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Model Spotlight: Liya Kebede

Model Spotlight: Liya Kebede


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.

Fashion Timeline:

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 VogueVogueW, 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.

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