Liya Kebede Becomes the New Member of CFDA
Liya Kebede has spent half of her life in this show business since she left Ethiopia at 18 and moved to Paris. She has made tremendous to contributions to the industry and established herself as a ‘True icon’.
Liya is famous not only for her editorial work, but she has been editorialhropist/advocate for maternal health and a rising entrepreneur. In 2007, she launched her brand of readymade wear- Lemlem. By this project she created new opportunities for the artisans and traditional weavers from her home town, Addis Ababa. The meaning of the word lemlemis “to bloom” in Amharic. Kebede also gave same nick name to her daughter, Raee who is eight year old.
Liya’s readymade collection is a beach-ready wear which is essentially hand woven and embroidered, and has come all the way from Africa. Her business has been doing really well. This week, Kebede was declared as a new member of the CFDA.
Liya Kebede does not wish to build a fashion empire. The Ethiopian super model humbly says “As much as I want it to be humongous, there’s a limit to how big it can get.” The reason behind this statement is Lemlem scarves, shirts and dresses are designed in New York, but they are made from hand-woven materials which are crafted by traditional weavers who belong to Kebede’s home country.
The word, “humongous” can be a relative term. Lemlem’s products are already there at various boutiques all over the world including Bahrain, Manama, Jackson, Mississippi etc. They are also available at big retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, and Bloomingdale’s.
Such product range gives employment opportunities to the people following ancient traditions. Kebede while narrating her experience about such artisans said “I visited an area of these incredible weavers that we’ve always had in Ethiopia who make incredible work but don’t really have the space to sell their clothes anymore,”
She further adds, “It’s a whole other thing to give an opportunity for someone to make his own money.” In this way she is connecting traditional Ethiopian weavers and fashion lovers in New York!