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           The past few months must have been quite a roller-coaster. How does all this success feel to you?
Liya: Its been very exciting. I’ve met a lot of good people in the industry. I am very happy about the way everything turned out and I look forward to going back to work again.

M: Of all the different aspects of the work you’ve been doing, what would you say you enjoy the most?
L: I enjoy the runway a lot. I think its the excitement of being out there and somehow interacting directly with the public. It’s live. Even though it makes everybody feel a little nervous in the beginning, its fulfilling at the end.

M: Was modeling something you aspired to, or has this entire career turn taken you by surprise.
L: I have always thought of modeling as something I can do on the side while going to college and yet it was also very important for me to take it all the way and become as successful as the supermodels out there. Right now things are happening very fast and although I’m not in college, I’m very happy about the way its going.

M: Did you have any models who you looked up to or idolized when you started in this business?
L: Yes. I was very inspired by all the supermodels of the time. I remember even having a poster of Naomi Campbell in my bedroom in Ethiopia, thinking that this was where I wanted to be.

What  were your feelings when you heard that Tom Ford was requesting you exclusively for the Fall 2000 Gucci show?
L: I could NOT believe it. I was so ecstatic. Doing that show was all that I dreamt it would be. It was such a special moment.

M: Liya, how would you say your pregnancy has changed you  as a  person.
L: I can say that my motherly instincts have woken up. It has made me more caring, more mellow and has helped me make the difference between what’s really important and what’s not.

M: Do you think  these changes have resulted in different pictures of you.
L: Yes they might have because I’m much more comfortable and confident about myself now. That comes out in the pictures I’m sure.

M: And what are the plans for the upcoming months while you await the arrival of the baby.
L: We just bought a place on the Upper East Side Side, so right now I’m busy trying to decorate it . And of course buying all the baby stuff which I’m having a hard time stopping myself. They have such cute things for babies.

M: Are there any special causes or issues that you subscribe to that you would like to bring to light here?
L: As an Ethiopian, I’d like to bring attention to the plight of the Ethiopian people today. With that said, I’m in the process of constructing a type of organization with the sole purpose of bringing attention to the issue. Its something that I’m looking forward to with great passion and its going to be a very important endeavor for me in the future.

M: Thanks Liya.

L: Thanks.





Credits: Liya Kebede / IMG | Photos: Eric Fischer | Make-Up: Lynn Russell/L’Atelier | Hair:Yuki/Bradley Curry