Iman on David Bowie: ‘He’s not my late husband. He’s my husband’

People Magazine cover featuring Iman and David Bowie
2016 was a rough year. We lost many of my favorite celebrities like Prince, Carrie Fisher, Alan Rickman and Gene Wilder. But one of my biggest heartbreaks was the loss of David Bowie. David and Prince fueled my preadolescent fantasies. When David married Iman in 1992, he gained my eternal respect. It has been five years since David passed. Iman is launching her first fragrance exclusively for HSN called Love Memoir in honor of her husband. The fragrance is said to be a mix of David’s favorite fragrance, Grey Vertiver by Tom Ford, and bergamot for Tuscany where there were married. In cover interview with People, Iman talked about her beautiful romance of 26 years. Iman said she met David on a blind date (I am looking at you Meghan) and he told her later that it was love at first sight. Here are a few highlights and a clip is below:

“David said it was love at first sight,” Iman, 66, tells PEOPLE. “It took me a few months but I got there.”

After their first date, she recalls how she flew to Paris to walk the runway for her friend, Thierry Mugler. When she arrived at her hotel room, it was filled with flowers. Gardenias. And when she returned to L.A., he was there to meet her at the airport. “And that’s how it started,” she says. “He properly wooed me.”

Yes, she was drawn to the musician for his kindness. “Early on, we were walking down the street and my shoelace came undone and he got on his knees to tie it for me and I thought he’s the one.”

But there was also their off the charts chemistry. “David was beyond handsome,” she says. “He oozed charisma.”

The two complemented each other in unexpected ways. “If David was not in my life, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to start Iman Cosmetics [in 1994]” she says. “I asked him ‘What if it fails?’ and he said, ‘If you don’t try, you’ll never know if it succeeds.’ He was very proud that it was one of the first lines to be very inclusive. Very chuffed, as he would say. Pleasantly happy.”

Now that he’s gone, says Iman, “There are days that are harder than others but the memories are not all sad of why the person isn’t here. The memories are now of how great it was.”

“Sometimes I have to remind myself that I had 26 years. So I have that to sustain me.”

And she has no thoughts of ever marrying again. When her daughter, Alexandria “Lexi” Jones, now 21, asked her about it, Iman recalls, “I said ‘No, I will not.’ I still feel married. Someone a few years ago referred to David as my late husband and I said ‘No, he’s not my late husband. He’s my husband.'”

“I definitely feel his presence, especially when I look out over the glorious sunsets at our home because David loves sunsets,” she says. “So in that way he is ever present.”

[From People]

My goddess this story just makes me tear up a bit. I used to love seeing photos of David and Iman together. David always looked like he felt like the luckiest man on the planet when he was standing by Iman. Iman just glowed like she was planet orbiting his very bright star. I understand why Iman says she probably won’t remarry. Iman was very fulfilled in her relationship and marriage with Bowie. I love the story about how Iman knew she would marry him because he got on his knees to tie her shoe laces. To be fair, I would have fallen in love with Bowie at that moment too. I also love how David encouraged Iman to start Iman Cosmetics. He just seemed like a very loving and supportive husband and I am so happy Iman was able to experience that sort of love.

I am looking forward to this new fragrance that Iman has created. I personally love everything Tom Ford and the notes of Love Memoir sound amazing. I also love the story behind the scent. I hope over time Iman will not get sad whenever she thinks about David. To be fair, I don’t think that’s something spouses ever get over.


Photos credit:, Instar and via Instagram

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34 Responses to “Iman on David Bowie: ‘He’s not my late husband. He’s my husband’”

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  1. teehee says:

    Well I know the feeling- when you love someone or something, its never long enough. Be it 5, 26, or 55 years, its still too short once its over- its supposed to just be forever — so anything less than that… is too little.

    • Runaway says:

      This. This is exactly what my mom says, my dad also died in 2016, they had been together since my mom was 17 and my dad 20, they had 38 wonderful years together, he got to meet his first grandchild, and then he died, without reason, unexpectedly and there is not a day that goes by that we don’t all feel totally robbed of the lifetime we should have had him for. Literally the best dad and I take an opportunity I can to talk about him <3 2016 definitely sucked

  2. L84Tea says:

    Ooh, that made me teary. I’m very curious to smell this scent because it sounds pretty amazing, and yeah, what a great story behind it.

  3. Jezz says:

    Waaaaaaaa!!! Heartbreaking tearjerker first thing in the morn.

  4. Amy Bee says:

    Every time Iman talks about her relationship with David, it brings tears to my eyes.

  5. zinjazin says:

    Wait? She is 66?

  6. C-Shell says:

    In three days, it will be eight years since I lost the love of my life after 20 amazing years together. I feel *exactly* the same way — I will not remarry, I have not dated at all and have no desire to, no matter how many friends suggest it. I’m married.

    It’s so lovely to read about what an adoring, supportive partner David was.

    • Driver8 says:

      My father has been gone almost 26 years. My mother has never dated and will never remarry. He was her only love. I think it’s a beautiful choice.

