History of lemlem
lemlem is an artisan-driven collection of women’s, men’s, children’s and home goods made entirely in Africa. Supermodel Liya Kebede was inspired to launch the brand following a trip to her native Ethiopia where she met a group of traditional weavers who no longer had a market for their craft. Meaning to bloom and flourish in the Ethiopian language of Amharic, lemlem is committed to elevating artisanship and expanding production and jobs across Africa. The core collection is handwoven from natural cotton in Ethiopia and lemlem is steadily expanding partnerships with additional artisan groups across Africa. Women are at the heart of lemlem and the brand is committed to helping them thrive both within its workshops and beyond through its support for lemlem Foundation.
Credit: Gilles Bensimon
By employing traditional weavers, we're trying to break their cycle of poverty, at the same time preserving the art of weaving while creating modern, casual, comfortable stuff that we really want to wear. - Liya Kebede
About the founder
Liya Kebede is an accomplished supermodel, actress, designer and maternal health advocate. She is the founder of lemlem and the lemlem Foundation and actively serves as the brand’s Creative Director. As a model, Kebede has been featured on multiple American and international VOGUE covers, runway shows and major print campaigns for top designers worldwide. She is also an established actress with several film credits to her name. In recognition of her body of work, Kebede was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2010 and one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year in 2013.
Credit: Silja Magg|