“Bloom and Florish”Liya Kebede talks about her new clothing line Lemlem and how she hopes to break the circle of poverty in Ethiopia.

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By employing traditional weavers,we’re trying to break their circle of poverty,at the same time preserving the art of weaving…

Kebede was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A film director spotted her while she was attending Lycée Guebre-Mariam and introduced her to a French modeling agent. After completing her studies, she moved to France to pursue work through a Parisian agency. Kebede later relocated to New York City. She has remarked that the modeling industry in Ethiopia is quite different from the catwalks on which she is now ubiquitous because in Ethiopia she had to provide her own shoes for each runway show.

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Kebede has been seen on the covers of Italian, Japanese, American, French and Spanish Vogue, V, Flair, i-D and Time’s Style & Design. She has been featured in ad campaigns including those for Shiatzy Chen, Gap, Yves Saint-Laurent,Victoria’s Secret, Emanuel Ungaro, Tommy Hilfiger, Revlon, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada and Louis Vuitton.

In 2005, Kebede was appointed as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.She then founded the Liya Kebede Foundation, whose mission is to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality in Ethiopia and around the world. The organization funds advocacy and awareness-raising projects as well as providing direct support for low-cost technologies, community-based education, and training and medical programs.In one health center that the foundation works with, hospital deliveries rose by over 50% in 12 months.

Her Clothing Line

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She launched Lemlem, a clothing line, in 2008. Lemlem, which means “to bloom” in Amharic, features hand-spun, woven and embroidered women and children’s clothing.Kebede founded the line to help preserve the art of traditional weaving in Ethiopia and to offer work opportunities to local artisans. Lemlem is sold at Barney’s, J.Crew, Net-a-Porter.com and numerous boutique shops. Kebede says she hopes this will be part a sea of change for her home country, saying that “It’s wonderful to be able to donate and help people”.

|Wiki

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Author:

Have you ever had a dream of a young child torn away from her mother and given away in marriage to a man old enough to be her great grandfather? Yeah, that was the kind of nightmare i woke up to at 2.00 am . Her screams echoes at every corner of my room,keeps me awake until dawn and gave me this burden in my heart to do something about it...I came up with the solution that if we could help this young child's mother to be self-reliant to be able to take care of her...even educate her, she will not end up in child marriage since her family will not need to borrow money from these Shylocks who want a pound of flesh of their offspring.Call me a dreamer...I won't stop until the nightmare is over. Wish me luck !

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