Liya Kebede

GREAT ADVICE

 

LIYA KEBEDE

Model and Founder, lemlem

 

Model and mother-of-two Liya Kebede talks to us about life lessons and her lemlem collection, which supports artisans in her native Ethiopia.

 

GREATEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED FROM LEMLEM…

That you don’t have to have all of the answers at the beginning before you start something. Sometimes the most important part is just starting.

 

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THE MEN AND WOMEN YOU HAVE WORKED WITH THROUGH LEMLEM?

Working alongside the men and women who conceptualize, design and handcraft lemlem has given me a greater appreciation for the scale of work and the love that goes into a collection. I adore that the handcrafting of lemlem results in every piece being different. This reinforces, for me, the need to preserve originality in the fashion industry and prevent products from becoming too similar.

 

FIRST CHILDREN, THEN WOMEN AND HOME. WHAT’S NEXT FOR LEMLEM?

I feel like there are no limits! The inspiration for creating lemlem was to preserve the traditional art form of weaving while simultaneously creating job opportunities. Our hope is to add a sense of diversity to the fashion market, while fueling prosperity in another. Seeing our weavers’ pride in their work and how it is received internationally is an incredible inspiration to keep designing.

 

 

 

 

WHAT’S YOUR LIFE PHILOSOPHY?

We all have the power to create change. If you have an idea, see it through. No matter how silly or daunting.

 

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN?

I hope that they will cherish family, health, freedom, respect and creativity as much as I do. I love traveling with them and opening their eyes to other cultures. It is very heartwarming to see them blossom and grow right in front of my eyes.