quick questions—
Iman: Look at him! [she says laughing, pointing towards a photographer. We pose.] I’m bossy all the time. Okay tell me…
MA: I’ll be quick. What’s your motivation behind this website?
Iman: I have five brands, and I’ve only had a website for my cosmetics. I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll have a website for all my brands,” and then I thought, ‘Oh God, it’s boring me.’
Iman: So I thought, ‘I’m 57, I’ve been in the business for 35 years, maybe I know a thing or two. I’ll write my point of view.’ So, I thought, ‘I’ll do it.’
MA: You’re doing writing on it as well?
Iman: I write everything.
Iman: I’m a staff of one. I have to hire people because I can’t do it anymore.
MA: Are there any products you’ve stumbled upon that you’re really excited to sell?
Iman: Yeah, well, I’m 57. It’s not like I’ve ever lied about my age, but I thought it was time for me to suck it up and own it. I see a lot of Americans have this obsession about comfort, and they say age gracefully. To me, aging gracefully is giving up. I say age chicly. So I thought, pull yourself together woman. I was like, what is this comfort? Why do you have to be comfortable all the time? Comfort is when your lying in bed or going to the gym. So that’s where it came from. And I called Arianna Huffington and sent her the blog. She literally called me within a second and said, “We need to have this posted monthly.” So now it’s gonna be done for them.
Iman: It’s about the personal, you know? But now I have to hire somebody. A staff of one? I can’t do it, it’s crazy!
MA: If you need a writer, I’m here for you.
Iman: I actually do.
Iman: Dana? Contact. She’s running the site.
MA: I’ll give her my card. Now this is the most important question, okay? You’ve been in fashion for 35 years. Alright, cool. Do I need to do something about my hair?
Iman: No. Absolutely not.
MA: Okay, thank God.
Iman: It’s natural, right? You didn’t do anything to it?
Iman: Don’t touch it. [laughs]
Photography by Andrew Boyle