She gets it from her mama—and daddy!
Ageless supermodel Iman shared a rare photo of her and David Bowie's daughter, Alexandria "Lexi" Jones, to mark the stunning teen's 17th birthday on Thursday.
"The Queen of my heart Lexi Jones at 17 years old!" Iman, 62, captioned the selfie, adding in the hashtags #selfportrait and #LexiLove for good measure. Lexi, the couple's only biological child, poses expertly for the camera in the snap that shows off her septum piercing, ruby red locks, and a smattering of sun-kissed freckles.
Bowie and Iman wed in April 1992 in a private ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland, and enjoyed a lavish second wedding in Florence that June. They were married for 24 years when Bowie died following an 18-month battle with liver cancer in January 2016. The "Starman" singer has one other child, 44-year-old Duncan Jones from a previous marriage, as does Iman, who shares 38-year-old Zulekha Haywood with her ex-husband, Spencer Haywood.
RELATED: Happy 62nd Birthday, Iman! Look Back on Her Sweetest Moments with the Late David Bowie
Happy birthday, Lexi!
[SOUND] [BLANK_AUDIO] [SOUND] So, I have the pleasure of speaking with someone who's been a complete role model in my life, and I'm going to share her with you. So, just a little bit of background on Iman. She was born in Somalia. Iman was discovered by legendary photographer Peter Beard while studying political science at Nairobi University. During her 14 years as a model in Muse, she challenged the prevailing notions of beauty. In 1994 she launched Iman Cosmetics which I have decked out on my face. [LAUGH] [APPLAUSE] Skin care and fragrances. The first cosmetic and skin care collection designed specifically for all women with skin of color. In addition to being a CEO, author, designer of fashion, jewelry, fabrics, and home decor, Iman is actively involved in several charities. And I have to say, just like a personal story with me. I've, I've been at In Style for ten years. I'm aging myself, but [LAUGH] I have been there for ten years. And, as a beauty editor, I started as a young girl And I remember, you know we meet with all the various skin care, fragrance, cosmetic companies. And I had a meeting with Iman Cosmetics to see the new selection. And I had been dealing with the PR company that handles PR for Iman Cosmetics and the day that I was meeting with them. I get a phone call from reception and I'm thinking the two PR girls are gonna come up and show me the new collection and I open the door, and Iman is there. And I was like, Oh my God. She is so beautiful and I was so, just floored that she actually was coming to my office. And you know, she took me through the new collection. And as a woman of color, meeting with so many beauty companies, I have to say there were so many times that I had tried makeup or sitting with executives and there was nothing to match my skin. So to be able to sit with Iman and talk about makeup that was specifically for women of color and have products that suit my skin just meant the world to me And although I thought of her, as for me, someone who wanted to get in journalism since I was a teenager, and read fashion magazines. Iman was a person when I turned in magazines, she was the person that I saw grace the covers and advertising pages, and I identified myself with. So when I met with her, not only was I just so happy to be able to speak and to be able to test products that worked for me, but also to find out that not only was she beautiful on the outside, which we all know, she was so, so, so nice to me, and just Completely warm and loving. And like we say, beauty is confidence, but so much of Iman's beauty is really on the inside. We know she has the exterior, but on the inside she's even more beautiful, and she has become just a muse to me. She has been somebody who I just look up to and such A great role model in my life and so, without further ado I would like to introduce Iman! [MUSIC] Have a seat. [MUSIC] So we are gonna talk, and I'm just gonna ask her some questions, and things that I'm sure all of us will want to know. So Iman, the girl's lounge mission is confidence is beautiful. How do you marry inner and outer beauty to feel your most confident? Because for me, like I said, you are so beautiful on the outside but you are even more beautiful on the inside. So I would love to know how you marry the two? Well, when I was a young girl in In Africa I really suffered bouts of low self-esteem. Mm-hm. But one thing I knew I was very very good at. I was very good in academics. So I've learned. Very early on that, although I didn't think of myself beautiful, and by the way, none of my people in my country thought of me beautiful at all. