“Bowie is just a persona,” she explained. “He’s a singer, an entertainer. David Jones is a man I met.”
Indeed, they managed to live – and treasure – a normal life together, despite the megafame that came with being the ultimate global trailblazers in their respective fields.
PEOPLE visited their New York City apartment in 2005, and found the family – with then-5-year-old daughter Lexi – to be the image of domesticity.
“We are very normal,” Iman said, explaining that she cooked dinner for her husband every night, that she took Lexi to music and dance lessons, and that Bowie and Lexi would play music together all the time.
Of his entrepreneur wife, Bowie told PEOPLE at the time: “She’s uncanny at keeping the business at her office and the woman at home. But she’s a mom 24/7.”
Not that Iman – whose full name is Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid – was even looking for love when she first met her future husband in 1990. (They would marry – both for the second time – two years later in a private ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland.)
“I was not ready for a relationship,” Iman told the Guardian. “Definitely I didn’t want to get into a relationship with somebody like him.”
But the attraction was instant and undeniable. Weeks before their 1992 wedding, Bowie gushed to PEOPLE about the “overwhelming beauty” of his bride-to-be, describing her as “a smoky blend of Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn.”
Iman, too, was smitten. She had already honored her fiancé by having a Bowie knife tattooed on her right ankle. “My life is good,” she told PEOPLE.
Some two decades later, in 2010, Iman described their relationship to Harper’s Bazaar as utterly complementary, and said their romance was as passionate as ever.
“David doesn’t fight,” she said. “He is English, so he just stays quiet. I’m the screamer. Then he always makes me laugh. It’s like cabaret. I keep him entertained, too. I still fancy him – totally! – after all these years.”
She added: “My father taught me how to be a parent and gave me a positive connection with men because he is a gentleman. And that is what attracted me to David. He is a gentle soul.”
As as Bowie told PEOPLE in 2005, the couple had no problem keeping their romance alive. “Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation generally does the trick!” he said.