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.


Trash to treasure, Mariska Nell shows off at Dubai Design Week

The artist uses used Nespresso pods in her art.
Updated 15 November 2018
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Trash to treasure, Mariska Nell shows off at Dubai Design Week

  • Mariska didn’t focus only on creating art, but on educating people as well, on the sustainability aspect of turning trash to treasure

DUBAI: An interior designer from South Africa, Mariska Nell, has introduced her own style of art at this year’s Dubai Design Week, which will run from Nov. 13 to 17 in the Design District.
As an artist and environmentalist, she shared with Arab News her passion for creating art out of waste.
“It started at a really young age, when I spent time at my mother’s studio making arts and crafts from anything that I found around me,” she said.
The inspiration that kick-started Mariska’s trash-to-treasure career in Dubai were the Nespresso coffee capsules that she found too beautiful to throw away.
“Once you find something to create out of waste material and single-use items, you are giving things a second chance at life,” she said.
The artist then started collecting all the capsules she could get her hands on.
“I needed to purchase a lamp for my living room and the idea to create a lamp out of these pods came to life,” she said, introducing her first official art piece that was made out of 913 capsules.
This lamp will be part of her “Coffee Addiction” collection which is included in her exhibit “A Million Bottles Per Minute” at the design festival.
“Why would I want to paint a whole canvas if I can go for a different medium? This led me to experiment and incorporate trash with other forms of art, creating a whole new medium,” she said, talking about the ideas behind the pieces to be showcased at the exhibit.
As a South African living in Dubai, Mariska shared her opinion of art in the Arab world. “I’m excited about it ... There are so many unique elements like the history and calligraphy that makes art in the Arab world really stand out.”
Mariska didn’t focus only on creating art, but on educating people as well, on the sustainability aspect of turning trash to treasure.
“Just pick something that is easy to give up, whether it’s a water bottle that you would replace with a water filtering system in your house, and go from there,” she said, explaining how she started a zero-waste initiative in her home.
“I know that what I’m doing is a drop in the ocean, but hopefully with more people being educated about this concept, we can create a ripple of change.”

The artist's works for Dubai Design Week will also be showcased at the Rove Downtown's Sustainability Corner from November 13 to 16.