Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bloom and Flourish: Liya Kebede Looks Homeward with Lemlem

Nestled within the Horn of Africa, jutting out along the eastern coast of the continent, is the profoundly historic country of Ethiopia. Now one of Africa’s most populous countries, it is presumed to have been one of earth’s earliest dwelling grounds for modern mankind, home to an almost unfathomable timeline of cultural metamorphoses. It was here, in the modern-day capital city of Addis Ababa, that designer, model, actress, and philanthropist Liya Kebede was born and raised, absorbing the age-old inspirations that would one day lead to the creation of Lemlem, her line of traditionally influenced clothing and scarves, handwoven by the craftspeople of her homeland using methods that have passed through many generations.

Kebede credits the creative muses of her young life in Ethiopia for their impact on her later endeavors in design, and for shaping her perspective in general. “My interest in fashion, film, and music started in my early years in Addis, and later manifested in Lemlem. Growing up there and subsequently moving away has had a great impact on how I view the world, and I love the fact that I am able to tie together my youth and childhood with the world of fashion that I love so much—I never want to lose sight of my roots.”