Iman: “Everyone Thought I Was a Royal”

Model Iman Abdulmajid, one of the stars of W’s October 2015 issue, talks about being a muse to fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, her first meeting with legendary editor Diana Vreeland, and more in a short video interview with W’s Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg.

Released on 9/9/2015

Credits

Starring: Iman

Transcript

00:04
When I came to the United States,
00:05
everybody thought I was a royalty.
00:07
They said, you know, she's a princess and all that.
00:10
And I remember meeting Diana Vreeland on my second day,
00:13
and she was like now that is a neck,
00:16
and I was like she's crazy.
00:17
And then she said about my ear lobes.
00:20
I've never seen such, you know, small earlobes.
00:23
Those are the sign of royalty.
00:25
So that stuck with me.
00:27
I actually have trouble putting on earrings,
00:30
but royalty, earrings, royalty, earrings.
00:33
I'll go with the royalty.
00:34
Yves Saint Laurent asked me to be his muse one season.
00:37
It was a couture season.
00:38
My God, this is an opportunity to work with a master,
00:41
and I immediately said yes to it
00:43
without understanding what it entailed.
00:45
I get there, and they gave me a white lab coat.
00:50
Silky pantyhose with a seam at the back,
00:53
a black stiletto, underwear off, bra off,
00:57
put the coat on and wait.
00:59
And waited, waited, waited, and then all of a sudden,
01:01
I was ushered in into his studio.
01:04
And I was standing 12 hours a day.
01:07
It was the most difficult job I've ever done,
01:09
but what I've experienced was something
01:10
I've never experienced in the fashion industry,
01:13
which was fabrics from bolts of fabric
01:16
being created around my body and cut on my body
01:19
to create this couture collection.
01:21
When he finished the collection,
01:23
he called it the African Queen.
01:25
It was just brilliant.