BET to Honor IMAN at 2011 BET Honors Hosted by Gabrielle Union

On January 15th, 2011, BET will honor African model and fashion icon Iman at its 2011 ‘BET Honors’ Awards event in Washington DC. The supermodel will receive an honor for her service and contribution to the fashion industry. The event will be hosted by Actress Gabrielle Union who was also the host at the inaugural event last year.

Other honorees for the evening include the great Cicely Tyson who will receive an honor for Theatrical Arts, Singer/Actor Jamie Foxx (Entertainment Honor) and Linda Johnson Rice/Johnson Publishing who will receive an honor for media. The network will also pay tribute to Herbie Hancock and historian Lonnie G. Bunch. The BET Honors 2011 airs 
on February 21 at 9:00 p.m EST. Be sure to catch it!

Ladybrille Magazine had the privilege of interviewing fashion icon Iman back in September of 2008, a year and two months from our official launch. The fashion icon was kind enough to grant us an interview; albeit it a very straight to the point one due to her very hectic schedule. We were honored! Revisit the republished interview below.

Supermodel IMAN needs no introduction. There’s simply been so much written about her background, model career and marriage to Rock star/Musician David Bowie, repeating it hear would be redundant.

IMAN has managed to brand her image and name as a fashion icon/legend. It is indeed why we chose to make her our feature during this month of the prestigious New York Fashion Week and to aptly title her feature as “I am Iman, Fashion Legend.” We caught up with the extremely busy Supermodel, albeit briefly, while she was in Canada shooting Project Runway Canada, a show she hosts, to gain a little more insight into her world, especially the Africa side of things.

IMAN AS BUSINESS WOMAN You’ve written a successful book, run a successful cosmetic company and recently launched IMAN Global Chic on HSN. What are the three business philosophies you live by that have helped you achieve success?
1) Believe in yourself. 2) Don’t follow trends but follow your heart; and 3) give back to your community and the world at large. When people describe your legacy, what is the one word you want them to affiliate with your name when they describe you?
Classic- it is very important to always stay true to yourself and [the fact that I] created the perfect products IMAN Cosmetics for women with skin of color. I have been enjoying watching you on HSN. I love your Global Chic line. Tell our audience a bit more about your new line?
I designed Global Chic because I believe that the “extras” make an outfit: a cocktail ring, bangle, or bold necklace can completely transform a look. Global Chic is influenced by my travels and sentimental pieces from my husband, David Bowie. Whether you are a business woman, model, mom, or student, Global Chic is affordable and offers chic handbags, jewelry, and fashion accessories for everyday events!

IMAN IS AFRICAN You are the global ambassador for Keep a Child Alive, I am aware you spearheaded the “I am African” Campaign. What does it mean when you say to the world, “I am African?”
The whole human race is from Africa. . . [It means for me] I am proud to be one. I love your activism, especially your strong stance on the need for diversity in the modeling industry. What’s your take on Vogue Italy’s July All Black issue?
I think that Italian Vogue’s All Black issue is very powerful and important to the fashion industry and landscape at the moment. It was an honor to be included with so many great friends and talented professionals: Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Liya Kedebe. I was actually the first to gather African-American models for a photo-shoot with Annie Leibovitz several years ago. It was such a special time to have models from Beverly Johnson to new, fresh faces all together. Family is a big part of the African tradition. What African traditional values did your family instill in you as a child growing up in Somalia and how have they served you as a business woman?
Work hard and you are as good as your brothers.

AFRICA’S FASHION INDUSTRY What’s your take on Africa’s fashion industry and what direction would you like to see the industry take?
I think it is great since it is based mostly on heritage. . . world recognition will be great. You are considered a style icon the world over. What is the best advice when it comes to finding your style sense?
In a world full of trends, remain a classic. One of the biggest needs for women in Africa, fashion wise, is cosmetics. African women have a challenge getting quality cosmetics and skincare products. I know your cosmetic line, Iman Cosmetics, is in South Africa. Do you plan to distribute to the rest of Africa
It is difficult because of price points. The tariffs of [exporting] into most African countries are very high so it escalates the price on the product which then makes [it unaffordable] to a lot of people. . .we are constantly trying to figure out around this. Not to sound patronizing but calling it what it is, you are sexy, fabulous, brilliant, chic and an ageless beauty. How do you stay so relevant and beautiful?
By taking care of myself, like most Africans, and not obsessing with age!

~Interview by Uduak Oduok

Ladybrille Magazine

Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.

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