Girls On Film
Ulster Tatler spring? 2008
interview: Mary Johnston
Mary Johnston chats to model and ĎFace of the House of Fraser,í
Yasmin Le Bon.
Arguably one of the most beautiful women in the world, having recently
met Yasmin Le Bon, I have to say that she is in fact, mesmerisingly beautiful.
Not only is she stunningly gorgeous and still very much in demand for modelling
assignments world-wide, but Mrs. Le Bon is also one of the nicest and most
down to earth celebrities Iíve ever met and Iíve met a lot, during a lifetime
in journalism. Yasmin was in Belfast for the official opening of the
cityís most impressive shopping mecca, Victoria Square, where she is the
ĎFace of the House of Fraserí and what a face! She happily took time out
(whilst having her hair done by Denise McCluskey from Michele International)
to speak exclusively to the Ulster Tatler.
Married to Simon Le Bon, lead singer of 80ís chart toppers Duran Duran,
the couple have three teenage daughters, the eldest of whom Amber, is already
being approached to follow in her famous motherís footsteps. ďSheís
still at school and has Aílevels coming up, so plenty to occupy her for
now,Ē said her sensible mum. Middle daughter Saffron has inherited
her fatherís musical talent and is already collaborating on some songwriting
with him and the youngest, at 13 is ďall teenage hormones and angst like
anyone else her age,Ē laughs mum. Yasmin told Ulster Tatler that sheís
thrilled and proud to be associated with such a fab store as the ĎHouse
of Fraserí and was delighted to come to Belfast for the official opening
of the largest (200,000 sq.ft) H.O.F in the whole of the U.K. Iíd say itís
a mutually suitable arrangement, with one class act promoting another.
In your chosen business, time is not usually on your side, so how did
you feel about turning 40?
You know you never expect it to happen to you. Iím still in shock,
but now, itís skipping by. I seem to have done things the wrong way
What do you mean?
I mean when I was young, I was quite robust emotionally but not now.
By working in this industry after youíve turned 40, youíre putting yourself
in a very precarious place. Itís finally had that effect on me.
Itís important that people understand that you donít have a rhinoceros hide.
Itís undoubtedly a young business and Iím just amazed that at my age Iím
still being offered plenty of work and that people are still interested
in me editorially. The way I feel inside is like Iím 18 and not 43.
I feel more vulnerable now instead of feeling less so. Youíre supposed
to grow more confident with age, but I havenít. I think itís because
of this business.
Your eldest has already done some modelling hasnít she? Would you
be happy for her to follow in your footsteps. Does she look like you?
Lots of charity shows have been interested in her and she has done a show.
Sheís still at school and has her Aílevels coming up. Sheís going
to take a year out afterwards. Iíve told her not to be in any rush.
I think thereís too much pressure put on them too soon, to decide on a career.
Itís up to her. Sheís the one to choose. She seems more interested
in photography. No, she doesnít look like me. None of the kids
look like me. The youngest one looks like Simon. Saffron (16)
reminds me of me when I was young but not as I look now. Theyíre a
real combination of the two of us. Theyíre healthy typical teenage
girls. They torture you but they love you and theyíre all interested in
music and fashion and design and are all quite creative really.
What was it like for you to become a Ďsupermodelí at nineteen alongside
the likes of Naomi Campbell etc;
It didnít happen overnight. At first I did a lot of very ordinary
jobs and learned the craft. It was a good grounding. You know youíre
going to be judged and you need to learn. I had a lot of friends in
the business, all with very different personalities. Some are still
Are you enjoying your forties?
I am enjoying them. I have been lucky. To get so much advertising
is almost unique at 40.
Why did you lend your face to the House of Fraser?
For lots of reasons. I do pick and choose. Itís important to me to
get on with the people around you. The House of Fraser is committed
to making a difference. They genuinely want to make a great product
and at the end of the day, Iím a shopper too! Itís very exciting to
How involved are you?
Well, I always voice my opinions. Iím very opinionated. Now,
whether they listen or not is another thing but Iím not afraid to speak
up and I donít mind being told to shut up! This (the Belfast addition)
is really a fab store. It really is.
Are youthful looks down to nature or nurture, genetic or achieved via
products? Any tips?
Genetic. If you havenít got good genes...then moisturise, moisturise
and again moisturise. Iíve always cleansed and moisturised and my girls
are following my advice to do the same. From age thirteen they should start.
But beauty undoubtedly comes from inside. It comes from a happy heart
and soul, but itís good to take care of yourself. Beauty rituals are
good for you. I tell you what though. It really takes more and
more time these days. Iíve become high maintenance. You donít
have to use expensive products. There are several really expensive
creams that I darenít touch. Get samples and try them out. Itís
whatever works for you.
If you ever have a day off with no work commitments what do you like
That doesnít happen often. I canít really relax at home. I read
music and play classic guitar and Iíve started having piano lessons but
I donít always have time to practise, so Iím not very good and to tell you
the truth, sometimes, Iím sorry I ever started because I donít like not
being good at it. What really keeps me happy is martial arts, Wing
Chun. Itís very physical. Itís fighting. I love a good fight!
Whatís your favourite type of holiday?
Anywhere, sailing, but especially in Croatia. Itís beautiful. I
canít wear water-proof SPFs because I find them claustrophobic, so I have
to cover up, hat and shades etc;
How have you managed to combine a successful and demanding career with
You muddle through. Itís always a miracle when it all works out.
Weíve a very large house, so I have a housekeeper to look after that.
My mother-in-law helped out a lot when the children were younger.
Iíve always been self-employed, so modelling has worked for me. Iíve
worked when it suited our situation. The older girls are now at boarding
school and when they come home, sometimes they look in the fridge and if
I havenít been stocking up, say ďwhen did you last grocery shop mum?Ē
Do you cook?
Iím not really good, but I cooked enough to feed them. Simonís quite
Did you do the school run and all that?
Of course. Iím so over school runs. Iím glad thatís all over.
Sometimes I was throwing them out while the car was still moving, shouting,
ďI donít have to do thisĒ. Weíre all very normal. Simonís a
very laid- back and balanced guy.
How long have you been married?
I got married when I was twenty one, very young. I couldnít resist
him. Weíve been married twenty two years and it just gets better and better.
Honestly, Simonís a really good guy. He keeps me happy. People may
tell you youíre this and that. Iíve become immune to flattery. If
Simon thinks Iím looking good, he says it and thatís what counts.
Heís the one that matters. I just couldnít live without him.