Iman, the daughter of an African diplomat, was born in Somalia. She was raised speaking five languages, and was studying political science at the University of Nairobi when she was discovered by photographer Peter Beard, who arranged for her to seek a modeling career in the United States. She quickly became the most successful black model and an international star on runways and in magazines. Iman remained at the top of her field for fourteen years, appearing in countless publications and advertising campaigns. In 1994 she started Iman Cosmetics for skin of color and in 2000 launched a second line, I-Iman Makeup. She is the author of I Am Iman, an autobiographical sketchbook of her working life. The mother of two daughters, she is married to musician/actor David Bowie.