Liya Kebede Biography
(Ethiopian Model & Maternal Health Advocate Who Served as the WHO's Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health)
Birthday: March 1, 1978 (Pisces)
Born In: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
In addition to being a groundbreaking Ethiopian model, Liya Kebede is an active and vocal philanthropist committed to the health of women, infants and children. Born and raised in Ethiopia, she was discovered as a child by a French film director who recommended her to modelling agencies. After finishing her education in Africa she moved to Paris and began a successful modeling career during which she has modeled for ‘Gap’, ‘Tommy Hilfiger’, ‘Yves, Saint-Laurent’, ‘Victoria's Secret’, ‘Revlon’ and many other major labels. Shortly after her arrival in America she featured in the first issue of 'Vogue' which was entirely dedicated to a single model and also signed a contract that made her the first person of color to model for ‘Estée Lauder’. In addition to modeling she has also appeared in many films in supporting and starring roles. Throughout her career she has used her wealth and celebrity status to fund many philanthropic projects that support the health and well-being of women and children around the world. She is also a fashion designer with a personal clothing line that provides jobs to traditional Ethiopian craftsmen and keeps African weaving customs alive. Today she lives with her family in New York City and continues to support health related humanitarian causes.