All Articles Tagged "iman"
Welcome to the “Work It!” column, where we take a look at business innovation of every kind.
Sometimes being an innovator is as easy as paying attention to what others ignore. Iman is best known for serving fierceness. She blazed runways and magazines during the 70’s and 80’s. She was a muse to Saint-Laurent, Valentino, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and Versace. She’s David Bowie’s wife! As if all that fabulousness wasn’t enough, you have to give her props for being an innovative businesswoman as well.
If you’ve walked through a department store or picked up a magazine for black women, you know about Iman Cosmetics. But you may not realize how the brand has made history. There was a time when being a supermodel wasn’t enough for a black woman to find foundation in her color.
Iman still remembers make-up artists asking her if she brought her own foundation when she showed up for shoots, and the grey shade her face took on when those same artists mixed concoctions to make due.
Where There’s A Need, There’s A Check
In 1994, after she retired from ripping the runway, Iman founded Iman Cosmetics. From the start, Iman was confident in her venture because she knew there was a need for her product. Women constantly approached her on the street asking what products she used, and where they could buy them. Her products, sold on the Web and in chain stores, do about $25 to $30 million a year.
Iman’s business strategy is still effective today. In every industry and area of interest there is bound to be a group that is underserved. Being the first to cater to their needs will inspire unparalleled brand loyalty.
I was admittedly comfortable with Iman Cosmetics being identified as a beauty brand that filled the gap for black women because it was deeply personal for me. It was more than foundations and powders; it was appealing to a deep psychological need that I think all black women needed at that time: to be told that they were beautiful, invited to sit at the cool table and courted in high style.
Serve, Don’t Pander And Never Abandon
The main pitfall with this strategy is alienating your intended audience by stereotyping them. As Iman says, “Multicultural markets are nuanced, but not alien.” Know your audience and their culture, but don’t pander in a way that be can perceived as offensive. Show your allegiance with subtle nods to social cues that someone not part of that group would miss.
This innovation strategy isn’t limited by race. Any trait that makes a person unique can be translated into a business’s differentiator. Appealing to a niche market is a great way to build up to serving a larger market. Iman Cosmetics slowly shifted to a more holistic vision that served women of all skin tones. That doesn’t mean when you get on leave your base for the mainstream. Never forget the customers that supported you first.
C. Cleveland is a freelance writer and content strategist in New York City, perfecting living the fierce life at The Red Read. She is at your service on Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
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October is a month filled with many things to look forward to. Some anticipate weather fit for drinking those newly-returned pumpkin spice lattes. Others have already begun to prepare their Halloween costumes (Animal ears and leggings worn as pants? Check!). But for 1 out of 8 women, it’s a month dedicated to awareness of a disease they presently possess, or, if they’re lucky, have beaten. That’s right, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is upon us and it’s time to think pink and positive!
Remember, little things can make a big difference! We’ve rounded up ten spectacular products by brands that are keen on supporting the search for a cure and a woman’s right to pamper herself. Keep one of these feminine luxuries for your personal beauty bag or raise a loved one’s spirits by presenting one as a gift. On a lighter note, think of it this way: “Finally! A guilt-free version of retail therapy.” View the slideshow to shop for the cause…
Not everyone ages gracefully and there are some people you can look at and know their age right off the bat. Thankfully, whether it’s good genes or something else, there are celebs who do not show their age at all. Here are 15 black female stars who look much younger than their true age.
Mom, actress, and model Halle Berry looks amazing at the age of 46.
Tags:Angela Bassett, black celebs over 40, black don't crack, celebs aging gracefully, celebs who look younger than they are, halle berry, iman, Jada Pinkett Smith, michelle obama, Nia Long, Queen Latifah, regina hall, robin givens, Stacey Dash, Tamara Taylor, taraji henson, Tracey Edmonds, Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox
Although the fashion industry continues to be dominated by Anglo-Saxon ideals of beauty, these seven black fashionistas turned the industry on its head. Displaying the splendor of diversity in color and size, they broke racial barriers and used their modeling and fashion platforms to pursue other business opportunities, support their favorite causes and open the world’s eyes to the beauty of black women.
Donyale Luna was the first black cover girl. Born Peggy Ann Freeman in 1945, this Detroit native enjoyed success in front of both still and motion cameras. In 1965, her sketch was featured on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. The following year, Luna became the first black model to be featured on the cover of Vogue; it was the British version of the magazine.
