Every now and then a model comes along that is so unbelievably striking, you almost have to do a double-take to make sure you haven’t seen a Mermaid or some other mythical creature. And every now and then a model comes along who is equally as beautiful inside, as she is outside. It does happen folks. I’m talking about none other than Ethiopian supermodel, actress, designer, AND philanthropist Liya Kebede.
Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Liya Kebede was discovered by a film director who then introduced her to a French modeling agent. After making the move to Paris and working there for a while, she then moved to NYC where she got her big break, signing an exclusive contract with Tom Ford for his Gucci Fall/Winter 2000 fashion show. She has appeared in ads ALL over the world…Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Yves Saint-Laurent and Revlon to name just a few. In 2007, Forbes reported that she was the eleventh-highest-paid top model in the world and she currently ranks #13 on Models.com’s Icon List…..YES she’s an ICON ya’ll!
Of all the things I just mentioned above…Beauty, Money, Model Icon Status…all of those things pale in comparison to the philanthropic work Liya is involved in. She was appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in 2005 and founded the Liya Kebede Foundation to continue efforts in that regard. She has worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as part of their Living Proof Project and she even used her acting chops to help raise awareness on a very sensitive topic, female circumcision. Liya had a starring role in the film adaptation of Desert Flower, a book written about the life of former supermodel Waris Dirie, who underwent female circumcision in Ethiopia. This girl is bad!
Check her out:
Positively gorgeous! Until next time!