Liya Kebede is best known as a top fashion and contract (Estee Lauder) model. She got her breakthrough when Tom Ford personally selected her for his Gucci A/W show in 2000. On top of her countless Vogue covers (the entire May 2002 edition of Paris Vogue was dedicated to Liya), campaigns have included Gap, Yves Saint-Laurent, Victoria’s Secret, Emanuel Ungaro, Tommy Hilfiger, Revlon, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada and Louis Vuitton.
In 2005, Kebede was appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, and has carried out numerous work across the world, and in her native Ethiopia to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality. Kebede regularly writes for The Huffington Post about the topic.
In 2007, Liya took on a different challenge as she noticed traditional weavers in Ethiopia were suffering as the local demand for their products declined.
The brand set out to create beautiful, handcrafted clothing, accessories and a home accessories with a simply ethos to “inspire economic independence in her native country and to preserve the art of weaving”. Traditionally, the hand spinning of cotton and intricate embroidery was the work of women while the hand weaving was done mainly by men.