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MOTHER’S DAY WITH… Liya Kebede


The model, maternal health advocate and mom to son Suhul, 15, and daughter Raee, 10, shares what she loves most about being a parent—and what’s on her Mother’s Day wish list.

With her daughter, Raee.

Liya with her mother in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2014. Photograph by Gilles Bensimon/Paris Match/Contour by Getty Images. 

Raee, age 2 1/2.

An old photograph of Liya’s mother.

With Suhul and Raee.


“As a mother, you’re on a constant learning curve—every year brings something new. It’s the most exciting role of my life.”

MOTHER’S DAY TRADITIONS

“The children usually make me breakfast in bed. I enjoy it every year!”

THE BEST PART OF BEING A MOTHER

“There’s never a dull moment. My kids make me laugh, and I love seeing the people they are becoming.”

THE BEST PARENTING ADVICE SHE EVER GOT

“Always follow your instinct.”

THE LIYA KEBEDE FOUNDATION

“The foundation is dedicated to tackling one of the leading health concerns for women in Africa: surviving childbirth. We’ve played a part in helping 10,000 women in Ethiopia give birth safely by focusing support on training midwives and health workers. I’m so proud of this.”


LIYA’S MOTHER’S DAY WISH LIST

The Almaz Open Weave Poncho and Almaz Easy Dress, both from Liya’s line, lemlem.


Visit the Mother’s Day Shop here.

All About Liya


Born: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

Current neighborhood: Upper East Side, New York 

First appearance in the J.Crew Style Guide: April 2009 (on the cover, no less) 

In case you ever meet her: It’s pronounced Ke-bee-day 

On her résumé: Model, mom and daughter. 

Served as the World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health from 2005 to 2011. 

Started the Liya Kebede Foundation in 2005 to help improve maternal health services in Africa. 

Founded clothing line lemlem in 2007 to promote traditional Ethiopian handweaving.

TAGS: womens, personal style, in good company, accessories
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