Yasmin Le Bon was born Yasmin Parvaneh on October 29, 1964, in Oxford, England. She was the second child, after daughter Nadreh, of Iradj and Patricia Parvaneh. Growing up, Yasmin was very shy, but strong-willed; as a result, she was considered rather aloof by her peers. A fan of soccer and auto racing, Yasmin didn’t date much as a teenager. “Boys were terrified of her,” her mother later recalled. Still, Yasmin did well in school.
In 1981, Yasmin was discovered by a local modeling agency while working a part-time sales job. Over the next year or so, she competed in local beauty contests, appeared in a few fashion shows, and did a lot of hand modeling. Concerned about her apparent lack of direction, friends and family encouraged Yasmin to take up modeling full-time. Yasmin eventually agreed, as a fashion career would allow her to travel and see the world, something she always wanted to do.
Yasmin took a train to London in 1983, to visit the Models 1 Agency. Although she arrived drenched from a London downpour, she was signed on a trial basis — something “quite radical,” she would later say, since at the time, most models had “blonde bobs and big gobs.” Although she found difficulty getting magazine covers (especially in America), she consistently impressed clients with her professionalism, and her reputation blossomed accordingly.
One man who was particularly impressed with Yasmin was Simon Le Bon, lead singer of Duran Duran. In 1984, he happened across a picture of Yasmin in a photographer’s portfolio, and was smitten instantly. Through a friend at Models 1, he got Yasmin’s number, and persisted until she agreed to go out with him. Although Yasmin thought they were just going to the movies, Le Bon took her to the premiere of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. “It was love at first sight,” Yasmin confessed.
The couple married on December 27, 1985. By this time, Yasmin was working for such big names as Calvin Klein, Christian Dior and Karl Lagerfeld, and appeared on the first American and British issues of Elle. After a brief hiatus from modeling in early 1986, Yasmin continued with more success than ever, and appeared alongside Estelle Halliday in a Guess? ad campaign in 1987. By 1989, she was one of the highest-paid models in the world.
After a number of miscarriages in the mid-’80s, Yasmin gave birth to a daughter, Amber, in August 1989. With bills to pay and a love for modeling, Yasmin was back on the catwalks within weeks. In September, 1991, Yasmin had her second daughter, Saffron, and then, three years later, had her third, Tallulah.
Despite her busy personal life, she’s kept on working right up until the present. For instance, in the spring of 2001, Yasmin, by then a 36-year-old mother of three, modeled bikinis for Marks & Spencer. In 2003, she signed an exclusive deal with designer Matthew Williamson and his sponsor, Ariel Essential. “They’ll have to bury me before I give up,” Yasmin insists, and it’s clear that she’ll continue to push the boundaries of the fashion world.