I AM IMAN
I Am Iman (Rizzoli 2000) is an autobiographical sketchbook of her career that questions the unserious business of fashion and beauty and its serious effect on identity.
Iman’s emergence in 1975 sparked an upheavel in cultural identity that continues today, and her first book is a gloriously entertaining hybrid essay on the cultural-cum-political power of good looks.
A quarter century of the most famous photographs by Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel, Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, Scavullo, David Bailey, Nick Knight, and many others are contextualized by well-known essayists, a chorus of celebrity contributions, and Iman’s own take on her much-mytholigized career. The book’s outrageous pop design - by graphic designers Barnbrook Studios - makes it plain that this is not just one woman’s success story. I Am Iman captures the funny, infuriating, and often absurd validation of black and ethnic looks in a beauty industry where billions of dollars - and the self-image of women everywhere - are on the line.
Peeks behind the curtain and scintillating interviews are courtesy of feminist critic bell hooks, Interview editor Ingrid Sischy, model and manager Bathann Hardison, and such celebrities as Cindy Crawford, Yves St. Laurent, Naomi Campbell, Bruce Weber, Tyra Banks, and many more. With graphid design featuring gatefolds, diecuts, and other interactive elements, as well as specially commissioned, never-before-seen images by Annie Leibowitz, Ellen Von Unwerth, Sante D’Orazio, and Michel Comte, this book is an assmblage worthy of any fashionista’s dream.
“I met and fell in love with Iman in Los Angeles on October the fourteenth, nineteenth ninety. Moments after we started dating, the press broke “the story” of our relationship. This opened up a strange spin for us both and particularly for me personally.”
- David Bowie
“Arriving in 1975 in the wake of the Black Power movement and feminist struggle, she was offered up as a living testimony of the doubting white world - to prove that Black was not only Beautiful, but that black bodies could naturally embody the same characteristics commonly used by a white aesthetic to deny black females their place among the beautiful.”
- Bell Hooks