Kiara Kabukuru


Kushite Kingdom


A native of Kampala, Uganda, Kiara Kabukuru fled the country with her family as a political refugee at the age of six. At age sixteen, Kabukuru was discovered at a local shopping mall in her adopted hometown, Los Angeles, California, by fashion photographer Bill Bodwell; 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.

Kabukuru received her big break courtesy of a Coca-Cola campaign, which led to star turns in advertising promotions for DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, and Clinique, the latter photographed by Mario Testino. The venerable photographer also captured her for a series of Gucci advertisements during the height of Tom Ford’s reign as the house’s creative director. Additional Kabukuru-led campaigns include Chanel, Calvin Klein, and Dolce & Gabbana, among others.

In 1997, Kabukuru appeared on a groundbreaking cover of Vogue –…

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