While the world collectively mourns the loss of rock god David Bowie, I can’t help but think about the one person who is rightfully more heartbroken than all of his fans combined: his wife of more than 20 years, entrepreneur and supermodel Iman. If you know anything about the couple, you know that theirs was something of a storybook romance — what the kids these days call “relationship goals.” After all, making a marriage last for more than a decade, and then more than two, is a feat in and of itself. Weddings are just the start, but to make a marriage work requires lots of patience, compassion, and understanding, not to mention plenty of romance, which it seems the pair had in spades. When you consider the fact that they were both highly successful superstars in their own right, you know that their marriage surely faced even more adversity what with tabloids and paparazzi. But for lovebirds Bowie and Iman, there were plenty of perfect moments that likely punctuated their otherwise busy lives.
Iman and Bowie both managed to stay together until the very end. Iman, it seems, was already preparing herself and the world for Bowie’s imminent exit from this world as just days prior, she had taken to social media, posting messages which surely were prelude to her husband’s death. Here, a tribute to not only the life and times (and music) of David Bowie, but also to the romance that existed between him and his beautiful wife.
Their Fairytale First Blind Date
In the book, David Bowie: Star Man, author Paul Trynka details how Iman and Bowie first met and fell in love:
A hairdresser friend, Teddy Antolin, had arranged a blind date for him on October 14. Later, David would comment it was love at first sight, although in face he had been introduced to the model Iman three or four times before...Iman was attracted to David straightaway but later said she truly fell in love when she found he adored reading to people, just like her father did...As for David, he later said he started thinking of children’s names the night they met.
First off, who knew David Bowie needed setting up? And who would imagine someone like Iman needing to go on a blind date?! I can’t blame them for falling for eachother so soon, though learning about Bowie having a fondness for reading (and also for making funny voices--another reason she gave for falling for him) just makes him all the more loveable. And although it’s been reported that she wasn’t really looking for a serious relationship, there’s no doubt she had no regrets once the pair got married two years later.
Any Time Bowie Looked At Iman (& Vice Versa)
No matter how much time passed, Bowie only had eyes for his drop-dead gorgeous, activist wife. Seriously, here he is again giving her that, “Damn how am I this lucky?!” look at their wedding.
That Time Bowie Wrote Several Songs For His Wedding To Iman
Ever the romantic, Bowie composed several songs for his wedding to Iman. In a 1993 interview with The Boston Globe, Bowie explained,
Writing [the music for the wedding] brought my mind around to, obviously, what commitment means and why I was getting married at this age and what my intentions were and were they honorable? [laughs] And what I really wanted from my life from now on. I guess it acted as a watershed to write a lot of quite personal things, putting together a collection of songs that illustrated what I'd been going through over the past three or four years.
A short time later, Bowie released Black Tie White Noise, his first solo album release as a married man. Two of the songs from his wedding made it on to the album, including “Pallas Athena” and “The Wedding/The Wedding Song”, the latter of which can be heard above. But seriously, who the hell writes their own wedding music? Swoon.
When Bowie Called His Marriage To Iman His "Greatest Achievement"
Back in 1995, just five years into his marriage with Imanl, Bowie was interviewed by music writer Simon Witter. Witter asked what the singer considered to be his greatest achievement, that single moment when he’d realized he’d made it. Without missing a beat, Bowie answered with a chuckle, “Marrying my wife. That’s the most successful thing I ever did in my life.” When Witter attempted to get Bowie to answer the question in relation to his music career, Bowie scoffed and replied with, “Nothing else counts.” Well said, David. (You can hear the full audio of that interview here.)
Whenever They Worked Together On Pet Causes
There’s nothing quite like having a partner that truly understands and supports your passions, and it’s certain that Bowie and Iman were both supportive of one another’s work to improve the state of the world. While Somali-born Iman hasn’t done any catwalking in decades, she has been plenty busy with charity work — much of it with husband Bowie by her side.
Back in the early '90s, the duo participated in a fundraising event called 7th on Sale, which benefitted AIDS research, along with several other efforts to support the search for a treatments and a cure for AIDS. And in 2006, Bowie and Iman both took part in the Keep Children Alive black-tie gala (Bowie volunteered his musical skills and Iman hosted the event). Both Iman and Bowie volunteered their time and talents to various other organizations, and it’s likely that they supported one another through those efforts as well.
That Time Iman Told The World Bowie Loved Her So Much He Ties Her Shoes For Her
During an appearance on Nate Burkus’ talk show in 2010, Iman went on and on about how much she loved her husband, and what a special marriage they had. At the time, the couple had been married for 18 years, and Iman confessed that Bowie, ever the devoted husband, catered to her every need, even getting down on bended knee to tie her shoes for her every once in a while. (Take a second and go "Awww..." with me now.)
That Time They Celebrated The End Of Apartheid Together
In 1995, Iman and Bowie flew together to a post-Apartheid South Africa to celebrate the progress of the nation and briefly meet Nelson Mandela. While no longer a model, Iman was delighted to take part in a photo spread of the momentous occasion for Vogue, shot by Bruce Weber. One can only imagine the surge of joy in their hearts to be able to celebrate such a historically-significant moment together.
When Two Became Three
Bowie and Iman struggled to get pregnant for the first few years of their marriage. Iman wound up undergoing several unsuccessful bouts of IVF before she was able to finally conceive. Eventually, their luck changed, and from the way they looked at their darling baby once she was born, it's a safe bet the couple were over the moon with love for both baby and each other.
All The Lighthearted Moments They Shared
They say the couple that laughs together stays together, and there’s no doubt Iman and Bowie were yukking it up and having a blast throughout their marriage, no matter what challenges came their way. I mean... just look at them. Too cute.
When She Stuck By His Side Until The End
From the time they said “I do” to the moment Bowie succumbed to his fight against liver cancer this week, Iman was there by his side. Is there really any greater testament to love than this?
Rest in peace, Ziggy Stardust.
Images: Brad Barket/Getty Images; Giphy (4)