Ethiopian born Liya Kebede may be a bit older than the other ladies featured on our supermodels of the future feature, but at 34 the model has proved her staying power. Liya went from providing her own shoes for Ethiopian runway shows, to covering over half a dozen magazine covers including Italian, Japanese, American, French and Spanish Vogue. In addition to her print work, Liya frequents runways and was the first Ethiopian to serve as the face of Estee Lauder cosmetics. Take a look at some of her fashion contributions over the last five years.
- Appears in Harper’s Bazaar editorial
- Opens the fall Aquascutum and Emanuel Ungaro shows in London and Paris
- Closes the fall Armand Basi show in London
- Releases her line of children’s clothes, Lemlem
- Named the world’s fifteenth highest-paid model by Forbes, having made a reported $1.5 million in the past year
- Featured on the cover of the all-black issue of Italian Vogue
- Ends Olga Sherer’s one-year run as the face of Lanvin, with Raquel Zimmermann
- Appears in editorials for Vogue and Japanese and Italian Vogue
- Opens the fall Balenciaga show in Paris
- Stars in Desert Flower, as a Somalian supermodel who underwent circumcision Video»
- Appears in editorials for Italian Vogue, Vogue, W, and V, Numero
- Featured in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people
- Featured on the cover of Essence, alongside Iman and Naomi Campbell
- Becomes the face of Lacoste
- Appears in Marie Claire editorial
- Appears in Vogue editorial
- Models for the Balenciaga fall ad campaign
- Models for the Bottega Veneta spring ad campaign
Aside from her stunning features and model life, Liya is also committed to making serious change off the runway. The model founded The Liya Kebede Foundation that is committed to ensuring that every woman, no matter where she lives, has access to life-saving care as it relates to child bearing.
The Black History Does Fashion Supermodels of Past, Present and Future, has come to an end, but that doesn’t mean that learning about the tastemakers and trail blazers in the industry has to end. Stay enlightened, and aspire to live up to the oldest cliché of making the world a better place.