By Marcellous L. Jones
British supermodel Yasmin Le Bon was born on October 29, 1964 as Yasmin Parvaneh. Her mother is British and her father is of Iranian descent. Her father, Iradj Parvaneh, became known as lecturer in photography at Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University). Her mother is Patricia Parvaneh and her older sister’s name is Nadreh.
While growing up, Yasmin was a painfully shy girl. Subsequent drama classes helped her to come out of her shell. She did well in school and did not date. In 1981 and at 17, Jayne Turner from the Elliot Brown modeling agency in Oxfordshire spotted her while she worked part-time selling clothes. She was signed to the agency and competed in beauty pageants finishing second each time.
In 1983, Jasmin took the train to the London office of Models 1. The agency gave her a one month trial period. Though she worked steadily, the jobs offered to her suggested nothing of the long impact that the future supermodel would have on the industry. But the clients did love working with her, and things got progressively better. Yet due to her dark hair and brown skin which went against the grain of the era, it was difficult to get magazine covers and she got none in the US during this time. But Yasmin persisted and became a successful model working for the world’s top designers, appearing on magazine covers, in fashion spreads and in advertisement campaigns.
In 1984, Simon Le Bon of the internationally famous electronic pop/rock group, Duran Duran, came across her photo and immediately set out to date her. The first time that he called and introduced himself to her, she replied, “Thank you, but I’d prefer to out with Rod Stewart”. Still thinking that the caller was a mere prankster, she then hung up on him. Simon persisted and on their first date, he took her to the premiere of Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom. Though it was love at first sight for her, Simon dumped her two weeks later when she would not “put out” the goods for him.
In the spring of 1985, the couple met up again in Paris and soon became inseparable. Distance and time played against the two and became more difficult to manage when Yasmin traveled to New York and signed up with Elite Model Management. The agency kept her busy and made her very successful thanks to its reputation and to its previous success with Janice Dickerson, who opened doors for exotic models like Yasmin. She began doing her first campaigns for Calvin Klein, Christian Dior and Karl Lagerfeld. This period saw her score her first covers on the European editions of Elle and Vogue. She was also featured in the May 1985, American edition of Vogue. She then appeared on the September 1985 over of British Vogue.
She stopped modeling in spite of the massive amounts of requests from photographers, fashion editors and major clients. Her decision to give up fashion was prompted by the selfishness that she witnessed among the industry’s players. This came to a head when the greed and lust for publicity of these same players got out of hand during the Fashion Aid Benefit which took place in New York, with the proceeds going to help the starving people of Africa.
After a worldwind love affair, Yasmin and Simon decided to tie the knot. Weeks after her saying “I do” in a quick 15 minute wedding ceremony, Jasmin learned that she was pregant.
In January 1986, Yasmin learned that she was pregnant. She miscarried in March of that year. Later, she returned to modeling after a brief period, and picked up where she left off. Her absence of several months and her wedding to one of the hottest male singers on the planet at that time increased the demand for Yasmin. She continued to work while accompanying Simon on several tour dates. Things seemed happy for the couple once more when Yasmin became pregnant again in late 1987. Then tragedy struck again when Yamsin and Simon faced their second miscarriage in as many pregnacies.
Yasmin threw herself back into work and kept busy focusing on her marriage and her own career. She became so successful at it that in 1989, she detroned the Texas twister, Jerry Hall as the world’s best-paid model. As she had fallen pregnant for the third time, she decided to pull back on her schedule and rest. And on August 25, 1989, Yasmin gave birth to Amber Rose Tamara Le Bon.
Yasmin returned to the runways for the spring 1990 shows. She claims that with a new baby in the house, she needed to work in order to offset the bills that were piling up. The couple welcomed their second child, Saffron Sahara, on September 25, 1991.
Back at work again, Yasmin cut her hair short in the spring of 1993 to overhaul her look in response to the rise of the “waif” model movement. When she subsequently became pregnant with her third child, she retired in early 1994. After giving birth to Talluhah Pine on September 10, 1994, she return to modeling in June of 1995 for two simple reasons: 1) she missed working and being pampered and 2) she had not had a paycheck for 18 months.
