- Height5'8'' / 173cm
- Shoes7.5 US / 5.5 UK, 38.5 EU
- Height173cm / 173cm
- Shoes5.5 UK, 38.5 EU
- Hair ColorDark brown
- Eye ColorBrown
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Kampala, Uganda native Kiara Kabukuru fled the country with her family as a political refugee at age six. At age sixteen, Kabukuru was discovered at a local shopping mall in her adopted hometown, Los Angeles, California; she quickly captured the attention of the industry’s most esteemed photographers and designers, and garnered praise for her consummate professionalism, youthful joie de vivre, and soulful expression.
From Kabukuru’s first big break in a Coca-Cola campaign, she blew up as the face of prestigious brands including DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, and Clinique, the latter photographed by Mario Testino. The venerable photographer also captured her in a series of advertisements for Gucci under Tom Ford. Additional Kabukuru-led campaigns include Chanel, Calvin Klein, and Dolce & Gabbana, among others.
Her editorial turns include the cover of American VOGUE and covers of VOGUE Spain and Germany, in addition to Elle UK, and i-D magazine photographed by Craig McDean. Kabukuru also sat for legendary lensmen Peter Lindbergh, Steven Klein, Ruven Afanador, and Paolo Roversi for various editorial features.
On the eve of signing a CoverGirl cosmetics contract in 2000, she had a near-fatal cycling accident in NYC and spent two months in a wheelchair with broken bones and sustained injuries, requiring seven reconstructive surgeries over the course of nearly a decade.
In 2008, Kabukuru re-emerged stronger, and more beautiful, than ever and on the advice of her good friend and fellow model Gisele Bündchen, began modeling again. Steven Meisel photographed her for the seminal Black Issue of VOGUE Italia, followed by stories for CR Fashion Book with Bruce Weber and Pierpaolo Ferrari. Select editorial features include W, and Porter magazine among others.
Kabukuru had a homecoming of sorts when she appeared in a series of campaigns for CoverGirl. Catwalk appearances include shows for designers Tom Ford, Christian Dior, Missoni, Givenchy, and Armani.
Kabukuru opened Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy x Zendaya Spring Summer 2020 runway show at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Kabukuru’s activities and approach to life are deeply holistic.
Parallel to her career in fashion, she and her husband, master chef Koji, make their home on a farm on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, one of the planet’s 5 Blue Zones where people live longer than average, and stay healthy.
Together, she and Koji are planting an organic garden to supply produce for Koji’s restaurant, which attracts foodies from all over the world. Any leftover produce from the restaurant comes back to the farm to feed their animals including chickens, goats and horses.
Kabukuru’s longstanding commitment to mentoring and giving back now includes her volunteer work at a woman’s shelter in a neighboring town.
In addition, she is starting a transformational theater company.
Different aspects of Kabukuru’s career and life come together organically, which speaks to the woman she is and what she has built from her journey thus far.