Iman Reveals She Snuck Into the U.S. to Become a Model: Find Out How She Did It

Iman at a screening of "Desert Dancer" on April 7, 2015.
Iman reveals how she snuck into the U.S. without her parents knowing. Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

That's determination!

Iman clearly took the "by any means necessary" approach to break into the fashion world. Before she ever posed for major fashion magazines including Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, the Somalia-born supermodel, 59, faced many barriers — like figuring out how to travel to the U.S. to launch her career.

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"I was under 18, and to leave Kenya to come to the United States, to get a passport, you had to be 18," she told New York magazine at the Cinema Society screening of Desert Dancer on Tuesday, April 7, in New York City.

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At the time, her supermodel dreams clashed with her studies at University of Nairobi. "So I lied and said I was 19 to get the passport, because [otherwise] I had to have permission from my parents, and my parents would never have let me come," Iman (born Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid) said.

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For the daughter of a diplomat and a gynecologist, Iman's situation presented quite the challenge, but her crazy idea brought her to the Big Apple without her parents ever knowing.

"You know how they found out? I was in Newsweek a week later," David Bowie's wife of 23 years said. "It's the only magazine my father reads, and the next thing, he's reading, and there's a picture of me in New York, [saying,] 'She's the hottest model now.'"

The legendary model, who’s walked for designers including Versace, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan, doesn't regret her risky choice. "I broke the law!" she said. "But nobody can touch me now, I'm 60 years old, it's too late. The time has passed."

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