After being a guest editor on the the 10th anniversary issue of British ELLE in November 1995, she launched a successful return to the catwalks for such names in the 4 fashion capitals as Chanel, Bella Breud, Claude Montana, Pearce Fionda, Roland Klein, Philip Treacy and Chloe. She, along with Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, even modeled for girl pal Stella McCartney for latter’s final exam fashion show at St. Martin’s in London. Since this time, Yasmin has never stopped working.
Still a beauty in her forties today, Yasmin became the face for products of two major companies: Biotherm’s ‘s Biofirm Lift and the Goddess jewellery range of Irish silversmith Newbridge. She has also gone back to modelling again. In the Spring of 2006, she began her second year as one of the faces representing the American luxury brand, Ann Taylor. Huge images of her can be spotted throughout Ann Taylor stores across America. In 2005, she also took to the runway again in a tribute to Savatore Ferragamo.
In December 2005, Yasmin and her husband Simon celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. Throughout the couple’s marriage, Yasmin has continued to be a force in the international fashion industry. She continues to pose for magazines, stroll down catwalks and appear in high profile campaigns. During that year, she also modelled for a charity to benefit victims of the 2005 earthquake victims in Pakistan. Today, she says that she will continue to model as long as there are offers coming in her way.
Throughout the illustrious career of Jasmin Le Bon, she appeared on the covers of RED, ELLE, Harpers & Queen, Marie Claire, Just Seventeen, The Face, Vogue, You, Cosmopolitan, Mono Uomo, Hello, Vanity Fair, Luna, Starbene, Irish Times Magazine, Donna, Moderna, Vital, Pink Ribbon, GAT, Grazia, Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar, DETAILS, etc.
She sashayed down the runway for prestigious names including Azzedine Alaia, Giorgio Armani, Alberta Ferretti, Alistair Blair, Amanda Wakeley, Anna Sui Betty Jackson, Blumarine, Chanel Chopard Gala, Horticouture, Chloe, Christian Dior, Claude Montana, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Gianni Versace, Guy Laroche, Istante, Jenny Packham, John Rocha, Karl Lagerfeld, Koji Tatsuno, Lanvin, Max Mara, Michael Kors, Mulberry, Nicole Farhi), Oscar de la Renta , Perry Ellis , Philip Treacy , Ralph Lauren), Rifat Ozbek), Salvatore Ferragamo, Tomasz Starzewski, Valentino, Véronique Leroy, Vivienne Westwood, etc.
Among the litany of her high profile advertisement campaigns, Yasmin counts Alistair Blair, Almay, André Laug, Angelo Tarlazzi, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Bergdorf Goodman, Biotherm, Bloomingdales, Bonwit, Byblos, Cachet/Insum, Calvin Klein, Casadei, Chanel, Charnos, Chloé, Christian Dior, Clairol, Clark’s, David Morris, Debenhams, Dibari, El Corte Inglés, Episode, Encore, Enrico Coveri, Escada, Etro, Eve of Milady, Frasercard, Freemans, French Café, Genny, Geoffrey Beene, Georges Rech, Gilmar, Gold Label, Grossé Bijoux, Gucci Watches, Guerlain, Guess, Guy Laroche, H & M, Hardob, Harrod’s, Harvey Nichols, Hennes & Mauritz, Henri Bendel, Hermes, House of Bianchi, Jacqui E, Jacobson’s, J Crew, Jean Louis Scherrer, Karl Lagerfeld, Klaus Steilmann, Lagerfeld Perfume, Lanvin, Laura Ashley, The Limited, Loewe, Louis Feraud, Luciano Barbera, Macy’s, Marc Hispard, Marella, Maria Gaspari, Max Mara, Missoni, Miss Selfridge, Moët & Chandon, Monet, Napier/Azzaro, Neiman-Marcus, Nicole Farhi, Norihisa Ota, OuiSet, Patsy Seddon, Paula Varsalona, Phase Eight, Pianoforte di Max Mara, Pirelli P Zero, Planet, Poly Lady, Ports International, Pour Toi, Précis, Pure & Simple, Ralph Lauren, Reflections, Russell & Bromley, Saks Fifth Avenue, Scherrer Boutique, Schwarzkopf, Selfridges, Sportmax, Strong & Fisher, Swatch, Teller, Texier, Tod’s, Toni & Guy, Toni Gard, Ultimate Selection, Ursula Conzen, Vakko, Valentino, Victoria’s Secret City, Wrangler, Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche.