Liya Kebede Sports The Perfect Summer Wardrobe and Talks About Supporting African Designers For THE OUTNET.COM.
Model, designer, and advocate, Liya Kebede sports pieces from her brand, LemLem, in addition to a perfectly curated summer collection featuring looks from 17 of the hottest designers for Summer 2015 for THE OUTNET.COM.
The collection includes sandals, dresses, shorts, and accessories from brands such as Adam Lippes, Matthew Williamson, and Cushnie et Ochs, among many others.
Kebede spoke about LemLem, which is now in its eighth year, as well how emerging African designers are changing how the world sees the continent.
THE OUTNET: How does it feel now that LemLem is in its eighth year?
Liya Kebede: “It feels crazy, I can’t believe we’ve been doing it for that long! I feel like we definitely started something – it’s a trend, which is really interesting. People are looking at Africa and that’s really cool – that was kind of the point. All these people who are doing arts and crafts-y things are now looking at this and going, ohhh, interesting. It’s empowered and given ideas to a lot of small brands in Africa, and that was the whole point in a way so it’s really nice.”
THE OUTNET: Did you ever foresee how much of an impact it would have?
Liya Kebede: “I didn’t realize what it could become! I kind of jumped into it and saw a need and then it was, OK, well there’s a solution. It was for kids initially because I thought I’d love my kids to wear something that was handmade in Ethiopia, but then we were designing things that we wanted to wear! And all the moms were saying the same thing too, so now it totally makes sense that it’s a women’s line.”
THE OUTNET: How do you see the line expanding?
Liya Kebede: “We’re still bringing back a bit of the kid’s stuff, and we’re tip-toeing around home and around men’s and it’s been really interesting. Now, we’re sort of following it as opposed to us [pushing it], you know? So we can expand and do this and do that. It’s been really amazing.”
THE OUTNET: What’s the creative design process behind each collection?
Liya Kebede: “We have a design team – I don’t really do the designing. We go to Ethiopia at different times, and then we sit around in our New York City offices and break everything down. Everybody goes at different times and sort of checks it out.”
THE OUTNET: Where would you like to see the brand go in the future?
Liya Kebede: “I think it’s a lifestyle brand and we’d like to see it in every category and really become a staple. We are definitely looking into growing it and adding more categories, and playing around with non-handmade things, too, which is kind of a new direction for us. We’re exploring other cities in Africa to make things, which is really exciting, growing on that level. It’s exciting but pioneering a little bit, too, which is always fun.”
Shop the collection HERE.