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] That is so hard to believe. Well because [UNKNOWN] are known for their beauties. So- Yes. So I really relied upon what my strengths were, rather than just look at what I thought what my weaknesses, or what I wasn't good at. So academics was very good. So I always tell young girls, I have a 15 year old daughter. And I have a 37 year old daughter. But the 15 year old daughter thinks that I always had this self-confidence that I have. x At the age of 60. Cuz I just turned 60 in July. [APPLAUSE] [LAUGH] But I tried to explain to her that what she's going through, the low self esteem as a teenager, is that is a rite of passage. But that she should not give away, and recognise what she's good at. I always say intelligence is sexy. Yes. Don't play dumb. And let them see that your intelligent. [APPLAUSE] Yeah. You know. And the other thing is self-worth. That's something my mother instilled in me very young, to know my self-worth. And I've had times again and again in fashion industry when all that was tested and I rose to the occasion because I was told I am worthy. And I understand my worth and I should be able To walk away from something that's not worthy of me. Totally. Yeah. I love that answer. So, what challenges have you encountered over your long and successful career, and how have you overcome them to be your best self? What I've, I came to the UNited States in 1975. Needless to say, the story goes, I was discovered. And I always say, I wasn't lost. [LAUGH] To be discovered. But I've never seen fashion magazines in my life, I've never worn heels in my life. I've never worn make up in my life. So I had no concept of that. I was majoring in political science. And I was a refugee. Mm-hm. My father was an ambassador so in my early years I was an ambassador's daughter, chauffeur-driven cars and all that. And then overnight we were all sent back to my country and literally one night we crossed the border to Kenya and became refugees. So I always say you know when people wonder what does a refuge mean, well I am the face of refugee. But what. [APPLAUSE] So the most important part of a lesson for me from that experience Was that I am not what my condition is. I was an ambassador's daughter, and then all of a sudden, I was foreign, I was a refugee. But that's not what defines me. What defines me, and what I wanted to do, is that I wanted to finish my schooling and work in politics And thank God I didn't. [LAUGH] Because I detest politics now. So for me, when this photographer stopped me in the street, I was waitressing, I was, I speak five languages, so I was doing work at the Ministry of Tourism, by translating brochures for tourists. So I had two, three jobs while I was attending because I had to pay for my tuition. And so he stopped me in the street and asked me, have you ever been photographed? And I thought, oh God, there goes white people, they all think Africans, we've never seen a camera in our life. [LAUGH] And then he said [LAUGH] And I didn't answer. I didn't even answer. So he said no, I'm serious, and I said I said yeah, and he said who. I said, my parents. And he said no, I mean professionally. And I remember- I have two brothers. I remember them hiding their Playboy magazines. [LAUGH] I was like I'm not that kind of a girl. He said no no no. I want to take head shots of you. And he kept on talking, you could be a model. I had no concept of what he was talking about. And then he said the magic words, I'll pay you. [LAUGH]. And I said how much. And he said well, how much do you want. And I said 8,000 dollars. That was the tuition fee for the year. Mm. And he said OK. And you said OK. And I said OK [LAUGH]. I took a girlfriend of mine to the shoot. I thought that was it. He paid for the tuition. I thought that was the end of that. And he showed the pictures to Wilhelmina Agency, and then all of a sudden [UNKNOWN] was looking for me. I didn't have a phone. I was staying in campus, so there was no way to contact me, so he called a girlfriend at mine that worked at Pan Am, that's how long ago it was. [LAUGH] So he told her, tell [UNKNOWN] to come to your office and so on. So I got on the phone And she's telling me you could make up to $250,000. Come to New York, we send you a ticket. And all I could ask was fora return ticket. Because I really wanted to come to the United States and be stuck here and not away, go back home. And that was 1975 and I've been here since then. But [LAUGH] [APPLAUSE] But literally, on my third day in New York, was I had a job with American Bulk. And I walked into the studio and there was a white model and I. And the makeup artist asked me a perplexing question, and he said, did you bring your own [UNKNOWN] Now, I had no idea what he was talking about. I've never worn makeup, and I said no. And I say perplexing, because it was evident to me that he didn't ask that question to the other model, so I didn't understand what was going on, So he preceded to mix something and put on my face, and when I looked at myself in the mirror, I looked, I looked great. And I thought of maybe the magic of the camera will alter them show my brown skin. And somehow the God's of beauty and fashion were on my side because the pictures were all black and white. [LAUGH] And black and white pictures hide multitude of sins. [LAUGH] So, but it wasn't lost on me. I went, and this is mind you, I was 18 years old. Never seen fashion magazines. Never worn make up in my life. But I walked, went to every store I could that, including Woolworth. That's how long ago it was. [LAUGH] And bought every foundation that had any pigment closer to mine. And I went home and I mixed and matched, and I would put on. And the first selfies with the old Polaroid camera, I would take it and to look at it. And the reason why I was doing that was that I wanted to see how I would look in pictures. Cuz you have to understand as a model Mu image is my currency. And I wanted to have some kind of a control of the images that they'll portray out there of me. I wanted some kind of a control of me. I didn't wanna lose all my control. And so that's where I understood the politics of beauty and how it works in our industry, and And then on top of that black models were being paid less than white models at that time and I