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The Line Style in Context

The Line is a modern and personal approach to retail. We bring together carefully chosen fashion, home, and beauty items and place them in context through inspiring editorial features and intimate offline shopping experiences. The thematic, seasonal, and handpicked assortments we call Selections offer another way to explore our evolving edit of things you’ll wear, use, and treasure for years to come.

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Bloom and Flourish:
Liya Kebede Looks Homeward with Lemlem

Nestled within the Horn of Africa, jutting out along the eastern coast of the continent, is the profoundly historic country of Ethiopia. Now one of Africa’s most populous countries, it is presumed to have been one of earth’s earliest dwelling grounds for modern mankind, home to an almost unfathomable timeline of cultural metamorphoses. It was here, in the modern-day capital city of Addis Ababa, that designer, model, actress, and philanthropist Liya Kebede was born and raised, absorbing the age-old inspirations that would one day lead to the creation of Lemlem, her line of traditionally influenced clothing and scarves, handwoven by the craftspeople of her homeland using methods that have passed through many generations.

Kebede credits the creative muses of her young life in Ethiopia for their impact on her later endeavors in design, and for shaping her perspective in general. “My interest in fashion, film, and music started in my early years in Addis, and later manifested in Lemlem. Growing up there and subsequently moving away has had a great impact on how I view the world, and I love the fact that I am able to tie together my youth and childhood with the world of fashion that I love so much—I never want to lose sight of my roots.”

The motto of Lemlem is “Made in Ethiopia.” That will always be our signature and what makes our story a bit different. We want to prove ourselves and prove to the world that there’s a new destination for clothing production. Liya Kebede

And those roots run deep. Lemlem was founded not only as a creative outlet, but also in an effort to “preserve, evolve, and exhibit” the art of a native craft that has endured for millennia. “The hand-weaving process is a tradition that has been going on for thousands of years in Ethiopia,” Kebede notes. “The art of weaving continues to be passed down from father to son.” She believes it is this artisanal handiwork that gives Lemlem its unique identity and that endows each piece in the collection with greater significance. “Seeing our weavers at work on their looms is mesmerizing. The beauty of our products lie in the intercut weaving patterns and the incredible care taken by each of our weavers.”

With a means of production steeped in the past, adapting designs to the constantly evolving landscape of modern fashion could pose a problem. But Kebede welcomes the challenge, seeing the parameters of her production methods as guidelines, not limitations. “One of my favorite parts of this job is looking at current trends and applying them to our handwoven process. Lemlem combines old tradition with what’s in the ‘now,’ along with our signature pops of color and attention to detail—we have a lot of room to play in between those lines.”

For her spring collection, that playful spirit was inspired by a nostalgia for the late 1970s, resulting in styles that are relaxed and airy, featuring sheer fabrics and monochromatic stripes. “One of my favorite new styles is the Shora caftan poncho. We knew we wanted an oversized maxi, but this sheer material and open neck is so feminine. We also have the Shooka hooded poncho, which embodies everything I want in a cover-up—the longer length and sheer fabric are flattering, and then the open sleeves and fringe add a cool factor.”

Kebede is able to visit Ethiopia throughout the year, as each season evolves into the next, to see family, engage in philanthropic work with the Liya Kebede Foundation, and spend time at Lemlem’s factory. This experience affords her direct contact with the co-creators of her brand’s product, and the beneficiaries of its popularity. “One of the best things about these trips is meeting the artisans who are hand-weaving our designs on a daily basis. Connecting with these people and sharing with them the success of Lemlem today is very rewarding.” It shows both her pride and her prescience that Kebede named her line as she did—in Ethiopia’s official language of Amharic, Lemlem means “to bloom” or “to flourish.”

