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Yasmin
Elle US Bloomingdale's supplement October 2005

author: uncredited


Elle first landed in the United States in 1984, when Bloomingdale's imported an English translation from Paris as part of the store's Fête de France promotion.  Now, as Elle U.S. prepares to ring in its 21st year, it's only fitting that the magazine should once again join forces with Bloomingdale's.  We celebrate by catching up with three iconic models of the 20th century, all of whom have graced the cover of Elle, as well as some of the fresh faces to come - all in Bloomingdale's clothes and accessories.  Here's looking at you!

Yasmin Le Bon is Elle's original cover girl - literally.

The Oxford, England-born model appeared on the cover of the premiere issues of both the American and British editions of the magazine.  Her dark, exotic looks instantly communicated Elle's mission to portray the diversity of style and beauty.

Le Bon's stellar supermodel career might not have taken off were it not for her friends and family, who encouraged her to parlay the occasional local beauty contest and hand-modeling stint into a full-time career.  The shy teenager agreed on the basis that working in fashion would enable her to fulfill her desire to travel and see the world.

Yasmin Parvaneh - as she was then - arrived on the doorstep of London agency Models 1 at age 18 and was signed initially for a trial period in what she describes as a "radical" move, as the trend at the time was for models with "blonde bobs and big gobs."  Within a couple of years Le Bon's professional and personal lives were soaring.  She was working for such fashion houses as Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, and Christian Dior, and in 1985 she married Duran Duran lead singer Simon Le Bon, who had fallen in love with a photo of the model he had seen the year before in a photographer's portfolio.

Le Bon rose to become the highest-paid model in the world, replacing Jerry Hall in pole position.  She has appeared on the covers of top international magazines, been the face of advertising campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Missoni, and Pantene, and appeared in runway shows for Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Nicole Farhi, and Chanel.  Though she is a mother to three daughters with her husband (ages 15, 13, and 10) and has gradually become more selective in her modeling work, she has maintained a high profile, with recent work for Ann Taylor and Ford.  Indeed, though her earliest feelings about modeling were ambivalent, the icon now protests, "They'll have to bury me before I give up."  Long live the queen.

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