Supermodel Iman launches Instagram Q&A series

Iman revealed the news in a short clip on her Instagram account. (Instagram)
Updated 29 August 2018
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Supermodel Iman launches Instagram Q&A series

  • Iman has been widely praised for having led the way for the many models of color who have followed in her path
  • As my career progressed, I became the first black model to refuse to work for a lower wage than other girls, says the model

DUBAI: Somali-American supermodel Iman Abdulmajid has launched a new Instagram Q&A series called #DearIman in which she invites her 513,000 followers to ask the legendary fashion star anything and everything.

The series kicked off on Tuesday with an episode on everything beauty-related. Fans had to opportunity to ask the 63-year-old model about her skincare regimen, makeup tips and other secrets to her youthful glow.

She revealed the news in a short clip on her Instagram account, saying the new initiative was “an opportunity for you to ask me any question.”

One of the most iconic supermodels in fashion history, Iman has been widely praised for having led the way for the many models of color who have followed in her path.

In a recent interview with Vogue Arabia, she shared how she was discovered by photographer Peter Beard in Kenya in 1975 and recalls how she fought for equal pay as a model in the US.

“As my career progressed, I became the first black model to refuse to work for a lower wage than other girls. To me, I was providing the same service, so I had to be paid equally.”

Iman also spoke about reconciling her religion with her career.

“It is an oxymoron to have your foot in the modeling business and to call yourself a Muslim, but at the end of the day, you need to look in the mirror and feel good when you ask, am I doing the right thing?”

The icon has an beauty brand to her name, Iman Cosmetics, which she launched in 1994. 

“When you work in the industry, your looks are your currency. If you don’t have a good appearance, you won’t be booked again – and no one will blame the beauty team or the photographer. This made me start experimenting with makeup from an early stage. I would buy any foundation with pigment so I could mix and match,” she told Vogue Arabia earlier this year.

The widow of the late David Bowie has posed for iconic photographers, including Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Helmut Newton.

The supermodel was scouted by photographer Peter Beard while she was a 20-year-old Somali refugee studying in Kenya in 1975. Her family were forced to flee their homeland due to a coup and initially settled in Kenya before traveling the world.


Yousra Elsadig brings her modest style to LFW

An image from the show in London. (Frederico Velez)
Updated 21 February 2019
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Yousra Elsadig brings her modest style to LFW

DUBAI: An independent showcase of emerging designers held during London Fashion Week, Fashion Scout once again lived up to its name — scouting out and presenting talented designers from across the globe from Feb. 15-17.

Arab News went along to a showing by a UK-based designer Yousra Elsadig, whose Boutique De Nana collection paid tribute to her former home country, Sudan.

“I am trying to depict the beauty of my homeland. It’s so heart-breaking to see what’s happening in Sudan. I want to dedicate this collection to my country and to put the focus on freedom, justice and peace,” she said.

Elsadig, who was named “Woman of the Year” by Barclays in 2017 and “Designer of The Year 2016 by the Modest Association of London, designs for women who want to dress modestly, but with imagination and style.

“The modest element is very important to me — women can be beautiful, feminine and modest,” she said.

Her designs have a simplicity, charm and quirkiness that comes partly from the use of recycled fabrics, as sustainability is a key message she wants to get across. 

Elsadig is unusual in combining her designer role with a full-time degree in optometry. In fact, the day before her LFW show, she sat an exam and then drove from her home in Wales to London. 

She is also the mother of two young girls, but if that’s a lot to juggle it doesn’t show. She was a bundle of warmth and energy backstage — calmly briefing the models.

Her family left Sudan when she was very young and she grew up in Canada. Her family then left Canada to live in Wales in the UK.

It was in Cardiff that she met her mentor, designer Sarah Valentin, who was teaching community sewing and textile classes with a special focus on recycling and sustainability. Valentin said she is thrilled to see Elsadig achieving such success.

“I saw her potential and creative ideas. It’s incredible that she is showing here at London Fashion Week.  I’m so proud of her,” she said.

As the models moved gracefully through the room, the clothes gave off a sense of confident, graceful and highly individual style — perfect for the modern, modest woman of today.