Yasmin Le Bon for RED Magazine, photographed by Jonty Davis.
At the end of last month, my husband Joe Coffey (CEO of Little Joe Woman by Gail Elliott) and I, set off for London for our good friend Yasmin Le Bon's surprise 50th Birthday party. The celebration was hosted by Yasmin’s husband Simon Le Bon and members of Duran Duran at One Lombard Street in London’s EC1. The evening was a complete surprise to Yasmin, she thought she and Simon were going for dinner to celebrate his birthday which was two days later.
Approximately 150 guests awaited her arrival and five minutes beforehand we were warned she was on her way. The music was turned off, the lights dimmed and everyone was silent. All of a sudden the curtains were pulled across and there she was!!! What a surprise, there were paparazzi flashbulbs everywhere as well as hundreds of mobile phone images being shot….she couldn’t believe it and when she spotted me in the crowd, she cried. It was such an incredible moment, unbelievable in fact and definitely a night to remember. The champagne flowed and we danced until three in the morning!!
After a week of reminiscing old times and friends, I thought it would be fitting to look back on Yasmin’s career and life achievements as well as some special moments we’ve shared during our many years of friendship.
At the age of 17, Yasmin was scouted by Elliott Brown modelling agency while working at a London boutique, and in less than a decade, cemented herself as one of the highest earning models of the 1980’s. She met Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon in 1984, he saw images of her at a photographers studio and asked for her agents phone number. He called a few times and finally got to take her on a date to the premiere of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was love at first sight and they married in 1985. He was her first boyfriend, they are still married and will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in 2015. Simon and Yasmin have three beautiful daughters together, Amber, Saffron and Tallulah.
L-R: Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran & Yasmin Parveneh 1985; Yasmin Le Bon with daughters Amber, Saffron & Talulah for RED magazine, photographed by Doug Ordway.
During her early career, Yasmin signed with mega agency Elite which led to major campaigns for the likes of Calvin Klein, Christian Dior and Karl Lagerfeld. During the late 80’s she also graced the cover of hundreds of fashion magazines including Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan shooting with the best photographers in the industry - Patrick Demarchlier, Steven Meisel, Peter Lindberg, Arthur Elgort and Avedon.
She also walked for every designer one can think of including Valentino, Azzedine Alaia, Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein, Donna Karen, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Claude Montana, John Galliano, Jean-Paul Gautier and many more in London, Paris, Milan and New York every season for 12 years.
L-R: Yasmin Le Bon for Cosmopolitan Magazine, Italian Elle Magazine and British Elle Magazine.
Even after the age of 30 she was appearing in several high profile campaigns for Bloomingdales, Chanel, Harrods, Gianni Versace and Escada, to name a few. In September 2009, Yasmin added designer to her resume when she partnered with Wallis owner Phillip Green also the owner of Topshop to design her first women's clothing and jewellery collection ‘YLB’. Her second collection was launched in March 2010.
In 2011, Yasmin walked the runway for Little Joe Woman by Gail Elliott’s Spring/Summer 11/12 collection at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week in Sydney. This was an especially surreal and emotional moment for both of us and we were certainly fighting back the tears on the catwalk! We both felt so proud of one another holding hands at the finale - we’d known each other and been such close friends and gone through so much together for over 30 years and here she was, walking on the catwalk in my debut fashion show!
Yasmin & I walk the runway for my Little Joe Woman by Gail Elliott show in 2011.
There are so many experiences we’ve shared together - flying to exotic locations for numerous fashion shoots, her children, my wedding where she was one of my bridesmaids and all three children were my flower girls, vacations, events and have had so much fun together and we’ll always be there for one another and I feel blessed I can say this about someone.
Not only a successful supermodel and businesswoman, Yasmin is an incredibly generous and vivacious soul, loving wife and amazing mother. With a friendship spanning over 30 years, we’ve shared some of the greatest moments of our adult lives together, and while distance separates us geographically, our bond only continues to strengthen. Love you Yasmin! Gaily xx
The first shoot for my brand Little Joe Woman by Gail Elliott with Yasmin Le Bon, myself & Cindy Crawford on the island of Turks & Caicos 1995.
Yasmin & I walk the runway in the 1990's for Chanel, with baby Amber Le Bon.
Yasmin, myself & models backstage at Azzedine Alaia - 1990's.
L-R: Yasmin for a YSL Ad campaign - 1990's; Yasmin Le Bon, Christy Turlington & I for French Elle magazine when we'd all cut our hair into bobs - 1990's; Yasmin with supermodels Helena Christensen, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell & Eva Hertzigova for a recent edition of British Harpers Bazzar.
My gorgeous bridesmaids Georgina Bartlett, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen, me, my sister Dawn Elliott & Yasmin Le Bon - September 1997, Amagansett N.Y - The Hamptons.
L-R: Yasmin for Italian Vogue Magazine; Yasmin & I for Italian Marie Claire Magazine - 1990's; Yasmin for British I.D Magazine
Yasmin Le Bon, Natalia Vodinova, Elle Macpherson & I in London for a Calvin Klein event in 2012.