Eye-popping prints and casually-cool stripes are great options for trendy summer looks. They are also staples of lemlem, a fashion line with a conscience, started by former supermodel Liya Kebede.
In 2007, the Ethopian beauty founded the Lemlem (which means to flourish or bloom in Amharic), as a way to help local businesses and showcase the beautiful woven works of her homeland. Kebede is no stranger to charity work and advocacy, having worked with the World Health Organization as a Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.
When she learned that weavers in Ethiopia were suffering from a dramatic decline in product demands, Kebede decided to create her own fashion line featuring their woven works to inspire economic independence in Ethiopia. Lemlem quickly became an international success, attracting attention from big name fashion magazines including Vogue and Marie Clare as well as celebrity fans (Katy Perry recently sported a pair of white and orange striped shorts from the new summer collection.) In an article in Times magazine, legendary fashion designer Tom Ford discussed Kebede’s work saying, “In today’s world, celebrity advocates are not rare. What is rare is to encounter one whose devotion and drive come from a genuine desire to better our world.”
Fortunately for the fashion world, Kebede is not only a passionate activist, but also a talented and trend setting fashion designer. Lemlem, which includes a women’s line as well children’s clothing and home goods, is fun, sophisticated and easy to wear. Maxi dresses like the Bezez Gauze Patio Dress ($245), are perfect for summer weekends while the Meze Skirt ($124) is a polished option for a night out. Whether you end up treating yourself to a new summer wardrobe staple or giving a colorful Samara Scarf ($135) to a friend, Lemlem is the epitome of feel-good fashion.