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Fashion: Lemlem


Founded by model Liya Kebede, LemLem is a socially conscious clothing and accessories brand based in Ethiopia. The line was created as a way to preserve traditional Ethiopian hand-weaving techniques and empower local artisans, while creating African-inspired designs that feel fresh and modern. The line of versatile dresses, tops, bottoms, scarves and accessories are all hand woven in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and exhibit ethnic-inspired embroidery in vibrant colors. A perfect pick-me-up for any warm-weather wardrobe, these artisanal designs can be found on Net-a-Porter, Shopbop, The Outnet and LemLem’s own site.

“By employing traditional weavers, we’re trying to break their cycle of poverty, at the same time preserving the art of weaving while creating modern, casual, comfortable stuff that we really want to wear.”-Liya Kebede


Supermodel/actress and maternal health advocate Liya Kebede founded lemlem in 2007. The brand’s inspiration arose during a trip to her native Ethiopia. While visiting, Kebede met traditional weavers who no longer had a market for their goods, Kebede felt a need to preserve their art form while simultaneously creating job opportunities. Meaning “to bloom” or “to flourish” in Amharic, lemlem is handmade in Ethiopia from natural cotton and rooted in tradition, but woven with a modern touch. It aims to add a sense of diversity to the clothing market while fueling prosperity in another. Recently expanding beyond the hand woven category while still maintaining production in Africa, lemlem provides another voice for African causes as well as a beautiful embodiment of its traditions and culture.


View More of her work:

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