Now & Then Super Models
CHANEL IMAN Age: 18. Has walked the runways for Marc Jacobs and John Galliano and appeared on the cover of Vogue.
IMAN Age: 54. Was a muse to Yves Saint Laurent; CEO of her own cosmetics company.
So set the record straight, because a lot of people think you’re related!
IMAN: I was at an event, and Women’s Wear Daily said I was out with my daughter Chanel. They should know better—they’ve been covering me for 30 years!
CHANEL IMAN: [Her given name is Chanel Iman Robinson.] This is not my mother!
Clearly it’s because of the similarity of your names.
CHANEL IMAN: My mom was a clothing designer, and she loved Iman. When I was young, she pointed to a photo of her and said she was a supermodel. Ever since, I had her picture on my wall.
IMAN: I couldn’t be more proud of her. It’s nice to see such a well-rounded, intelligent young girl.
How do you think modeling has changed in the last 35 years?
IMAN: In my generation, everybody was different: Naomi, Linda, Cindy. Everyone had a different body. There was no one way to walk.
CHANEL IMAN: Now everyone has to walk the same way on the runway; no smile, no nothing. I got in trouble for winking at the audience.
Iman, did the models of your era get along?
IMAN: Absolutely. That’s what gave us strength! Everybody would know Naomi [Campbell] would show up an hour late, but come on: When she got there, she delivered. No one was going to throw her under the bus.
CHANEL IMAN: Now everyone is off doing their own thing. We should be more of a team.
IMAN: Of course, if you want to see insecurities, put a bunch of extraordinary-looking women next to each other. You think, “Oh my God, how am I going to do this?”
CHANEL IMAN: That’s true.
IMAN: You just take a deep breath and tell yourself, “I’m beautiful too!”