Club 55 — where Elton John lunches when he’s in St Tropez — is the kind of ultrachic beachside restaurant where people in diamond-encrusted Rolexes indulge in three-hour lunches of lobster, while out-ordering each other with magnums of champagne. But when I arrive there to meet the supermodel Liya Kebede, she is not flashing cash among the ostentatious throng. Instead, she’s sitting alone on the beach.
Kebede is here to launch The Outnet’s edit of high-summer clothes: a collection of beachy cover-ups, swimwear and flirty dresses. Today she’s wearing loose cotton trousers and an orange shirt that could pass for pyjamas. “I like being comfortable. I like being effortless,” she says. She has no make-up on, her hair is messily up and she’s drinking a full-sugar Coke, so it’s hard to believe this was the woman photographed in a Dior Haute Couture jumpsuit and curls on the cover of May’s Paris Vogue.
But then, nothing about this intense, serious-faced powerhouse fits the clichéd, vacant or flashy-fashion-model mould. She sums this up nicely when I ask about her dream acting role: “I think at one time or another, we’ve all dreamt of being a Bond girl — but more interesting than they usually are.” Perhaps the first female Bond? “Yes! I like that idea a lot.”
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