The New York Times proclaimed 1966 “The Luna Year” and stated that at the age of 20, she was the hottest model in Europe. She appeared in several Andy Warhol movies, starred in an Otto Preminger movie alongside Groucho Marx, and was the title character in Salome, an Italian movie made in 1972. The Sunday Times Magazine of London, described Luna as “the completely new image of the Negro woman. Fashion finds itself in an instrumental position for changing history, however slightly, for it is about to bring out into the open the veneration, the adoration, the idolization of the Negro.”
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the divorce of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise has saturated the media. The gossip fiends are getting their lives with the break up but some couples under the same Hollywood glare are still going strong. Denzel and Paulette Washington, Will and Jada Smith, Jay Z and Beyoncé are just some of those standard bearers.
The following couples have also gotten stronger with time…
We showed you the Nigerians, the Jamaicans, The Canadians, The Black Brits and now it’s time for those from the Horn of Africa to shine. For those of you who don’t know, the Horn is comprised of East African countries like Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. And although they belong to the same region, these countries (like those in the rest of Africa) boast a myriad of languages, customs, and histories.
Unless you live in Washington DC or Minneapolis, you may not be familiar with many people from the region but best believe, they do represent stateside despite the fact that they don’t have a heavy presence in Hollywood. And although they don’t hail Haile Sellasie, these following 7 celebs are all working the entertainment circuit as models, chefs, musicians and even video vixens. You may be suprised by a few…
Even if you don’t know her name, you surely have seen Liya Kebede’s face and body behind some of the most lucrative fashion and beauty brands of our time. Open any magazine and you’ll see the Ethiopian-born beauty modeling H&M, J.Crew, and Estee Lauder (as its official spokeswoman). But like many of her supermodel colleagues, the mother of two hasn’t stopped at just modeling. She also has an Ethiopian-inspired fashion line, has delved into acting, and launched her own philanthropic organization to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality.
Some say ‘black don’t crack’; and while this may or may not be true, it’s certainly evident that there is an abundance of black women who have managed to age beautifully and gracefully. These women, most of them without plastic surgery, have managed to sustain their youthful beauty. And besides the physical, they possess a glow that appears to shine from the inside and out.
These women are subtly fierce and demonstrate poise and grace. From the start of their careers as young girls to now seasoned women, these ladies, just like wine, seem to get better with time.
How did two of the prettiest people on earth manage to keep their marriage going for twenty years? We don’t know but more celebrity couples need to obviously consult with this very dynamic duo. Iman and David Bowie recently celebrated 20 years of marriage, and even longer in courtship. They met in 1990 on a blind date (how does that even happen?) and haven’t looked back since.
The couple have one daughter between them, 12 year old Alexandria Zahra; Iman has a daughter from a previous relationship, 34 year old Zulekha Haywood, and David Bowie has a son from a previous marriage named Zowie Bowie (isn’t that name just whimsical?).
In all their years of matrimony, we haven’t really heard much in the way of negative rumors surrounding their marriage. When Iman gets a break from her cosmetics business, maybe she can write a how-to book on how to keep a relationship thriving under the celebrity spotlight.
Congrats to the happy couple on reaching such a happy milestone. Check out this pic that Iman tweeted of her and her hubby back in the day.
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by R. Asmerom
When Iman spun her brand to back a make up line for women of color in 1994, the market reacted favorably. Just two years after launching Iman Cosmetics at J.C. Penney, the company registered sales of $25 million and went on to sign a deal with Proctor & Gamble to distribute her cosmetics to the mass market. But things didn’t go as planned according to the supermodel, as stores like Walgreens didn’t want to position her goods prominently.
“It was a no-go,” Iman told New York Magazine. “They wanted me to be placed at the back, which they considered, like it is, for the ethnic section, which I was totally against it for no other reason but ’cause also I never considered myself an ethnic brand.”
The reaction from the market led Iman to conduct her business primarily online, and although business is booming, the Somalian businesswoman knows it could be even better if she had a foothold in more stores.
One example that Iman shared with New York Magazine about how misled the mass market is when it comes to understanding women of color is the reaction she received to her launch of a liquid foundation last year. ”I decided to create a liquid foundation, which I have been told numerous times by the retailers, “Oh, black women don’t buy liquid foundation,” right? she recalled. Despite the nay-sayers, the liquid foundation became her top selling item.
More on Madame Noire Business!
- Behind the Click: Ashley Baxter, Digital Marketing Manager for J.C. Penney
- How She Made It: Alia Jones-Harvey, Producer of A Streetcar Named Desire
- Why African Philanthropists Are Calling For Africapitalism
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More than a model, Somalian born beauty IMAN has made a name for herself off the runway with her eponymous cosmetic line. Many of the products exude the same style and grace as her and capture the very essence of pure beauty.
Check out some of my favorites…