Yasmin Parvaneh Le Bon was born on October 29 in
the second-born child of Iradj and Patricia Parvaneh. Her
Iranian-born father is a photographer and is later known as lecturer
in photography at Oxford Polytechnic (now
Nadreh is approximately 4 years older.
Yasmin grew up as a strong-willed, "painfully shy" girl
(who later came out of her shell after taking drama classes), a
big football and motoring fan, and a bit of a nibbler, according
to her mother. Because of her aloof nature, she did not date
much as a teen. "Boys were terrified of her," her
mother said. She did well at school, obtaining six O levels
and one A level.
While working part-time selling clothes at the age of 17, Jayne
Turner at the
Brown modeling agency in Oxfordshire spotted her; and soon she
was signed to their books. Turner stated that due to the baby
fat she continued to carry from snacking, her vital statistics on
her composite card were downsized by 5 inches. She did a lot
of hand modeling early in her career and did such small-time work
as advertising cars, vacuums, and local hairdressers. She
also appeared in a few fashion shows and competed in local beauty
contests, though she finished second. Her goals at this time
were vague; all she knew was that she wanted to travel and see the
world. Friends and family were concerned about her lack of
direction and suggested that she try modelling seriously.
1983 Yasmin was a finalist in the Miss Oxford contest.
1983 At the age of 18, Yasmin took the train to
London and went to the offices of the
agency, knowing that they were one of the best. Soaking wet
from a torrential downpour, they managed to see behind this and
gave her a one-month trial. Her clients adored her; and while
she was not doing some of the best jobs at first, she was working
steadily. She stated that it was "quite radical"
to book her at the time, due to her dark hair and brownish skin
coloring, when nearly all models working had "blonde bobs and
big gobs" and did not resemble her. She was unable to
get covers, particularly in America.
Among her earliest major campaigns were for British brands
1984 During a shoot for "The Wild Boys," Simon Le
Bon, lead singer of Duran Duran, spotted a photo of Yasmin on the
cover of 19 Magazine in photographer Mike Owen's portfolio.
Telling himself that he could wake up next to that face for the
rest of his life, he became determined to find out who she was.
After Owen initially declined, replying that it would be unprofessional
to reveal her identity, he slipped Simon her name and the number
of her London agency. Finally, they made contact. Thinking
that it was a joke, she initially hung up on him ("I replied,
'Thank you, but I'd prefer to out with Rod Stewart,'" she recalled
later); but he persisted, sending her roses at her home for a week.
She relented and agreed to go out for a first date that summer,
not realizing that it was the film premiere of "Indiana Jones
and the Temple of Doom." "I thought we were just
gonna go out to the movies," she said. She has stated
that it was "love at first sight" and that she knew she
was going to spend the rest of her life with him.
spring 1985 After having split up (Simon stated
in an interview that he only went out with her for 2 weeks because
she wouldn't have sex with him), the couple met up in Paris.
Soon, they were inseparable. Finding time to spend together
unfortunately proved an incredible challenge due to both of their
hectic lifestyles. Meanwhile, Yasmin traveled to New York
and signed up with mega-agency
making her very successful. At the same time, however, she
was growing increasingly disgusted by the commercialism of the fashion
industry, which she believed focused on making a massive amount
of money at any expense, and became exhausted by her punishing schedule.
At this time, Yasmin was doing campaigns for big names
Lagerfeld (who continued to employ her for many years) and has
appeared on the covers of European issues of ELLE and
Vogue. She was also featured in an American magazine editorial
for the first time, in the
May issue of Vogue.
August 1985 Yasmin rushed off to Falmouth when Simon
and fellow Drum crewmates nearly died after the ship capsized
during a yachting race. Her star continued rising in the fashion
world as she was on the cover of the
September issue of British Vogue.
autumn 1985 Yasmin scored a major coup by appearing
on the covers of the first issues of
British ELLE. Throughout the 1980s, ELLE
is one of the few magazines to feature a wide range of skin colors
in their models. British ELLE referred to her as "the
hottest property on the modelling circuit right now."
November 1985 Simon and Yasmin attended the Fashion
Aid benefit in New York. Both were disgusted by the backbaiting,
ambition, and oneupmanship at an event that was organized to benefit
starving people in Africa, and Yasmin later stated that this was
the moment that she decided she had had enough of the fashion business.
Not much later, she decided to stop modeling in spite of the clamoring
requests of fashion editors, photographers, and agencies.
Her plan was to return to university to study art.
December 27, 1985 Yasmin and Simon wed in a quiet,
15-minute ceremony at an Oxford registrar's office attended by a
few friends and relatives after giving them one day's notice.
Yasmin stated, "I married my only boyfriend" in later
interviews. Following a brief reception in Woodstock, they
honeymooned in the south of France and Scotland. For months
afterward, she was pummeled with the anonymous letters, phone calls,
and other taunts from thousands of jealous Duran fans.
January 1986 Yasmin found out that she was pregnant.
February 1986 In New Zealand,
Yasmin bade Simon goodbye as he departed for the Whitbread Round
the World Race. During the race, she remained with her parents
in Oxford. The couple stayed in regular contact by radio telephone.
