Liya Kebede Has Noticed the ‘Obama Effect’ on Fashion


Model Liya Kebede appears on the May cover of Vogue. She's the third woman of color in a row to land that spot, and told us at Cookie magazine's Smart Cookie Awards last night that she thinks the Obamas have a had a great influence on diversity in the fashion industry. "I think it’s wonderful to have a beautiful, elegant man and woman in the White House," said Kebede. "I think it changes the way we look at things. Already they’re attracting so much attention. I think fashion is following, and I’m really glad that fashion is following what they’re doing and [that] it’s really helping diversity." Kebede added, "I think there’s a lot more black models working and I think that’s because of having Michelle and Barack out there. I mean there’s been this issue, raised last year — how there wasn’t enough black models on the runways — but I think Barack and Michelle have really helped us, hopefully forever, to get over this hurdle for black models."