Liya Kebede is an Ethiopianborn model, maternal health advocate, clothing designer, and actress. Forbes identified her the eleventhhighestpaid top model in the world in 2007, and she has appeared three times on the cover of U.S. Vogue.
Kebede was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A film director spotted her while she was attending Lyce GuebreMariam and introduced her to a French modeling agent. After completing her studies, she moved to France to pursue work through a Parisian agency. Kebede later relocated to New York City. She 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.