Top Ethiopian model, Liya Kebede has been featured by Carine Roitfeild’s CR Fashion Book, talking her brand Lemlem‘s success in sustainability and creating goods that are fulfilling for both the customer and the local artisans she employs.
Speaking to CR’s Ray Siegel, the beauty, who was seen stunning on the red carpet at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival last month, explained;
“Everyone is asking big questions about where fashion is going and there’s not so many solutions. Trying to offer something different is challenging, but at the same time, very essential for people to be interested and excited about buying. The buying power has decreased a lot because it’s hard to find something that you really want to buy.”
Of her own business model, which sees her brand creating pieces in lightweight, handmade cottons in her home village of ?? Ethiopia, and supporting local women’s health via her Lemlem non-for-profit, the model said;
“I like the idea of finding something that is different, that has a story, that has a purpose, and some sort of mission. It makes your purchase more fulfilling.
You’re affecting so many people’s lives on the production side. This gives them a job that can pay for their kids to go to school. There’s something quite beautiful about closing the circle as opposed to saying, ‘how cheaply can I make something and sell it?’ The consumer can be happy about buying something that has positive repercussions.”
Of working with the weavers to create Lemlem’s chic, travel-ready mens, children’s and womenswear, which is well known for its stripes, Liya told CR;
“It’s interesting because, when you first start, you see a lot of limitations, so it’s up to us to encourage the artisans to create something that’s out of their comfort zone. Every time we’ve pushed, it’s been a surprise to us, and to them, which is much more interesting.
It’s very rewarding for them and they feel so proud when they see a finished product. For them, the idea that someone in New York is wearing what they’ve made is just so amazing.”
Team SPICE love Lemlem and its mission in sustainability and women’s health. Read the full interview with Liya Kebede here and let us know what other locally-made, sustainable African labels you love, in the comments box or online @SPICETVAFRICA.
Image source: Crfashionbook.com, Theline.com, Lemlem.com