() (born January 3, 1978) is an Ethiopian model
, maternal health advocate, clothing designer and actress who has appeared three times on the cover of US Vogue
. According to Forbes
, Kebede was eleventh-highest-paid top model in the world in 2007.
Kebede was born and raised in Addis Ababa
.Wiltz, Teresa. "The Swan." Essence
magazine (September 2004). A film director spotted her while she was attending Lycee Guebre Mariam
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.
Kebede's big break came when Tom Ford
asked her for an exclusive contract for his Gucci
Fall/Winter 2000 fashion show. Her popularity in the fashion industry sky-rocketed when she appeared on the cover of the May 2002 edition of Paris Vogue
, which dedicated the entire issue to her.
Kebede has been seen on the covers of Italian
, American, French and......