- Style Insider
in boyfriend jeans, a T-shirt and some Church's Oxfords any day.
When you need a red carpet dress, who do you turn to?
Alaïa, The Row, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang and Givenchy. I gravitate towards luxurious pieces that are bold and modern. I love an outfit all the more if it has been made with a conscience.
What kick-started your modeling career?
Tom Ford, along with Carine Roitfeld, were both instrumental in
the early stages of my career. Tom saw something in me and took a chance – I'm so grateful for his incredible mentorship and belief.
Why did you make the move into acting?
I wanted to pursue acting even as a little girl. I'd done a couple of smaller projects, but when the chance came to act in The Good Shepherd in 2006 with Matt Damon and Robert De Niro, I jumped at it.
I live in New York and love it, but I'll always think of Ethiopia as home.
Where do you escape to when you have time off?
When I want to go somewhere warm, the Four Seasons Nevis
[in the West Indies] is breathtaking. Paris is also incredible at any time of year and, of course, Ethiopia.
All I want for the holidays is...
Donations to the Liya Kebede Foundation. Just $1 provides a woman with a dose of medicine that can stop a haemorrhage – the leading cause of maternal death around the world.
I recently shot a movie called The Best Offer with Geoffrey Rush and Jim Sturgess, which centers on art auctions. We're also hard at work on the next Lemlem collection.
Liya Kebede's essential picks
Liya looks effortlessly elegant both on and off the red carpet
“Lemlem means ‘to bloom’ or ‘to flourish’ in Amharic”
Photograph: Matt Jones/Trunk Archive; Rex Features