refused to take any jobs till I was paid the same amount. And so it was through that, it was through [APPLAUSE] [APPLAUSE] It was through standing on my ground, knowing my worth and always learning to say no. And walk away. Yeah. Yeah, that was the key and that's what I instill in my daughter, one word. No is a full sentence. You don't have to explain yourself. Mm-hm. If it's not right for you, walk away. [APPLAUSE] Absolutely, and now obviously you're CEO of Imon Cosmetics. Did you know back then when there weren't, when you couldn't find that makeup to match you skin that you eventually would want to start your own cosmetic company that would cater to women of color? No, but what happened was that I would go to fashion shows, but I always had My beige or foundation in my pocket. and it just happened that all the models would come to ask me, can I use what you are using? And I was a top model for so many years that, years go by, but when i decided that I was gonna stop modeling to really To think about what would be my second act, my third act in life. And that's the other thing I want to really share with you. Take it from a sixty-year-old woman, change is good. Change is god, yes. [APPLAUSE] Change is good! Don't be afraid of change. Because sometimes that is what will guide you to what your identity is, that's what will guide you to what your destiny is, that's what will guide you what your bliss is. So, you know, be open to change. Don't be afraid of it. So when I was, when I stopped modeling that was one of the first things that regular women would ask me all the time. They thought that I was privileged maybe to some makeup that they cannot buy, but that magically would look good on them. And so I though Oh, wait a minute. Well, I know exactly, because I am that woman. Mm-hm. And if I can't find it, why don't I create it. Mm-hm. And at that time, when I was creating in my cosmetics, I really want to create a line for black Black women. Because I thought the environment itself was changing. We were watching what hip-hop was doing to music, and how the whole world, all of a sudden from Timbuktu to Tokyo, they were all listening to the same music. They were all dressing to the same The same way and I knew that there was a new language in beauty needing to be created. Absolutely. Because you know nobody says, people were still using ethnic. They still use it. I don't even know what ethnic means, you know? Mm-hm. It's like they used to say Orientals. I'm like, Oriental is a rug. It's not a person. You know what I mean? So I mean, I was interested in the diversity, what makes us as women with skin of color, what actually unifies us. Because Spanish women go as dark as I am, and blonde and blue eyes. Or they would go, I mean if you talk about Asians, everybody thinks about Asian women are just Japanese. But Filipino and Thai, they look as dark as I am. [APPLAUSE] I wanted to unify so I was more interested in this creating a new language for a new group of people and how we think about ourselves. We are not a category. We're not ethnic, we're not a category. That what every woman I find in my life being in the beauty industry, regardless, you have age, hair color, hair status. We all want to look fabulous while we rule the world. Yeah. [LAUGH] [APPLAUSE] That's it, it's simple as that. Yeah. [APPLAUSE] Love that. Okay. As a successful woman in the spotlight how do you help empower other women? How do you maintain a healthy balance in your life? I've always said especially to women network with other women. Behind every successful woman You know there is a tribe of women who are holding her back. Yes. [APPLAUSE] It's really important. When I started, I've asked for help and you will not believe it, from Rosemary [UNKNOWN], who re-invented, she used to be at Saks, but re-invented Burberry from down and brought it to what it is. From women who were CEOs at Este' Lauder. All I needed was, and all they needed is was for me to ask for help. Don't be afraid of asking for help, and you will be amazed how you will be lifted. So, that's one thing, definitely, you know? No man is an island. We can't do it all on our own. And balance is key. I always say to my young girlfriends, in their 30s, 20s, I say nobody should pressure you to get married, to settle down, to have children, because a woman really cannot do everything Properly, all at the same time. So you choose in your tempters is your career is important to you, let it be your career. Let everything else take second place, yeah, you know? And Thirties so you know, what ever it is, at the end of the day, we re not defined because we because we become mothers or housewives or things like that you know? We are We are enough. We are our own. Woo! [APPLAUSE] Okay. So lastly, you just celebrated a big birthday. The big six oh! The big six oh! [APPLAUSE] [LAUGH] And. Anyone who's on Instagram, Twitter, hashtag Iman 60 was trending around her birthday time. Knowing what you know now, how would you inspire your younger self. Oh, for one thing, the self-esteem issue, I would say. Snap out of it. [LAUGH] You know, beauty is overrated. It really is. I've seen beautiful, ugly people. [LAUGH] Trust me. No, really define yourself with something that it's concrete. Really, that it is about you. And to me I go back to the self worth, self worth, self worth. Well, thank you so much Iman, we're so happy to have you here and [APPLAUSE] Now let's have a party right? Yeah. [APPLAUSE] Thank you so much. Thank you. [MUSIC] [APPLAUSE]