Iman and Missoni

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - The Rodeo Drive Committee and the City of Beverly Hills honored international supermodel, actress and entrepreneur Iman, and acclaimed Italian fashion house, Missoni with the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style® Award at an awards ceremony on Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 7pm on Rodeo Drive. Rachel Zoe presented the award to Iman, while Quincy Jones presented the award to the Missoni family. The evening also featured a special silent auction benefiting Save the Children in their efforts to respond to the needs of children and their families affected by the East Africa Food Crisis brought on by the worst drought in six decades.

The on-going award, inaugurated in 2003, honors style legends for their contributions to the worlds of fashion and entertainment. Both recipients received plaques on Rodeo Drive, featuring their signature and quote, which will be embedded permanently in the sidewalk of the celebrated street. Iman's quote reads, "Fashion and Cinema are global trends... from Hong Kong to Hollywood." The Missoni plaque includes the quote, "Life is more with colors."

In attendance to accept the award were Iman, Angela Missoni, Margherita Missoni, Rosita Missoni, Ottavio Missoni, Vittorio Missoni, Ottavio Missoni, Jr., Luca Missoni, and Jennifer Missoni. Along with the Missonis, Sofia Vergara, Alessandra Ambrosio, Michelle Alves, Alexis Bledel, Elisabetta Canalis, Gabrielle Union, Terri Seymour, and Nicky Hilton were all dressed in vibrant Missoni patterns for the evening's festivities. Other members from the fashion, art and entertainment industries were in attendance and included: Rachel Zoe, Quincy Jones, Mena Suvari, Samaire Armstrong, Jessica Lowndes, Kevin McKidd, Peggy Moffit, and past Rodeo Drive Walk of Style® recipients, James Galanos and James Acheson, along with many others. Beverly Hills Mayor Barry Brucker and Rodeo Drive Walk of Style® committee members Wanda McDaniel and Peri Ellen Berne were also included in the evening's event.

The 400 block of Rodeo Drive was shutdown to traffic and was transformed into a chic cocktail party for this very special occasion. Instead of the traditional red carpet arrivals, this evening's guests arrived on a bright pink carpet in honor of one of the night's honorees, Missoni. Guests lounged on couches and ottomans adorned with Missoni pillows, while listening to the evening's guest DJ, Samantha Ronson. Inflatable walls washed in color bookended the reception space on Rodeo Drive, with giant inflatable stars on the median strip and at arrivals adding to the décor. Buffets with decadent Italian modern flair and florals lined the street, while guests flowed in and out of the Missoni store for cocktails.

A special outdoor banner exhibition honoring Iman and Missoni coincides with the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style® celebration through November 3. The exhibition along Rodeo Drive consists of iconic photographs of Iman as well as Missoni's signature patterns and vibrant colors.

Iman and Missoni were the seventeenth and eighteenth recipients inducted into the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style®, following previous honorees Fred Hayman, Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco and Cartier, Valentino Garavani, Manolo Blahnik, James Galanos, Gianni and Donatella Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Edith Head, James Acheson and Milena Canonero, Herb Ritts and Mario Testino and Tom Ford. Giorgio Armani was the first recipient in 2003. Honorees are selected by an independent committee comprised of media, celebrities, past honorees and academics in the worlds of fashion and entertainment.

Created by the late sculptor Robert Graham and standing 14-feet tall at the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way, "Torso" serves as the symbol for the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style®. The Walk of Style® Award, also designed by Mr. Graham, is a miniature model of "Torso."

Iman began her career in 1975 as a model and has challenged the prevailing notions of beauty ever since. The daughter of an African diplomat, Iman was born in Somalia and grew up speaking five languages. She studied political science at Nairobi University, where legendary photographer Peter Beard discovered her. Her first modeling assignment was for Vogue in 1976; since then, she has been a muse for fashion designers including Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. During her 14 years as a model, Iman worked with top photographers Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Annie Liebovitz.

Iman's influence in the fashion and entertainment industries does not only stem from her role as an international supermodel and actress, but also an entrepreneur and philanthropist. She is the Founder and CEO of IMAN Cosmetics, Skincare and Fragrances, a beauty company that created the first cosmetics and skincare collection designed for all women with skin of color. Launched in 1994, the IMAN brand philosophy holds that women with skin of color present many races, cultures and ethnicities. In addition to running a global beauty company, Iman is actively involved in several charities, including The Children's Defense Fund, Action Against Hunger and the RAISE HOPE FOR CONGO campaign, that aims to build a permanent and diverse constituency of activists who advocate for protection and empowerment of Congolese women and girls. She is also ambassador for Save the Children to raise funds and awareness for the famine and drought that is ravaging East Africa, and in particular, her homeland Somalia.

In 2010, the Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA) honored Iman with the prestigious Fashion Icon Award, presented annually to one person who embodies fashion and revolution. In celebration of the award, then Creative Director of Barneys New York, Simon Doonan, dedicated two of the store's Madison Avenue window displays to the supermodel and mogul with a gallery-like tribute. Iman has also previously been honored as Glamour Magazine's 'Woman of the Year' in 2006 for her AIDS activism.

Also being honored with the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award® will be Missoni. In 1969 Diana Vreeland, the famous fashion editor of American Vogue, declared Missoni's techniques as "ingenious." Her comment: "Who said there are only colours, there are shades too!"

The Missoni style reflects the successful venture of a husband-and-wife team: married in 1953, Tai and Rosita started a knitwear business that would come to symbolize Italian fashion in the mid-Sixties with its signature designs. Missoni successfully introduced and established an unmistakable way of dressing and living. Identified by unique "put together" combinations of color, texture and iconic patterns, Missoni's designs feature a kaleidoscope of bold hues, zigzags, stripes, waves, flames, geometric patchworks and floral jacquards.

Missoni's signature designs have significantly influenced the realms of fashion and entertainment and are favored among the world's most distinguished celebrities including Cate Blanchett, Cameron Diaz, Demi Moore, Diane Kruger, Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Nicole Richie, Kate Moss, Sofia Vergara, Rihanna, and Fergie, among others.

Born between 1954 and 1958, Tai and Rosita's children, Vittorio, Luca and Angela, were raised in close contact with their parents' work. Increasingly involved in the business on various levels, all three children have stepped into highly responsible positions to become the co-creators of a concept that - blending craftsmanship with high technology and aesthetic invention with the development of form - continues to enchant and thrill people everywhere.

Today, Missoni is one of the most widely respected ambassadors of Italian fashion and design around the world. With its colorful aesthetic vision, the company continues to influence contemporary lifestyles, thanks also to the success of the Missoni Home line and the recent inaugurations of the Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh and Kuwait.

In 1979, Italian journalist Maria Pezzi described Missoni's fashions as "museum pieces that can nevertheless be worn." The Missoni story has since been marked with countless awards and a plethora of public acknowledgements.

Sponsors for the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style® honoring Iman and Missoni included the City of Beverly Hills, The Beverly Hills Hotel, The Hollywood Reporter, Margaret Maldonado Agency, Italian Trade Commission, Consulate General of Italy and Glasshouse Fragrances.

About Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Drive, internationally recognized as the intersection of fashion and entertainment, is a unique destination for both Southern California residents, as well as visitors from around the globe. The more than 100 distinguished retailers all help create an unparalleled atmosphere only found on the three blocks of this famed street. For more information Rodeo Drive and the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style®, please visit www.rodeodrive-bh.com