Posted by Liya Ahmed on
Addis Ababa may not spring to mind as a hotbed of fashion creativity. Yet savvy young fashion designers are bringing the country's artisans to the fore, using traditional Ethiopian skills in new ways.
Ethiopian-born model Liya Kebede uses local craftsmen to create stunning pieces for her label LemLem (sold through Net-A-Porter), while shoe and clothes designer Enzi uses organic cottons and local textile artisans to create a range of casual clothes. The label's shoes — crafted from Ethiopian cow, sheep or goat leather — and basic tees are sold in stores across the world, including the cutting-edge Konzepp in Hong Kong.
The vibrant scene is attracting outsiders too. Sawa shoes — makers of the cult high-top beloved by hipsters and sold in high-end stores including London's Selfridges and Liberty — relocated to Ethiopia from Cameroon recently.
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