Yasmin Le BonSHARE
Last time we spotted Yasmin Le Bon she was sitting front row on a frosty day during London Fashion Week, shining like a bright star. Not just because she was wearing fluorescent yellow Christopher Kane, but because at 47-years-old, the supermodel dubbed as the highest paid model of the 80s is still very much in the spotlight; luminous in a way only the British paparazzi can create. A die-hard fan may have picked up that Le Bon was wearing the same dress, paired with the same Alaïa heels, she’d worn to a magazine awards in Spain almost three months earlier. (What it is with those supermodels and Alaïa?) A metaphorical mind may read a little more into it; in a day and age when the next big thing is all that is on everyone’s collective conscious, it’s telling that Le Bon knows that there there’s nothing wrong with having a favourite. Others seem to know it too. Like Hermès (she did their spring summer campaign), Moschino (another spring summer campaign) and she was even chosen as the Avon lady for their latest TVC.
Her classic good looks, a genetic gift from her English mother and Iranian father, were never going out of style but it was her marriage at the age of 21 to Duran Duran’s mullet-sporting frontman Simon Le Bon that cemented her star-power. Together they’ve had three daughters, and formed what could be called the ultimate pop clan.
Recently they travelled to Coachella where Duran Duran played on the last night, “when the girls found out, a family trip had to be made” before Le Bon headed to Sydney, for Rosemount Australian Fashion Week to see her pal and fellow ‘super’ Gail Elliott for her Little Joe NY presentation. Like old times, they closed the show together, arm-in-arm and just a tad emotional. “It was quite extraordinary,” she said afterwards. “After 25 years of doing shows together there we were doing her show.” While there was plenty to celebrate (it was after all her first time to Sydney), Le Bon arrived radiant at our RUSSH shoot early the next morning (yes, in Kane again, although this time green) and proceeded to make everyone fall in love with her.
She knows a synth riff, is a self-confessed “petrol head” due to her love of classic cars and if you asked her to a party, it’s unlikely she’d say no. She’d let you down lightly. She’d just wink and say ‘perhaps another time’.
We’ve just seen the Moschino Spring 2011 campaign; can you tell me about working with Juergen Teller and Anna Dello Russo?
Funnily enough, I have known Anna and Juergen for years, but never really worked with them. We had such a fun, easy-going kind of day. It felt like the good old days. Juergen doesn’t like big crews, and neither do I, so a super small, but super effective team was assembled. The sun shone on the Duomo in Milan and in a surreal moment while I was prancing around in cowboy hat and gold, an anti-austerity march was going on across the square.
What else are you working on at the moment?
If I told you, I’d have to kill you!
Did you ever think you’d be modelling in your 40s?
Nobody ever thinks they will be modelling in their 40s! You always assume it is a stepping stone to something else. I, fortunately, love what I do, and am obviously a late developer. Maybe when I grow up I’ll get a proper job!
After the birth of your daughter, you were on the catwalk 10 days later. How did you do that?
Actually, after I had Amber it was later, but after I had my second daughter Saffron I did have to get back on the catwalk 10 days after giving birth. That was not my intention and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, but to be honest I didn’t have a choice. I hadn’t had a pay cheque for a long time and couldn’t afford to miss another season.
I’ve been told that you are a music lover and an important sounding board for Simon. Are you working on anything at the moment with them?
Music is so important to me, and I have been surrounded by musicians my whole life. Simon’s job is a 24-seven thing and although it is important for him to have someone outside of the band to bounce ideas with, I am not the fifth or sixth member of the band! I’m actually quite worried by this question … does this mean that my highly-delusional image of myself has infiltrated the real world?
You said somewhere that you can’t help but critique your husband’s performances, what do you think of the new album with Ronson?
I really love it, and can’t stop listening to it. Mark’s a great guy, and Simon loves working with him. I don’t think it’s easy to define the Duran sound, but this album has somehow managed to capture a sense of edge and urgency that I haven’t heard for quite awhile, I also really love what Kelis has done, especially on The Man Who Stole A Leopard.
I remember reading that Simon had seen you on the cover of a magazine and asked you out, is this really the story of how you met?
Sort of, kinda! It was such a long time ago! I prided myself on not being a prejudiced person, but if there was one type of guy I was NEVER going to go out with it was a rock star! So just to point out that all the best-laid plans are quite worthless when you really fancy someone.
So what was your first date like? Did you play it cool? Were you a fan?
Our first date was not a normal affair. We went to a world premiere of an Indiana Jones movie, and Duran Duran were the biggest band in the world at that point. I can remember spending a lot of the evening refusing to tell anyone my name, because I thought it was such an affront of them to ask. Consequently I was known as The Mystery Woman for about two or three days!
You’ve been married for over 25 years and have three daughters, what is the secret to such a successful family life?
There are no secrets. Nobody has the answer. It was luck and timing that I met Simon, and that we have managed to grow and laugh together. You have to accept that there are going to be low points, but that is when you learn the most about yourself, and hopefully can have some perspective on life.
How would you describe your childhood?
I lived to a huge extent in my imagination. I was probably, and maybe still am, a bit of a loner, and a big daydreamer. No wonder I never get anything done!
You grew up in Oxford, what was that like?
Oxford is a really small town and I got out of there!
What are your favourite songs?
They change all the time. I still love Box Full O’ Honey and Valley from the album Red Carpet Massacre. And I am so in love with Leave A Light On from the new album All You Need Is Now. Hungry Like The Wolf, New Religion, Serious, oh God, the list is endless, it’s liking asking me which is my favourite child, there is no answer to that except, ‘I love them all’!
What other bands do you listen to?
Too many to mention, but I have to mix up music from different eras and genres. Got to be able to throw some Plan B on, then Joni Mitchell, Underworld, Stevie Wonder and Arcade Fire, with Bowie, Marvin Gaye and Radiohead.