Yasmin and Simon Le Bon
Vogue Pelle March/April 1992

interview: unknown


The long crow-black hair, the exotic depths of the eyes, the sweet yet mysterious allure that betrays her Oriental origins (her father is Iranian and her mother English), Yasmin Parvaneh is not just a top model, who is one of the most beautiful, sought-after models of the world.  She is more than a mere fragment of that fashion universe whose "inhabitants" have become, to those who admire them in the newspapers, semi-magical creatures - part trendy, part celebrity.

Like her equally famous colleagues, Yasmin has also acquired the cool urban attitude of someone who is always on the go, so carried away by her career (which take her to the far ends of the earth) as to appear aloof.  Hers is a condition that could easily make her a victim of what American journalist Warren Kaye refers to as the "fashion model syndrome": "they are the zombies of the fashion world, the stakhanovites° of glamour.  Wired from jet lag, recovering from the return from Milan and already packing for Rio de Janeiro, they have neither the time nor the desire to stop," writes Kaye.  "They appear aloof but really only suffer from one sickness: an incurable indifference."

Is she indifferent as well?  Certainly not.  And the photo spread makes this obvious.  Yasmin hasn't lost the pleasure of looking into the lens to reveal a part of herself on stage.  Under the reflectors, surrounded by make-up artists, assistants, journalists, and press agents, on this occasion Yasmin Parvaneh took time out and displayed an even greater generosity and cheerfulness than usual.  She put on a jacket and stitched pants, a suede shirt, and gold earrings, and modeled on the set in the company of a young man wearing dark sunglasses.  Business as usual?  No: that man dressed in napa, sitting on a bike with a slightly tense expression or quietly conceding the conquest is not just any model.  It's Simon Le Bon, the leader of Duran Duran - one of the most popular bands of the eighties, performer of hits such as "Wild Boys," "Save a Prayer," and "Notorious."  A rock star, yes, but also the man who Yasmin married in 1985 and with whom she has had two children - the youngest of whom is not even six months old.

The pop gossip experts say that it was love at first sight for Simon when he saw her face in the pages of a fashion magazine.  It was then that the "intrepid, bold, arrogant, insolent teen idol," as various celebrity magazines have described him on many occasions, went to all lengths to find an opportunity to meet her.  "A look around the model agencies, and soon the coveted phone number was his," as one reporter wrote back then.  A moment of hesitation, a slight feeling of embarrassment, and initial shyness gave way to a mutual attraction and an affection that led to a union that is still solid today.

What is their secret?  Complicity: that capacity to play together, both in public and in private, without locking themselves into pre-established roles; breaking rules and traditions; continually exchanging their roles.  A gift that, to be truthful, is rather rare among the celebrity set, and one they ably displayed in the cheek-to-cheek photo spread that they invented and interpreted right before our eyes.  In a rapid series of images, he first hides behind two impenetrably dark lenses, then partially reveals himself and finally casts aside the mask, hugging Yasmin close to him.  But it isn't difficult to realize that she is the one leading the game: a kind of "man hunt," humorously recounted with a cinematographic sequence, almost like a video clip.  A series of glances, sometimes tense, sometimes sensual, enigmatic, or liberating, they are favored and accentuated by the suppleness of the leather clothes they are wearing.  "Would someone please explain the reason for this strange behavior?" asks an old Duran Duran song.  The answer is finally here.

° stakhanovite = a worker in the Soviet Union who regularly surpassed production quotas and was specially honored and rewarded.