I love serendipitous moments. And NYC always seems to provide its fair share. Imagine you’re at women’s industry event and, on your way towards the ladies room to touch up your makeup, a beautiful brown woman that looks familiar crosses your path. You both smile and share a friendly nod as you walk by. Then 2 seconds later you realize the gorgeous women you just exchanged silent greetings with is one of the most iconic supermodels in the world. The great Iman herself!
While Iman was out of selfie reach by the time I realized it was her, she shared something way more valuable during her candid discussion from the stage that night with InStyle Beauty Director Kahlana Barfield. I sat in awe the entire talk. Not just because at 60 years of age she looks younger than a lot of women half her age. But because she’s truly a brilliant woman.
As a young African refugee that had never seen a fashion magazine or worn makeup, she was discovered while in school studying to one day work in politics. When she started modeling, as one of the only models of color during her time, there was never any makeup foundation behind the scenes of the top fashion runways that would match her skin tone. So she mixed her own color at home and brought it with her in her pocket to apply backstage. When all the other models of color started asking to borrow hers, she realized she was onto something and later started her own beauty line specifically for women of color, IMAN Cosmetics.
Here are a few reminders Iman shared from her own life journey that we should all keep in mind:
- Know your self-worth. Walk away from anything that’s not worthy of you.
- Intelligence is sexy.
- Networking with other women is one of the most valuable things you can do.
- Behind every successful woman there is a tribe of other women holding her up.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You will be surprised how you will be lifted.
- Change is good…even when it freaks you out.
- Being a woman is powerful. We get to look fabulous, while ruling the world!
You can check out the full conversation with Iman and Kahlana Barfield here.