Liya Kebede Biography
Liya Kebede is an Ethiopian-born model, maternal health advocate, clothing designer and actress. She identified her as the eleventh-highest-paid top model in the world in 2007 and she has appeared three times on the cover of U.S. Vogue. Since 2005, Kebede has served as the WHO’s Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.
Liya Kebede Age
Liya Kebede was born on 1 March 1978 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is 41 years old as of 2019.
Liya Kebede Husband
Kebede was married to Ethiopian hedge fund manager Kassy Kebede in 2000. Together they have two children together: son Suhul born on September 2000 and daughter Raee born on August 2005. Liya and Kassy separated in 2013 and publicly split in 2015.
Liya Kebede Net Worth
Kebede has a net worth of $18 million dollars as of 2019. Her career as a model is the primary source of her income. She also has a clothing line
Liya Kebede Education
Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Kebede was spotted by a film director while she was attending Lycée Guebre-Mariam and introduced her to a French modeling agent. After completing her studies, Kebede moved to France to pursue work through a Parisian agency.
Liya Kebede Photo
She later relocated to New York City. Kebede has remarked that the modeling industry in Ethiopia is quite different from the catwalks on which she is now ubiquitous because in Ethiopia she had to provide her own shoes for each runway show.
Liya Kebede Career
Her big break came when Tom Ford asked her for an exclusive contract for his Gucci Fall/Winter 2000 fashion show. Then in May 2002 Kebede was on the cover of Paris Vogue, which dedicated the entire issue to her.
Kebede has been seen on the covers of Italian, American, Japanese, French and Spanish Vogue, V, Flair, i-D and Time’s Style & Design. She has been featured in ad campaigns including those for Shiatzy Chen, Gap, Yves Saint-Laurent, Victoria’s Secret, Tommy Hilfiger, Emanuel Ungaro, Revlon, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada and Louis Vuitton.
Kebede was named the newest face of Estée Lauder cosmetics in 2003, the only Ethiopian to serve as their representative in the company’s 57-year history. Kebede’s contract was rumored to be worth $3 million. At this time in Kebede’s career, she was ranked #1 on models.com.
In July 2007, with Kebede earning $2.5 million over the previous 12 months, Forbes named her eleventh in the list of the World’s 15 Top-Earning Supermodels. The following year, casting agent James Scully likened her to “an exotic Grace Kelly”.
Kebede starred in the 2009 film-adaption of the bestselling autobiography Desert Flower by former supermodel Waris Dirie. The film recounts Dirie’s childhood in Somalia, her rise to stardom and subsequent awareness campaign against female circumcision. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and received a standing ovation Kebede has also had minor roles in The Good Shepherd in 2006 and Lord of War in 2005.
Kebede was among the models featured in Lacoste’s “new look” campaign in January 2011, a different advertising concept for the year, under the new tagline, “Unconventional Chic”. The ads were shot by Mert and Marcus, showing models wearing the iconic white Lacoste polo shirts worn over fancy black eveningwear. Kebede has starred alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in a Calvin Klein ad. She is currently on the list of New Supers by models.com featuring younger supermodels after 90s era.
Liya Kebede Lemlem
In 2008, Kebede launched Lemlem, a clothing line. Lemlem, which means “to bloom” in Amharic, features hand-spun, woven and embroidered women and children’s clothing. She founded the line to help preserve the art of traditional weaving in Ethiopia and to offer work opportunities to local artisans. Lemlem is sold at Barney’s, J.Crew, Net-a-Porter.com and numerous boutique shops. Kebede says she hopes this will be part of a sea change for her home country, saying that “It’s wonderful to be able to donate and help people”.
Liya Kebede Awards
Kebede was named one of Glamour’s Women of the Year in 2013 for her philanthropic work through her Liya Kebede Foundation.
Liya Kebede Movies
- Lord of War (2005)
- The Good Shepherd (2006)
- Desert Flower (2009)
- Black Gold (2011)
- Sur la Piste du Marsupilami (2012)
- The Best Offer (2013)
- Samba (2014)
- Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon (2019)