Monday, July 15, 2013

SASHES AND TIARAS and RUNWAY COUTURE.....A Look Back: Khadija Adam, "Miss Kenya 1984" "Miss World Continental Queen of Africa 1984" and Yves Saint Laurent Muse

 Khadija on Cosmo: Model Khadija Adam on the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine (US), October 1986

Time for a "SASHES AND TIARAS" Look Back Moment: Khadija Adam. Khadija Adam Ismail was a beauty queen turned Supermodel--and one of my first "muses" when I was a young boy dreaming of becoming a fashion designer. 5' 9" tall Khadija--or Kate as she was called--was crowned Miss Kenya 1984, almost thirty years ago. She then flew to London to compete in the Miss World 1984 pageant and was one of the 15 Semi-Finalists. Khadija was also crowned Continental Queen of Africa, a special title which gave her a trophy plus, of course, "bragging rights".

Khadija Adam "Miss Kenya" at Miss World 1984, in her National Costume during the Miss World 1984 Parade of Nations

Khadija Adam "Miss Kenya", during the Swimsuit Competition of "Miss World 1984" (with her swimsuit scores)

Khadija Adam "Miss Kenya" (far left) getting her "Continental Queen of Africa" trophy at "Miss World 1984"

Soon after her "appearance" at the Miss World, she caught the eye of model agents, photographers and the world's top fashion designers, becoming one of the most sought-after models during the late 80's and early 90's. It's not usual for a Beauty Queen to turn into a Supermodel (only a handful have done as such, with Dayana Mendoza, Miss Universe 2008 and Helena Christensen who was Miss Denmark 1986 as standouts). Many girls competing in beauty pageants think that it could be a trampoline for such a career but it usually does not work out since the Beauty pageant world and the Fashion world are two different animals.

Khadija went on to model in Milan, Paris, NYC, eventually landing the cover of Cosmopolitan on October 1986. Also, about the same time she began doing all the top runway shows in Milan and Paris, eventually becoming the Muse for the one-and-only Yves Saint Laurent...

Saint Laurent who in fact was so moved by the stunning exotic beauty, that he created an entire Haute Couture collection based on her. In addition, Khadija also landed a very lucrative make-up contract with Yves Saint
Laurent Cosmetics in 1986.

Here is a Photo Gallery of Khadija: the YSL Muse:

Khadija continued to model until the early 90's for various other designers, as well as doing countless editorial shoots, eventually leaving the model spotlight. In
1994, she unfortunately lost her fiance, Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger, who died after a crash.
Not much is known about what she's been up to since but I will always
remember Khadija as one of my "muses" when I was dreaming of becoming a
fashion designer, sketching in my bedroom. I would draw designs with her
as the model. Wherever you are Khadija Adam, Thank you for your beauty, elegance and for
unknowingly, being one of my first "paper dolls".