Old School 4 Life™‘s Today’s Memory
David Bowie and Iman wedding
Originally shared by Old School 4 Life™
On this day:
At 24th April of 1992, David Bowie married Somali born supermodel and actress Iman in Switzerland. Iman first got married at the age of eighteen to a young Somali man, in 1977, she married American basketball player Spencer Haywood.
David Bowie did it all – he was a legendary singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, painter, and actor. His hits include Let’s Dance, Space Oddity, Starman, Modern Love, Heroes, Under Pressure, Rebel, Rebel and Life on Mars. He was also well known for creating his flamboyant alter ego Ziggy Stardust. One aspect of his life that also saw him stand out was his marriage – this year would’ve marked 24 years that he was married to Somali model Iman Abdulmajid and with whom he has a daughter – Alexandria Jones. A marriage this long is a true rarity in the world of fame.
Sometimes described as “Somalia’s most famous export” Iman was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1955 to decidedly progressive parents. Iman’s father was a diplomat stationed in Tanzania, and under the law he could have had multiple wives, but chose to keep just one. The parents agreed that their daughter should be sent to a private Catholic school for girls, which was considered more progressive than the standard Islamic education available to young females in the 1960s. There, Iman thrived.
She went on to attend the University of Nairobi – where she studied political science – and in the 1970s and 1980s she was one of the most sought-after fashion models. In the 1990s she became a successful business executive with her own line of cosmetics. Iman’s match with Bowie may seem unexpected – but considering her upbringing – the unconventionality of it seemed to match what her parents had hoped for.
They were first introduced properly to each other at a dinner party in Los Angeles held in October 1990 by a mutual friend, Teddy Antolin, who was hairdresser to both. In an interview with the The Independent, Bowie described how it was love at first sight for him when he met Iman, but for Iman it took some time as she wasn’t ready for a relationship yet, especially with an entertainer – but Bowie wooed her. He eventually proposed to Iman under the Pont Neuf bridge, serenading her with his version of Doris Day’s “April In Paris”.
The glamorous couple were married in a civil ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland where Bowie lived at the time. Later, David and Iman would marry in a church service in Italy. Initially, their relationship seemed improbable to many, and it was even suspected to be some sort of publicity stunt, but Iman and David have proved one of the more enduring rock/fashion couplings of the modern age.
Over the years, Iman made several film appearances, but the big screen failed to fully capture her grace and energy. She found a far more worthy outlet for her talents, however, in 1992, when she convinced the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to let her take a documentary film crew to Somalia, which had been ravaged by war, drought, and famine. Iman decided that her status as Somalia’s most famous expatriate could be leveraged to help raise awareness of the tragedy and bring in more international aid.
In 1994, Iman launched her own line of cosmetics for women of color. She had long been frustrated by the paucity of products for black skin. „I would go to cosmetics counters and buy two or three foundations and powders, and then go home and mix them before I came up with something suitable for my undertones,” she said in an interview with Black Enterprise writer Lloyd Gite.
Teaming with Byron Barnes, a onetime makeup artist who had helped create a previous line of cosmetics for women of color, Iman came up with an innovative product line, and packaged it with her own name and very recognizable visage. The Iman Collection was aimed at all women of color — Hispanic, Asian, Native American, as well as black and was sold at J.C. Penney stores across the United States.
After her experience with Somali relief efforts, Iman continued to serve as an activist on several fronts. She became a successful fund-raiser for Marion Wright Edelman’s Children’s Defense Fund, and in 1999 created a lipstick with rapper Missy Elliott called „Misdemeanor”; a portion of the proceeds were donated to Break the Cycle, an organization committed to ending domestic violence. But Iman’s cosmetic venture was so successful that in 2000 she launched a prestige line, „I-Iman,” with a much more daring palette. Sold in Sephora stores, the brand was aimed at women of all colors.
Their marriage has been scandal-free and characterised by an extremely upbeat public profile. It seemed to have been something of a storybook romance.
#Onthisday #90sMemories #Couple