Seeing our weavers at work on their looms is mesmerizing. The beauty of our products lie in the intercut weaving patterns and the incredible care taken by each of our weavers. Liya Kebede
Protagonist Dress 07 Tank Dress, Lemlem Amash Scarf
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

Shop all fashion

Explore another chapter in The Stories:
Modern Beauty: Sleek and Chic Hair

Bloom and Flourish: Liya Kebede Looks Homeward with Lemlem

Bloom and Flourish:
Liya Kebede Looks Homeward with Lemlem

Nestled within the Horn of Africa, jutting out along the eastern coast of the continent, is the profoundly historic country of Ethiopia. Now one of Africa’s most populous countries, it is presumed to have been one of earth’s earliest dwelling grounds for modern mankind, home to an almost unfathomable timeline of cultural metamorphoses. It was here, in the modern-day capital city of Addis Ababa, that designer, model, actress, and philanthropist Liya Kebede was born and raised, absorbing the age-old inspirations that would one day lead to the creation of Lemlem, her line of traditionally influenced clothing and scarves, handwoven by the craftspeople of her homeland using methods that have passed through many generations.

Kebede credits the creative muses of her young life in Ethiopia for their impact on her later endeavors in design, and for shaping her perspective in general. “My interest in fashion, film, and music started in my early years in Addis, and later manifested in Lemlem. Growing up there and subsequently moving away has had a great impact on how I view the world, and I love the fact that I am able to tie together my youth and childhood with the world of fashion that I love so much—I never want to lose sight of my roots.”

The motto of Lemlem is “Made in Ethiopia.” That will always be our signature and what makes our story a bit different. We want to prove ourselves and prove to the world that there’s a new destination for clothing production. Liya Kebede

And those roots run deep. Lemlem was founded not only as a creative outlet, but also in an effort to “preserve, evolve, and exhibit” the art of a native craft that has endured for millennia. “The hand-weaving process is a tradition that has been going on for thousands of years in Ethiopia,” Kebede notes. “The art of weaving continues to be passed down from father to son.” She believes it is this artisanal handiwork that gives Lemlem its unique identity and that endows each piece in the collection with greater significance. “Seeing our weavers at work on their looms is mesmerizing. The beauty of our products lie in the intercut weaving patterns and the incredible care taken by each of our weavers.”

With a means of production steeped in the past, adapting designs to the constantly evolving landscape of modern fashion could pose a problem. But Kebede welcomes the challenge, seeing the parameters of her production methods as guidelines, not limitations. “One of my favorite parts of this job is looking at current trends and applying them to our handwoven process. Lemlem combines old tradition with what’s in the ‘now,’ along with our signature pops of color and attention to detail—we have a lot of room to play in between those lines.”

For her spring collection, that playful spirit was inspired by a nostalgia for the late 1970s, resulting in styles that are relaxed and airy, featuring sheer fabrics and monochromatic stripes. “One of my favorite new styles is the Shora caftan poncho. We knew we wanted an oversized maxi, but this sheer material and open neck is so feminine. We also have the Shooka hooded poncho, which embodies everything I want in a cover-up—the longer length and sheer fabric are flattering, and then the open sleeves and fringe add a cool factor.”

Kebede is able to visit Ethiopia throughout the year, as each season evolves into the next, to see family, engage in philanthropic work with the Liya Kebede Foundation, and spend time at Lemlem’s factory. This experience affords her direct contact with the co-creators of her brand’s product, and the beneficiaries of its popularity. “One of the best things about these trips is meeting the artisans who are hand-weaving our designs on a daily basis. Connecting with these people and sharing with them the success of Lemlem today is very rewarding.” It shows both her pride and her prescience that Kebede named her line as she did—in Ethiopia’s official language of Amharic, Lemlem means “to bloom” or “to flourish.”

Seeing our weavers at work on their looms is mesmerizing. The beauty of our products lie in the intercut weaving patterns and the incredible care taken by each of our weavers. Liya Kebede
Protagonist Dress 07 Tank Dress, Lemlem Amash Scarf
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

Shop all fashion

Explore another chapter in The Stories:
Modern Beauty: Sleek and Chic Hair