A French film
director spotted Liya Kebede whilst the model was still a high school
student, attending the Lycée Guebre Mariam in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Having completed her school studies, Kebede moved to Paris to pursue her
career in modelling.
Kebede established herself in Paris’ modelling scene quickly.
than a year after her arrival in the city, she walked for Ralph Lauren
and BCBG Max Azria, which led to Tom Ford selecting Kebede personally to
be a Gucci exclusive for A/W 2000 season.
Ford’s longtime collaborator Carine Roitfeld, then editor of French Vogue, awarded
the model yet more prestige when she dedicated the entire May 2002
edition of the publication to Kebede – a first in the magazine’s
In addition, the model has graced the covers of Italian,
Japanese, Spanish and American Vogue, as well as i-D, Flair and Time’s Style & Design edition.
The model has appeared in campaigns for Gap, Yves Saint-Laurent,
Victoria's Secret, Emanuel Ungaro, Tommy Hilfiger, Revlon, Dolce &
Gabbana, Escada and Louis Vuitton and entered the record books when in
2003 she was the first black model ever to be awarded an Estée Lauder
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