It's Just Love
Vogue Spain April 2010

interview: Blanca Lacasa
translated by Hanna

"He makes me laugh", she says of her 25 years with Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon. Amazing at 45, Yasmin Le Bon walks the catwalk, designs and enjoys her perfect life.

Although we've had a hard time reaching her via telephone, once "hunted down", Yasmin Le Bon (Oxford, 1964) is more than charming: she called me personally (no filters, assistants or intermediaries), answers every single one of my questions (no taboos, off-limit topics or an awkward silence) and chats with me in the broadest sense of the word (no time limits). We started talking about one of her latest professional adventures, her YLB designs for Wallis: "I've definitely opened up a door for creativity. Although I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing (laughs). It has been really fun. It's my collection, I have designed it, I did what I wanted to do... Of course, it's street clothes, so I haven't really been able to make really expensive garments."

Are you satisfied with the results?
Yes, but I'm always searching, looking forward, thinking what will be next. Now I can understand how designers feel.

You are really active with everything related to humanitarian causes. Do you think it is almost a duty for a celebrity to take advantage of their name to help those in need?
Yes, it's true, I'm really into social causes, especially the ones related to children. Sometimes it's something "institutional", and sometimes it's simply about helping your friends or your family. But I don't think it is a duty, I don't believe in doing things by obligation, you have to do things because you want to and you feel like it. I have a strange relationship with the word duty. I hate the feeling of "having" to do something.

You have left the catwalk as many times as you've returned to it. Is that the secret for such a lasting career?
My breaks have really been due to my pregnancies. The first time was with my first daughter, when I was 26. But it's true that I haven't stopped working. And maybe you're right; it can be said that those breaks, that have never been planned, have helped my career. They have given me time, perspective and a bit of reality. That is when you really enjoy things.

Do you have many friends in the little world of fashion?
I don't have many friends in general (laughs). When you're married and you're travelling and you have children, you don't have a lot of time on your hands. So I have a few friends, and some of them are in the fashion industry; some of them are not.

The biggest fashion brands have fought over her. and she has been the face of glamour for more than two decades. Yasmin, despite her splendid 45 years of age, continues to be in high demand in the sometimes cruel and dictatorial fashion world.

The aesthetic prototype reigning is really young girls size 36 (?)...
Clearly, I'm not a size 36 (laughs).

Talking seriously, do you have to be emotionally strong to continue in this business after you reach 40?
Of course. If not, this destroys you, it's the price you pay. Although, honestly, I think it's something that happens to anyone at any age. I'm lucky: I've always had a lot of confidence in myself. I was a very confident young girl, and I married someone who is very supportive of me. If I hadn't been with Simon, I don't how things would've been. Obviously, the younger you are, the more insecure you'll be. And that can really mess up your mind. It depends on how strong you are. Now I'm more tolerant towards insecure people. I couldn't understand it before. Finally, you have to be very careful with everything you do and how those things you do make you feel. Obviously, I'm more emotionally fragile. It's the risk of walking that line that is very dangerous, although it doesn't seem like it is. To be able to be a model you have to possess a very concrete personality. And I think very few people can do it successfully.

Well, you are one of them...
I'm not so sure... Anyways, there are girls in their 20s who are incredibly mature and other girls who are insecure and don't know what they're doing because they start out unprepared.

One of your daughters has done some modelling jobs...
Well, she's already 20 years old. She just started last year. This August she turns 21. Come on, she's already an adult (laughs).

But even so, are you worried?
Not at all. She has the personality and the character needed. She feels comfortable in her own skin, she's very confident and very easygoing. She loves animals, she's a really good photographer, she's very artistic and likes being creative. She has the perfect attitude.

Well, she inherited your poise. What is your beauty secret?
Honestly: I owe it to my parents.