    • Jan90067 says:

      My mom died young: 49. My dad was 56. They were married just a few months shy of their 30th anniversary. She was his love, light, and everything. It took him over 10 yrs. to even think of looking for some companionship for a dinner, a movie….and he went out *maybe* 3 ,4 times and said it’s just not for him.

      Next year it will be 40 yrs since she died. And she still is the love of his life.

      C-Shell, Driver 8…. 💔❤️

    • Courtney B says:

      My dad died 25 years ago this past Tuesday. My mom has never seriously dared since then despite being just 46 (he died a week before her birthday). She hasn’t at all in the last decade. She’s always said she’d never remarry. She’s good with that. It’s not done because she can’t move forward or what not. Some people just know and it’s not a negative in their life.

      • C-Shell says:

        You know, when the love of your life is such a perfect fit, you know that no one else can ever be, and once you’ve had that kind of love you have no desire to have something less. I miss my darling every day, but I’m content.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      My grandfather died aged 46, long before I was born. My grandmother was 49 at the time with two teenagers. Never dated or remarried until her death 37 years later. Wore her wedding ring every day of that time and his photo sat on her dresser until the day she died. Sometimes there is only one.

  7. Sue says:

    Ugh, they were such a beautiful couple.

  8. Nina says:

    I love, love this story. I think we need a thread about real life romantic gestures to cleanse this horrible week. Here’s mine, which I have told before: After 20 years of being divorced and meeting countless awful men online [THREE who didn’t understand the need for sheets on a bed!] I met my BF. I knew he was the one when I had a summer cold and felt awful but wanted to be outdoors. He took me out into his orchard and made me a picnic, cooking a cheeseburger in an old brick fire pit. I sold my house and moved in with him three years later [this year.] We will retire in 2022!

  9. kyle mathiason says:

    She said she isn’t always sad “to be fair to be fair.” Iman is beautiful, David Bowie was an a+ talent (Ashes to Ashes?!) and, to me, uniquely handsome as hell to boot, but again with this site, picking and choosing which creep to stan for.

    • Tessa says:

      What does that mean? I never liked or followed Bowie, are you saying he’s problematic and shouldn’t be put on a pedestal?

      • Cs says:

        Just Google Bowie and statutory rape. You’ll get the many, many news articles.

      • Jaded says:

        This should give you an interesting perspective on Lori Mattix:

      • stagaroni says:

        An interesting perspective of a potential victim? It was well known that Bowie engaged in threesomes and Mattix is not the only woman who came forward and said she had sex with him when she was underage.

      • Jaded says:

        @stagaroni – She was no victim, she was also having sex with Jimmy Page and other rock stars. She was not forced into anything, but I agree that Bowie made a huge mistake by having anything to do with her. These guys were terrible, they took willing, eager young girls when they should have said “no sweetie, you’re way too young for this”. That Bowie engaged in threesomes is neither here nor there, they were all consenting adults and polyamory is common to this day. That they engaged in sexual relationships with young teenagers is reprehensible but these girls weren’t raped or forced into it. They were starstruck teenagers who fantasized about having a rock star boyfriend and lifestyle.

    • detritus says:

      Yeah… I know she doesn’t call it rape, but she was 16. Jia Tolentino wrote a great article about it.

  10. tamsin says:

    Lovely to hear about an inspiring love story. I could be wrong here, but I believe that they chose not to live in the UK. I think they lived in Switzerland and New York.

  11. Barbie1 says:

    So sad. At least she has her happy memories to hold onto.

  12. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    Oh Bowie 💔 My hands down all time favorite. I used to go to sleep with him playing on my record player (yes I am THAT old) and first thing in the morning turning him back on. His music pulled me thru some dark days.
    I was fortunate to see him 3 times. Never disappointed.
    Iman is so stunning.

  13. Theothermia says:

    I miss him 💜
    She’s wonderful

  14. Watson says:

    Makes sense. Once you marry David Bowie, can you really go out with a normal person? Would anyone compare? Can you imagine Iman, dating Ted from the pub across the street? It’s a tall order to fill.

  15. Margo says:

    David Bowie was a rare, very special human. He was incredibly talented and generous. Sigh. I miss him – it makes me sad to think he is gone. And I am just a FAN! I can only imagine how Iman feels. She is such a beautiful woman – breathtaking and every age!

  16. Nev says:

    In 1997 I went to London. I was in Gatwick airport and on the long walking escalators that they had there at the time. I was sooooo excited to see any celeb especially Naomi Campbell. In the distance I could see a tall black woman with long hair and sunglasses alongside a blond guy who was bent over the luggage cart pushing it on the opposite escalator coming towards us. My mouth dropped open when they past by me and my friend. It was David Bowie and Iman. My face must’ve been nuts because he busted out laughing at me shaking his head. My trip was made in the first 5 minutes. They were both so kool and gorgeous. A moment I will never forget.

  17. what's inside says:

    I am so glad that they had each other. So many never find the love they crave and deserve. I know what she means when she said “he is my husband.”

  18. Mirage says:

    This is so beautiful.
    Not many of us will ever find that kind of love.