Forever fabulous supermodel Iman was honored at the Venice Film Festival with the Franca Sozzani Award last night, which recognizes women within the fashion world who have also pioneered humanitarian causes. Staged at the Cipriano Hotel, it was an incredibly glamorous event and, as Vogue succinctly put it, “as the central honoree, Iman didn’t disappoint.”
Below, two of her jawdroppingly chic Valentino couture looks…
Come on, feather cape fantasy!
Of course, as the award indicates, Iman is much more than just a pretty face who can wear clothes well.
Supermodels come and go, but nobody does it like Iman. The Somali-American model’s extraordinary career has spanned decades and continents: from being scouted as a political science student at the University of Nairobi, to working as a muse to some of the world’s most influential designers. The legendary model walked the historic 1973 Battle of Versailles show, was described by Yves Saint-Laurent as his “dream woman”, and even wore Hervé Leger to marry David Bowie in 1992, at what could easily be described as the coolest wedding ever.
But that’s only half the story: raised during a period of political turmoil in her home country of Somalia, the supermodel has championed social causes from the very beginning of her career. Across the years, she has involved herself with various civil rights organisations, including The Children’s Defense Fund, Action Against Hunger and Raise Hope For Congo; was a key part of a global campaign to end the trade of blood diamonds, memorably cutting ties with De Beers over a conflict of ethics; and notably launched a cosmetics line in 1994 specifically catering to women of color, a galling vacuum within the beauty industry that has only been more fully addressed very recently.
What a woman! What an icon! What a wonderful person!