Iman isn’t just here to diversify the fashion industry through the Balance Diversity campaign, she’s also here to explain just why Black models are beyond worthy of walking down every single runway.
"Everybody believes that a Caucasian model has an inherent elegance. No. It’s not true,” Iman told V magazine. “Black girls have more inherent elegance and understand the garment and how it should move. That is not taught.”
Iman, who started her career at the age of 20 after she was discovered by an American photographer while she studied at the University of Nairobi, said that her modeling career and ascent to supermodel status greatly helped her family.
“Modeling and the money that it gave me allowed me to make sure all my brothers and sisters could finish school without paying for it. That, to me, is what modeling really meant,” she said.
But she wasn’t going to continue raking in the modeling bucks long past her prime. The Somali beauty is set to celebrate her 60th birthday on July 25 and still takes our breath away, but she suggests leaving the career while you’ve still got It.
“Leave while they want you,” she said. “I called my agency one night and said, ‘This was fun and great but as of tomorrow, I’m no longer working.’ And they laughed. That was in 1989, and I’ve never been back to modeling. That was the last time I went to a fashion show.”
To read her entire interview, click here.
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(Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)