Liya Kebede: The Super Model from Ethiopia

The daily people series continues with Ethiopian Super Model Liya Kebede

Liya Kebede (b. January 3,1978), is an Ethiopian Super Model.In 2003 Liya became the first woman of color to represent the Estée Lauder brand. Off screen, Kebede is a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador with the World Health Organization, working to raise awareness of the difficulties women and children face in the developing world. In her efforts to make a difference, she founded The Liya Kebede Foundation which aims to improve the health and well-being of mothers and children around the world.

 Super Model Liya Kebde is among the World’s Top Earning Models according to a report published by Forbes magazine. In 2006, the Ethiopian knock out earned $2.5 million making her among the top 15 richest Models in the world. She is the second Ethiopian ever to be listed in Forbes’s Richest list. The first being Ethiopian born, Mohammed Al Amoudi as the World’s 86th Richest person.


Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Liya Kebede graduated from the French Lycée in Addis. Liya subsequently moved to Paris to pursue her modelling career.

Liya has appeared on the covers of American, French, Italian, Spanish, Korean and Japanese Vogue, as well Time Style and Design. Other recent features include editorial spreads in American and British Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. She was recently voted model of the year in Asia.

Liya Kebede is currently a “face” of Estée Lauder – the first woman of colour to represent the brand in its 59 year history. This appointment has triggered countless more editorials in high profile publications, including the New York Times. Liya has been involved in modelling campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton, among others.

Liya has a global appeal. She has a passionate desire to use her success as a means to benefit the lives of people from her homeland and beyond. Liya speaks English and Amharic, as well as fluent French and some Italian.

In 2005, Kebede was appointed as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Healt
She currently lives in New York City with her husband and their 2 children

Having gained wide success in the world of fashion and modeling, Liya Kebede has transitioned successfully into the world of acting, with the starring role in the independent film, Desert Flower. An adaptation of Waris Dirie’s bestselling autobiography, the story recounts Dirie’s rise from childhood in the Somali desert to the catwalks of the international fashion business.

Source: http://thefamouspeople.net/en03/biography/liya-kebede-1888

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