If you pick up this month’s Harper’s Bazaar—the annual “Fabulous at Every Age” issue—you’ll see Jennifer Lopez on the cover, still stunning us with her beauty (and incredible body) at a flawless 48. But inside is a true revelation: Seemingly ageless icon Iman is featured in a multipage spread, interviewed by another age-defying beauty, Taraji P. Henson.
Iman’s career began in 1975 (the same year I was born), when the Somali-born ambassador’s daughter was discovered by photographer Peter Beard while still in university in Nairobi, Kenya. Moving to America to pursue a modeling career, she was an instant success. Forty-three years later, she is a bona fide fashion icon, both in front of the camera and as head of her own cosmetics and fashion lines.
Speaking with Henson, the now 62-year-old supermodel gets candid about aging in the fashion industry and how she’s still fighting for diversity, decades later. Along the way, she drops a few unforgettable gems we could all benefit from.
On Setting Boundaries
“My mom always said, ‘Learn to say no and to walk away from things that don’t serve you.’ ‘No’ is a complete sentence. You don’t have to explain yourself.”
On the Importance of Representation
“Image is so important. People used to say to me, ‘You just want to be invited to the table.’ And I’m like, ‘Fuck the table—I can buy my own table.’ But the young girls who are coming up? They need to see themselves portrayed.”
On Aging Gracefully
“I’ve always lived by the philosophy that in a world full of trends, I want to remain a classic. True style is like a great black-and-white picture: It never looks dated.”
On Putting Our Money Where Our Politics Are
“If a designer boycotts me, I should boycott him. I’m not going to buy a bag from someone who doesn’t use black models. We should celebrate and highlight the people who actually step it up.”
The Glow Up tip: You can read Iman’s interview in its entirety here, or pick up April’s Harper’s Bazaar on newsstands now.