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Liya Kebede

Liya Kebede for Fashion's Night Out NYC

Liya Kebede. Her name means so much to some and so little to others.  However, when you see her face, the image of Liya will become forever embedded in your memory.  Liya is to me, not just one of the world’s most famous supermodels, Liya is a performance artist. In every fashion shoot, every ad campaign, every magazine cover or on the runway, Liya brings a fierceness that only she can embody.  Her face is the epitome of simplistic beauty.  She has no bold features like Naomi’s lips, Tyra’s forehead, or Iman’s eyes. Liya’s beauty is completely understated and yet it is aligned. This is where her beauty lies, nothing on her face is out of place, everything is congruent and well sewn. Liya’s beauty is something that is unique to only her.

Liya knows how to transform herself and embody any character she is portraying in a fashion shoot. This is why she is a performance artist. On her website, http://www.liyakebede.com/ some of her fashion editorials are posted and one of my favorites is Liya in a blonde wig.  I believe that the stylist was going for the Beyonce` inspired look and Liya does a superb job of displaying her inner Sasha Fierce and yet it’s still Liya. The image displays Liya’s best features like her slender frame and hypnotic eyes. In other pictures, Liya models the ethnic look, but, she her representation seems to celebrate it instead of imitate it.

In my humble opinion, it is Liya’s eyes that make her versatile.  Her eyes draw you in and force you to look at her. In every photo, they seem to call your name and you are entranced by her face.  The ability to get people to look at you, and more importantly, find you attractive and worthy of looking at is an almost impossible task. Nevertheless, Liya is able to do this with (as Kay Thompson said in “Funny Face”) grace, elegance, and pizzazz.

Additionally, Liya is an active philanthropist with her own foundation, aptly titled the Liya Kebede Foundation. The Liya Kebede Foundation is dedicated to reducing infant, mother and child mortality in Liya’s native Ethiopia and the world.  Liya also owns Lemlem, a clothing line of womenswear and childrenswear woven through traditional Ethiopian weaving methods.  Lastly, Liya is also a mother.  She has two children with her husband Kassy Kebede. In essence, Liya is not only a beautiful model, inspiring performance artist, wife and mother, she is a woman dedicated to leaving the world better than when she came.

And there it is. The Fashion and Style of the Pen…de la Pen.