Ethiopian model Liya Kebede made her modeling debut back in 2000, but the 39-year-old model is still making her mark in the industry and even appearing on the runway for top designers like Louis Vuitton and Céline. Kebede is also the founder of Lemlem, a handcrafted clothing line which is made by local artisans in Kebede’s native Ethiopia.
Now, Kebede is the star of Calvin Klein’s new Eternity fragrance commercial alongside actor Jake Gyllenhaal. In the adorable commercial, Kebede and Gyllenhaal star as mom and dad to four-year-old actress Leila while reciting a love poem.
In a recent interview with Elle, Kebede shared more insight about the campaign and working with Calvin Klein.
On Calvin Klein’s influence in Ethiopia when she was growing up:
Oh, the CK One ad [with Kate Moss] was monumental for us. The jeans and the tank top—what a cool girl looked like changed so much for me because of those ads!
On working with Calvin Klein’s new creative director Raf Simons:
Well, Raf is interesting, because he’s great at making things classic… but not. He’s really, really cool and he’s twisting the look a bit, and I love it. But you don’t ever have to give up the denim and the tank tops. Those are forever.
On shooting the commercial and the energy on set:
It’s involved. There’s a lot of creative input from a lot of different people. So it wasn’t just Raf, it was [photographer] Willy [Vanderperre] and Calvin Klein’s entire creative team. Then it was their ad agency’s creative team. And then Jake [Gyllenhaal], because his production company was producing the commercial, he was really involved in creative choices, too.
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