This Iman Quote Offers A Glimpse At What The Real David Bowie Was Like

Source: AP
Source: AP

Following news of David Bowie's death on Sunday, the rock god's fans have been sharing their recollections of him and mourning his passing on social media. One person who has largely stayed silent, however, is the woman who knew him best: Iman, Bowie's wife of 23 years. 

Bowie, who died at the age of 69 after an extended bout with cancer, met Iman on a blind date in the early '90s. The two tied the knot in April 1992. For decades, the world-famous glam rock star and the supermodel were one of the most enigmatic, glamorous couples in popular culture. As Bowie himself reportedly quipped, "You would think that a rock star being married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is." 

Despite the relationship's glamorous exterior, the couple was famously private, rarely commenting publicly on their relationship. In a 2014 interview with the Guardian, however, Iman opened up about her and Bowie's courtship, saying that while he has repeatedly said that it was love at first sight for him, she was much less certain initially.

"I was not ready for a relationship," Iman told the Guardian's Carole Cadwalladr. "Definitely I didn't want to get into a relationship with somebody like him. But as I always said: I fell in love with David Jones. I did not fall in love with David Bowie. Bowie is just a persona. He's a singer, an entertainer. David Jones is a man I met."

For decades, Bowie sent shockwaves throughout the music world with his flamboyant stage persona, his genderqueer aesthetic and his rumored flings with celebrities like Mick Jagger. Yet despite Bowie's glam rock swagger, the couple appeared to have had a relatively quiet home life. 

"David is even more of a homebody than I am," Iman said in the same Guardian interview. "At least I go to parties once in a while. I also think that there is nothing that he hasn't seen. He's been to all the parties that there are." Behind closed doors, Bowie and Iman appeared to have had a relationship dynamic that was a total reversal of their public personae, with the model telling Nate Berkus in 2010 that Bowie even "still ties my shoes for me."

While Iman has yet to publicly comment on her husband's death, she has shared a number of photos of Bowie on her Facebook page, including this image of Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust persona. She also posted images of him on his birthday, a mere two days before his death.

The model also posted cryptic messages on Instagram yesterday. "The struggle is real, but so is God," the image said, accompanied by the caption "rise."

A photo posted by (@) on

Even though Bowie's fans never got to know the real husband and father behind Ziggy Stardust, Iman's recollections of their marriage provide a glimpse into what the man behind the music was like. Apparently, he was quiet, reserved and a devoted husband and father — not to mention an expert shoe tier.

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EJ Dickson

Ej Dickson is Mic's Connections editor. A former lifestyle editor at the Daily Dot, Ej has also written for Salon, Vice, the Awl, the Hairpin and Women's Health Magazine. She does a middling impersonation of R&B star Macy Gray.

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