Iman deliberately separated herself from fashion to be taken seriously as a businesswoman.

The former supermodel found it difficult to be taken seriously when she made the move from modelling to setting up her own cosmetics line, Iman Cosmetics, in 1994 - which focuses on hard-to-find make-up shades for ethnic women - so made conscious decision to attend less showbiz parties.

According to Fashionista website, she said: ''When I decided to enter business, it took five to six years for anybody to take me seriously. I did the first step forward to take myself seriously - I divorced myself from my industry.

''I stopped going to any fashion parties, so that people wouldn't photograph me with 'Model Iman' next to it. I studiously pick what I will go to and what I will not. If it endangers my brand, I don't go.''

The star - who is married to David Bowie - advised budding entrepreneurs to commit themselves fully to their project, revealing she stopped reading fashion magazines in order to focus on business because she wants women to be impressed with her beauty products.

Speaking at US Glamour magazine's 'Secrets of Start-Up Queens: How to Launch a Successful Business in Today's Entrepreneurial Economy' discussion panel, Iman explained: ''I went to JC Penney and gave them a presentation and they said, 'We'll take [the line].' I went to the production company and said, 'Okay I have 400 doors.'

''So I didn't put any of my own money into it. The takeaway is that you have to know what you're talking about. And not just about the foundation; I've stopped reading Vogue and started reading the Census Bureau.

''At the end of the day, it's the product, stupid! A woman might buy it because it's from Iman, but if she takes it home and it does not work, you've lost her.''