March 1986 Yasmin miscarried. Simon took some
time off the boat race to return to her side.
mid-1986 Yasmin returned to modeling. She
has never explained in an interview why she decided to come back;
however, she has said that her salary has motivated her to keep
modeling and that she loved the pampering. Simon reportedly
encouraged her to keep working despite her desire to stay at home.
She picked up her career almost as if she had never left, still
very much in demand, and her star continued to rise throughout the
decade due to her beauty and professionalism.
summer 1987 Yasmin accompanied Simon to several
of Duran Duran's east coast tour dates.
late 1987 Yasmin became pregnant once again but
miscarried five months later and returned to work.
late 1988 Less than a year after her miscarriage,
Yasmin was pregnant for a third time. Rather than stopping
work as she had done the previous times, she initially kept working
through her pregnancy and did not make any plans for the new arrival.
1989 Yasmin was reputedly the best-paid top model
in the world, supplanting Jerry Hall. At the same time, fearful
about losing the baby with the stress of the modeling industry,
she took about five months off in order to stay healthy and calm.
August 25, 1989 At 10:39 a.m., 6 lb 4 oz Amber Rose
Tamara Le Bon was born at a hospital at St. John's Wood after about
14 hours of labor. She was a surprise, as her parents did
not know if the baby would be a boy or a girl. Coincidentally,
Yasmin had planned to have herself photographed while 9 months pregnant
on the same day. She hoped to have more children, hopefully
a boy. A few days later, Hello! magazine took exclusive
photographs of the new family. Simon's mother, Anne, became
Amber's live-in nanny.
September 1989 Yasmin reluctantly returned to work
just seven weeks after Amber's birth, doing several
catwalk shows. She did not want to spend time away from
her daughter but found it necessary, explaining that the bills piling
up on the doorstep prompted her to return to work so soon.
She found herself working harder than ever in the years after Amber's
early 1991 Yasmin became pregnant once again, with
a due date of October 10th. She continued working hard throughout
her pregnancy, and several magazines did photo shoots of a pregnant
Yasmin with daughter Amber. She later called 1991 one of her
most successful years in her career.
July 1991 Amongst many charitable organizations
for whom Yasmin worked during the year, Yasmin had a naked photograph
of herself while seven months' pregnant
auctioned to benefit Friends of the Earth. Her husband
Simon was the top bidder.
August 1991 Yasmin traveled to the Malaysian rain
forest in an expedition organized by Friends of the Earth and sponsored
by Hello! magazine (which took exclusive photos and helped
to publicize her passion to discourage the logging and purchase
of tropical hardwood).
September 25, 1991 Saffron Sahara Le Bon was born
a couple weeks earlier than her due date at Humana Wellington Hospital
in St. John's Wood after only 4 hours of labor. Her mother-in-law
Anne remained on to help look after the newborn. Hello!
magazine once again snagged the opportunity to take photographs
of the expanding Le Bon family.
October 1991 Only three weeks after Saffron's birth,
Yasmin starred in six shows during
London Fashion Week and later traveled to Paris and New York
for additional spring shows. "I love my kids, but I could
never completely stop working," she said in an interview the
spring 1993 After having her hair dyed
in the previous 2 years and then adding
blonde streaks in late summer 1992, Yasmin had her hair cut
style. Many models recreated their looks during the year
with the arrival of the new "waif" models, and she undoubtedly
opened herself up to a new group of publications and advertisers
in the process.
early 1994 Yasmin became pregnant once
again and decided to retire from modeling during the year.
September 10, 1994 Yasmin's third child,
Tallulah Pine, was born.
1995 Yasmin returned to modeling, both
because she missed working and because she had not received a paycheck
in 18 months. Other models were surprised by the way she had
bounced back; and she stated about her career, "They'll have
to bury me before I give up." However, her jobs from
this point on have been much more selective, giving her the opportunity
to spend time with her family while still doing the work she loves.
November 1995 The 10th anniversary issue
of British ELLE, which Yasmin co-edited, hit newsstands.
spring 1996 Yasmin made a trimphant
return to the
catwalk, doing a handful of shows in London and Paris.
From 1996 to 1998, she did the occasional fashion show for houses
for whom she liked working, including
(for both Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney, for whom she appeared
in her final exam catwalk show at her London school in 1994),
1996-2001 Over the age of 30, Yasmin
took on several high-profile campaigns, including
(commercials airing on both sides of the Atlantic featured her hair,
but not her voice, which was Americanized in the US),
Saks Fifth Avenue,
2001 Making a statement that over-30 women
can still look great, Yasmin
bikinis for Marks & Spencer. At the same time, she
remained the spokesmodel for Australian clothing brand
fall 2001 Yasmin's mother Patricia died
of breast cancer, a cause for which Yasmin has long campaigned.
Especially after her mother's passing, Yasmin made many appearances
at London-based fundraisers for cancer and other causes.
