I Am Iman

Rizzoli, 2000

Editor and essayist

Iman’s emergence in 1975 as one of the first black supermodels sparked an upheavel in cultural identity that continues today, and her first book is a gloriously entertaining hybrid essay on the cultural-cum-political power of good looks. 

A quarter century of the most famous photographs by Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel, Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, Scavullo, David Bailey, Nick Knight, and many others are contextualized by well-known essayists, a chorus of celebrity contributions, and Iman’s own take on her much-mythologized career. Dean Kuipers writes and edits essays and interviews by David Bowie, Peter Beard, Isaac Mizrahi, Sandra Bernhard, and Isabella Rossellini, among others. The book’s outrageous pop design – by graphic designers Barnbrook Studios – makes it plain that this is not just one woman’s success story. I Am Iman captures the funny, infuriating, and often absurd validation of black and ethnic looks in a beauty industry where billions of dollars – and the self-image of women everywhere – are on the line.

Peeks behind the curtain and scintillating interviews are courtesy of feminist critic bell hooks, Interview editor Ingrid Sischy, model and manager Bethann Hardison, and such celebrities as Cindy Crawford, Yves St. Laurent, Naomi Campbell, Bruce Weber, Tyra Banks, and many more. With graphic design featuring gatefolds, diecuts, and other interactive elements, as well as specially commissioned, never-before-seen images by Annie Leibowitz, Ellen Von Unwerth, Sante D’Orazio, and Michel Comte, this book is an assemblage worthy of any fashionista’s dream.