MIAMI (CBSMiami) — In this edition of “Women To Watch,” Trend Tracker® Tara Gilani caught up with renowned photographer Iran Issa-Khan at Neiman Marcus in Bal Harbour.
In the 70’s and 80’s, Iran Issa-Khan’s photos of supermodels, celebrities and ad campaigns were legendary. In the 90’s and 2000’s, she captured high society. Her Social Studies column in Ocean Drive magazine celebrated A-listers galore. Her focus now is on the physical world.
Shot in Miami, her exquisite new book salutes nature’s sensuality.
The word “fabulous” had little resonance for Gilani until she said she heard Issa-Khan say it like no one else had.
“You can’t get any higher than fabulous,” Iran said. “Be it a human being, be it a room, be it a baby, a painting, it’s fabulous. Nothing higher. To me, life is fabulous,” said Issa-Khan.
She was born in Tehran, Iran. She’s Persian.
“Our life was fabulous in Persia but then came the revolution. So that’s how I ended up in America,” said Issa-Khan.
She has lived all over the world. Her restlessness may have helped her become the star she is.
“I became a photographer because I didn’t have the personality to be an artist, sit around for weeks and months and paint so I went and became a photographer,” said Issa-Khan.
Iran says life is about luck and people.
“If you look at my life, you realize, you have to be born lucky, and you have to have the knowledge to do it. In my case, I was surrounded by people who opened doors and I went through them,” said Issa-Khan.
Gilani asked her to brag.
“I’m not going to brag because it will take too long,” replied Issa-Khan.
Gilani described Issa-Khan as funny as hell and truthful as all get-up.
“It’s really a man’s world. I was lucky to break the ceiling and do my own thing and get away with it,” said Issa-Khan.
She is the epitome of resilient.
“I had an accident. I broke my leg two years ago so I stopped working completely and I’m just going back to work. Took a long time. I’m very vain. I don’t want to walk with a walker. Hello? No way. Never,” said Issa-Khan.
Her mantra is, “If you really, really, really believe in something, no matter what, you can make it happen.”
Issa-Khan’s new book celebrates the raw power and sensuality of nature but how did she go from fashion to flowers?
“A dear friend of mine, Michele Oka Doner, who’s a very famous artist, asked me to shoot some plants for her. I didn’t know how to shoot plants because I shot people mostly. But when I started looking at the shell or a flower or something that came out of the earth or the ocean, I realized they were so perfect,” said Issa-Khan.
For her, beauty is life.
“Waking up, surrounding yourself with beautiful people, beautiful things and you become beautiful because you’re a mirror of life itself,” said Issa-Khan.
How does Iran stay fabulous? She goes out every night.
“Each time when I go out, I learn something new about myself and other people. That’s why I love to party,” said Issa-Khan.
She let Gilani in on her beauty secret.
“My secret is egg whites. I put egg whites on my face every morning and every night before I go out,” said Issa-Khan.
As for any surgical nip and tucks, she said, “None. I don’t believe in surgery but I do need to do my neck.”
Iran Issa-Khan played Gilani’s lightening round with an open heart.
Issa-Khan, from the heart, answered the Trend Tracker®’s round of questions: I am “happy.” I will “become the best photographer that people remember, forever.” I won’t “lie about what I believe in.” I promise, “to be forever grateful for God and what he has given me.” I wish “for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world.” I want “to be fabulous for life.”
Cheers Issa-Khan! Long may you reign.