2002-2004 Campaigns that Yasmin became
the spokesmodel for during this period include
P Zero, and
Her few catwalks after 1999 were largely in
functions, but she made some rare appearances for designers
Ermanno Scervino, and
2003 Yasmin modeled the
Blue Empress, one of the world's most expensive diamonds, at
Harrods in London.
2006 After modeling for over
20 years and looking even better as the years pass, Yasmin continued
to get jobs. At the age of 41, an age at which most models
would have retired years before, Yasmin modelled for
Ann Taylor and the Goddess line of
and did the catwalk in the autumn/winter 2006
show. Last September, Yasmin was featured on the cover of
the American ELLE 21st birthday supplement as their first
cover girl twenty years on, looking more stunning than ever.
2007 While having achieved a sort of "elder
spokesmodel" status in the industry, Yasmin's looks, enthusiasm,
and professionalism keep her in demand as a working model.
Presently aged 42, she continues to work, having snagged over 6
international fashion magazine covers in the past year as well as
July 2007 British Vogue cover with five other British
models. Her contracts over the past year with
attest to her viability. Her eldest daughter, Amber, made
a few tentative steps into modelling by
in a charity fashion show in Scotland and signing to her mother's
however, whether or not she will take on modelling as a career remains
to be seen. Later this year, Yasmin was photographed in a
major fashion editorial for
Indian Vogue, her first for this part of the world.
2008 Following widespread reports that she
had retired from modelling in late 2007, Yasmin snagged five
(for Vogue Gioiello, Red, DV Mode, House of Fraser
magazine, and the debut of Henna), a number of
(including Italian Vanity Fair and American Vogue),
and a major campaign (for Britain's
of Fraser). She also continued to use her celebrity to
call attention to important causes, particularly those benefiting
breast cancer research.
Upon the invitation of Arcadia Group owner Sir Philip Green, Yasmin
collaborated on an autumn/winter collection for high street retailer
under the label
YLB for Wallis,
consisting of over 20 pieces inspired by her own wardrobe and her
Persian roots. She stated that it helped renew her belief
in herself after a dark period in her life and was highly involved
in the design process. A spring/summer line came out the following
year. The collection does not mark Yasmin's permanent retirement
from modelling, as she appeared on four
(for i-D, Wonderland, L'Officiel NL, and Easy Living)
and in several
She has also continued her efforts for charity by helping to found
which is dedicated to raising funds to improve the lives of children
in the UK and Europe.
Yasmin keeps working steadily throughout the year, notably as one
international ambassadors. She has been the face of the brand's
Anew Reversalist line, for women aged 40 and up. Her
have been for Red, Harpers Bazaar, D, bmm,
and Stylist. Among her accomplishments for the year
include serving as part of the illustrious board of judges for the
Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize, modelling in the
London Fashion for Relief show side-by-side with daughter Amber,
being guest of honor at the unveiling of
Jonathan Wylder's sculpture of her, and continuing her charity
She also made a surprise appearance on the Paris catwalk in
Galliano's spring/summer 2011 show. In December, she was
honored for Outstanding Achievement as a Model by
Marie Claire Espana.
The year has been an active one for Yasmin's career.
Notably, she fronted
spring/summer 2011 advertising campaign as photographed by
Juergen Teller. She also walked in the
autumn/winter 2011 catwalk show in London and
Little Joe Woman
spring/summer 2011 show in Sydney for friend Gail Elliott.
In December, she appeared in the
pre-fall 2012 show, nearly 25 years after her first time on the
Chanel catwalk. She also served as the face for
David Morris in the British
jeweller's 25th anniversary campaign and for Canadian clothier
Joseph Ribkoff in addition
to her work for Avon. In other notable news, she designed a line
of dog walking accessories for Mungo & Maud and appeared
for the first time ever
in a Duran Duran video, "Girl Panic!"
2012 One major highlight of the year
was Yasmin's appearance in
Stéphane Rolland's spring/summer 2012
haute couture show, in which she wore a spectacular grand finale
gown weighing 50 kilos (110 pounds) that was so massive that she
required two escorts to descend the runway. Who else but a
modelling legend to command such an impressive garment?
Later that year, she appeared in shoots for
Vogue Spain and
Vogue Paris and became the face of
for its 25th anniversary (along with
daughter Amber) and
London, for its launch.
2013 One year after having her hair
shaved into an edgy undercut for a
The Gentlewoman shoot, the ever-versatile Yasmin, in a fit
of boredom over growing it out, had it dyed platinum blonde.
It was a look that she showcased in work for
The Times Magazine, and
Elle Spain. Having a passionate interest in
photography as instilled by her father, Yasmin both photographed
and styled herself in an editorial for the 200th issue of
Stylist, where she also served as fashion director. She also did
the autumn/winter campaign for Turkish
clothier Vakko as
well as continued her contracts with
Winser London. In her personal life, she and longtime friend
David Gandy participated in the grueling
race throughout the Italian countryside. They and
their vintage 1950 Jaguar XK120
overall (out of the 415 cars that began the race) after
accident about midway through the race.
Bio written by me for this site. Do not reproduce without
updated 20 January 2014