How lucky...
Yes, I'm very fortunate. I don't take care of myself as much as I should. Now I'm starting to see some "little things", like any person who's aging would, and I just go "uh-oh". I should start drinking more water and try to sleep. It's now that I find out what sleeping actually means! I didn't use to do it. And all of a sudden I need to. This worries me: I have to sleep non-stop for the next two years to recover all the lost sleep (laughs).

Simon and Yasmin married 25 years ago; they have three daughters and live happily, very happily, ten minutes from Wimbledon, in the pleasant London neighbourhood of Putney. It was here that the pictures were taken: "It was very fun, considering that there were a lot of people: I hate doing shoots at home, because my house is a family home, a true home, not a house to show off and brag about, and it's always been a hassle to have so many people here. But it was great and wonderful, the photographer was a delight to work with. Besides, although it might seem not true, I finally managed to get a picture with my girls."

How do you remember your first date with Simon?
It's been so long (laughs). It was somewhat strange. Simon is a very special person and he really impressed me. I tried to seem as cool as possible. It was an unforgettable evening, very romantic.

And after twenty years...
More than twenty, actually... This December, exactly around Christmas time, it'll be 25 years... It doesn't stop feeling weird thinking that I've spent more time of my life with him than without him.

Do many things change after so much time living together?
Of course, relationships change, and that's the beautiful thing about them. Even now they change, even if it's in a really serious way. Unfortunately, I've seen many people separating and divorcing after being married for a long time. And it's really surprising to me. The only thing I know is that I'm happy and that at any moment I choose to be with him. I don't know what will come next. All I can tell you is that Simon makes me laugh. When you care for someone so much and they make you laugh so much, you simply want to do everything with them.

How is life like with a rock star?
Simon is a very home-loving person, very down-to-earth, even when he hasn't stopped working, performing at concerts, recording albums and being on tour. But we have a very normal life.

Before, you both lived right at the centre of London, in Chelsea. Why did you decide to move?
Chelsea is a fantastic place, but we had to leave. It's wonderful to be in Putney: we can live a very normal life, we don't have any paparazzi... In that sense we've been lucky: at the beginning of our relationship, we didn't live in England, we lived out of a suitcase, we went from one place to another, we didn't have children, we had time... It was perfect. But when we came back here, we started having children and pressure increased a little bit... So we came to live here and it was simply perfect.

And what do you do in your free time?
One of the things I like doing the most is taking out my dogs for a walk through Richmond Park.

You give the impression that you're really grounded. How do you manage to avoid the "risks" that come with fame?
You have to be surrounded of honest people that won't let you steer away. That's what I've been trying to do. But, to be honest, I don't think I've earned enough money to lose contact with reality (laughs).

I'm sorry, but I can't resist myself: which is your favourite Duran Duran song?
It's always changing. Right now I like "Box Full O' Honey" a lot, I think it's a gorgeous song. But I like them all: I'm a really big fan.

What kind of music is heard in the Le Bon household?
We each like different things. But we listen to a lot of classical music, the girls love it. Also, a lot of indie rock, Radiohead, Elbow, Joni Mitchell, Bowie...

Any projects for the future?
No idea. I don't know what the future holds for me. Never in my life have I had a steady job and now I wish to have it. I'm 45 years old and I'm constantly reinventing and searching. In the long run, it ends up being weird...

And what about other things: filmmaking, music, literature...?
I've thought of many things. Acting, of course. I've done something related to that and I'd like it, but at my age... I think I should be a diplomat. 26 years working as a model means that you're obliged to be a fantastic diplomat (laughs). I'm seriously thinking about it.

Why not? I'm at the right age, I like politics and I'm interested in what is behind it all, behind the scenes.

In love, with a successful career and a happy family. Do you think that you've been lucky?
I've always felt that I've been fortunate. In general, I'm a merry person although I was born with a melancholic side. And it's also true that it's really easy for me to look at the dark side of things. So I try to always look into the good things, into the beautiful things. I understand those people who are fearful and are deep in darkness. I never forget that side is there. Life is filled with ups and downs.