Monday Muse – Liya Kebede

Monday Muse – Liya Kebede

Our Spring 2014 Campaign launched last month, featuring Liya Kebede

PRABAL GURUNG is a brand just as much inspired by women of substance, grace and intangible beauty, as it is a brand established to inspire the same. As has often been reported, particularly of late, the PRABAL GURUNG woman is a woman who epitomizes what Prabal describes as ‘femininity with a bite.’ The rose with its thorn – the harness under a ball gown. For us, profound beauty cannot be comprised simply of aesthetic, but must also refer to intellectual, emotional and artistic capabilities.

For Spring 2014, a collection whose narrative referenced the concept of preserving the elegant and accomplished woman, it seemed therefore both fitting and necessary to celebrate a character of such integrity and infallible beauty, a woman who has achieved so much and stands as a symbol of such extraordinary female empowerment.

Liya Kebede was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She’s been seen on the covers of Italian, Japanese, American, French and Spanish Vogue a number of times, and has featured in campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton – amongst others. She’s been named by FORBES as one of the world’s top 15 highest earning models.

In 2005, Kebede was appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and in 2006 the Liya Kebede Foundation was started, the mission of which is to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality in Ethiopia, and around the world. She is also part of the Champions for an HIV Free Generation, an organization of African leaders who advocate for increased HIV prevention and treatment efforts in Africa.

Liya launched her clothing line ‘Lemlem’ in 2008. Meaning ‘to bloom’, the line, that sells hand-spun, woven and embroidered women an children’s clothing was founded to preserve and promote the traditional arts of her homeland.

Looking aside from the statistics – awards she has won, figures she has achieved- Liya’s philanthropic endeavors act as a genuine example of her compassion and concern for those around her. The ability to see beyond your personal success, and further, feel the compulsion to share your privileges as best you can with those less fortunate is not something everyone can do, or wants to do, and is something that requires integrity, resolution and an undeniable degree of grit. Liya commemorates each and every one of these qualities, she is absolutely one of the most inspirational female role models of our time. Her strength of character radiates with sincerity, and her beauty undoubtedly comes from the inside. She is this Monday’s muse.

The Liya Kebede Foundation