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Kristin Booker • July 17, 2009

Daily Style Icon: Iman

For this week on Fashion.Style.Beauty, I wanted to pay homage to style icons that had a direct impact on me as a woman of color. We end the week with today’s icon: Iman.

Iman is one of the greatest supermodels of color of all time. First recruited as a model by American photographer Peter Beard in 1975, she relocated to the United States and landed her first modeling assignment for American Vogue in 1976. My favorite story about Iman is when she auditioned for the late great American designer, Halston. When presented to him in his showroom, he said, “Darling, can you walk?” Insulted, she replied, “Of course I can walk! How the Hell do you think I got here?!?”

She was beloved by late fashion great Yves Saint-Laurent, who reportedly said, “My dream woman is Iman.” She moved on to appear in movies, television and in 2007 started her own cosmetics collection for women of color, I-Iman. Following the long tradition of models marrying rock stars, she married another FSB Daily Style Icon, David Bowie, in 1992.

When I think of Iman, I always think of her in beautifully draped Halston-like creations. I’ll probably pull out my own Iman moment the next time I have an evening activity with this A.B.S. Black Matte Jersey Halter Dress ($162). Jeweled strappy sandals, hair pulled back and long stiletto earrings should make the look complete.

When it comes to learning to love yourself and demanding that the industries that serve you must meet your needs, not that you must theirs, I think of Iman forging a path for women of color and get just a little more aggressive. Iman, thank you for always remaining an icon of strength, sheer glamour, intelligence, exceptional class and beauty.

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