From Humble Beginnings to the Face of Estée Lauder: Imaan Hammam’s Extraordinary Modeling Journey


Imagine a world where dreams don’t just stay in your sleep but stitch themselves into real life. Where being true to yourself and standing strong is like a brush that paints the picture of success. Now, meet Imaan Hammam, a 26-year-old supermodel known across the globe. Her journey is exactly that kind of story. A remarkable odyssey from humble beginnings to becoming the radiant face of Estée Lauder, her story redefines what beauty looks like and how it extends far beyond the glitz and glamour. 

Dress, Schiaparelli Haute Couture. Image – Chris Colls

Picture this: cobbled streets in Amsterdam, where it all began. A time when Imaan was just a name echoing through her family’s Moroccan and Egyptian heritage—a name destined to encompass not just her identity but also her dreams. In her adolescent years, as her feet grazed the same streets where Rembrandt once walked, little did she know that these very pavements would lay the foundation for a journey that would take her to international runways, the pages of high fashion, and the heart of millions. But that’s just the start. This story isn’t about where she started, but where she’s taken herself and how she has rewritten the rules of dreaming big.


Gown, Armani Prive. Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels. Image – Chris Colls
Dress, Fendi Couture. Image – Chris Colls
Coat, dress, tights, pumps, Valentino Haute Couture. Image – Chris Colls

Dreams Beyond the Spotlight

“I always wanted to do something that’s more than just looking good,” says Imaan. That’s why, pinned to her fridge, there’s a list for 2023 – a year brimming with dreams. Learning new languages, and getting Global Entry – these aspirations are what makes her tick. Amidst these hopes, “Islam” finds its place, a poignant reminder of her commitment to her faith. This year, her spiritual devotion led her to step away from the spotlight during Ramadan, a time of introspection and renewal.

Jumpsuit, pumps, Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture By Haider Ackermann. Image – Chris Colls
Corset with draped bodysuit, pumps, Miss Sohee. Tights, Wolford. Image – Chris Colls

From the serendipitous moment of her scouting at just 13, to now a decade into the whirlwind of supermodel stardom,  her rise was meteoric;  signing her first contract at 16, making her runway debut for Jean Paul Gaultier and opening the Givenchy show for Riccardo Tisci. The subsequent years saw her grace countless magazine covers, adorn the campaigns of luxury brands like Chanel and Versace, and collaborate with industry giants.

Coat, earring, Dior Haute Couture. Hat, Ellen Christine Couture. Image – Chris Colls
Coat, jumpsuit, skirt, boots, Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture. Image – Chris Colls

And then came the moment that Imaan has been dreaming of since forever she became the face of Estée Lauder. “Being an Estée woman was always in the back of my mind,” she reveals. It’s a dream she’s turned into reality. “This representation is what we need.” Her distinctive Afro-Arab heritage breathed new life into the brand’s narrative, shaping the representation she had always yearned for. Through this platform, Imaan champions diversity and inclusion, subtly but resolutely setting the stage for others to follow.

Hooded Jumpsuit, Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture. Image – Chris Colls


Dress, gloves by Causse, ankle boots by Massaro, Chanel Haute Couture. Image – Chris Colls

Balancing Acts: Modeling, Identity, and Beyond

Yet, her path hasn’t been without dilemmas. Balancing the demands of a global modelling career with her identity as a Muslim woman has been a constant tightrope walk. Her mother’s words echo in her mind – to navigate the world with respect for herself and her religion. This delicate balance is exemplified in the image she projected at a recent event, causing a stir within her family. The dichotomy she often faces is emblematic of the multifaceted journey she’s treading.

Swimsuit, Dior Haute Couture. Earrings, Cartier. Image – Chris Colls
Cape, dress, Elie Saab. Image – Chris Colls

Amidst the fame, her heart beats for more than just the camera flashes. Imaan’s visibility has transformed her into an advocate for change, a role she embraces wholeheartedly. Beyond beauty and modelling, her voice resonates with authenticity as she sheds light on her Moroccan-Egyptian and Muslim identity. In a world where social media can be a double-edged sword, Imaan employs it to impart positivity and authenticity. Her TikTok videos, a creative blend of her culinary pursuits, showcase a slice of her life beyond the catwalks.

Charting New Horizons

As she navigates her path, there’s a blend of old and new. She’s grounded in her family, finding strength in her roots. And her plans? They include some unexpected twists, like learning Brazilian jiujitsu. “I think it’s a fun sport,” she chuckles. And then there’s the future, brimming with excitement and possibilities. While she’s already etched her name in the world of fashion, there’s more on the horizon. An upcoming chapter involving her special partnership with Estée Lauder- a brand that’s not just known for cosmetics, but also recognised for embracing individuality and diversity in the world of beauty and fashion. It’s like a meeting of minds – her radiant authenticity aligns perfectly with the brand’s timeless charm.

Bralette, Earrings, Fendi Couture. Corset, New York Vintage. Image – Chris Colls

In a world where trends change in the blink of an eye, Imaan’s journey remains steadfast, a beacon of self-discovery and empowerment. From the runways to the streets of Amsterdam, from Ramadan’s introspection to Estée Lauder’s spotlight, Imaan Hammam’s journey remains a beacon of inspiration—a story of triumph, unity, and the beauty of dreams realised. 

Shop Imaan Hammam’s Beauty Look

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