She was a pioneer among supermodels and one half of an eighties It couple. But it took Yasmin Le Bon a while longer to find true fulfilment. ‘I’m so glad I hung on for dear life in this profession,’ she says.  
Yasmin Le Bon in Melbourne, 2000 (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Naomi aside, there’s always been something rather approachable about your British supermodel. Blag yourself into a Glasto compound that your lack of notoriety doesn’t deserve and you could find yourself occupying a similar slick of mud as Kate and Cara. But the woman who spearheaded the shift from aloof aristo to boho bonhomie was Yasmin Le Bon.

Le Bon was born Yasmin Parvaneh in 1964 to an Iranian father and English mother, and grew up in Oxford. She modelled for a local agency while she was still at the Cherwell School, but it was after she signed with Models 1 in London that her career took flight.

She emerged onto runways and production sets at a time when it seemed the never-ending garland of English roses was becoming interchangeable, their collective bouquet dimming. More Persia than Pimlico, there was a sense of defiance about Le Bon’s mien — a notion that you needed her way more than she would ever need you. This manner never strayed into the arrogance that many other supers suppurated, but it was clear where you stood. Which could, conceivably, have been beside her at your local with a pint.


    David Smiedt


    May 2022


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