Lemlem’s Supermodel-Approved Garments Support Ethiopian Livelihoods

Liya Kebede, Lemlem, Fall/Winter 2012, Ethiopia, Africa, fair trade, fair-trade clothing, fair-trade fashion, fair-trade accessories, eco-friendly scarves, sustainable scarves, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Addis Abba


Like its founder, Lemlem’s approach is to “keep things easy yet luxurious.” Characterized by clean lines, neutral hues, and splashes of color, its pieces are a marriage of fashion and function. Loose, drapey cuts evoke a beachy sensibility that Kebede describes as “relaxed and bohemian, but with a distinctly modern feel.”

Characterized by clean lines, neutral hues, and splashes of color, Lemlem is a marriage of fashion and function.

For fall, Kebede’s New York-based design team introduced the country’s weavers to Italian merino wool, a fiber one doesn’t typically associate with Africa. Don’t expect chunky knits or weighty fabrics, however. True to Lemlem’s breezy-chic aesthetic, the pieces are finely loomed, complete with bold, contrasting stripes that have become the brand’s trademark.

Lemlem also toyed with menswear-inspired silhouettes this season, but the results are anything but buttoned-up. The design team transformed a lush, geometric cotton print, discovered at the local merkato, into a sporty blazer, trouser, and skirt. Talk about a power suit.

+ Lemlem

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