Meet the Maker: Liya Kebede of lemlem

June 4, 2015

Who can resist a colorful summer stripe? Certainly not usand no one does them quite like lemlem. Founded in 2007 by Ethiopian model, actress and World Health Organization ambassador Liya Kebede, each piece in her new Anthropologie-exclusive home collection is bright, airy and completely handwoven. Read on to find out more about the dynamic woman behind these beach-ready linensher passion for the brand, her childhood and, of course, how she spends her summer.

How did lemlem come to be?

While visiting my hometown of Addis Ababa, I met traditional weavers who no longer had a market for their goods, and I felt a need to preserve their art form while simultaneously creating job opportunities. Lemlem is a fresh, chic line with a spirit that’s undeniably African. Meaning Å“to bloom or Å“to flourish in Amharic, lemlem is rooted in tradition, but handwoven with a modern touch.

Tell us about the inspiration behind your current collection.

The home collection for Anthropologie is all about color. We wanted this collection to epitomize summer, sun and bright, happy colors. Known for our neons and signature stripes, we were so excited for the opportunity to create our dream home collection, perfect for any beach retreat.

Describe the most memorable outdoor party you’ve attended.

I went to a wonderful party in Istanbul last year. It was in an old, abandoned mansion that was lit up with candles everywhere. There was this really cool artist outside who had written beautiful poetry on metal and then lit up his work with fire. It was quite magical.

Your favorite flavor of ice cream growing up? And now?

As a kid, vanilla. Still vanilla today!

When you think about summer, what colors, motifs and textures come to mind?

When I think summer, I think lemlembright, bold stripes of blue, pink and neon yellow.

What is your sleep style?

Because I travel so often, I am almost always jet-lagged. For this reason, I wake up very early pretty much every morning. I do try and go to bed early, but the lemlem team knows when I can’t sleep as I am on Pinterest or Instagram at 2 am.

When’s the last time you’ve slept under the stars?

When I was really young and living with with my parents in Khartoum, Sudan, we would take our mattresses up on the roof when the electricity went out and sleep under the stars. It was beautiful.

Every vibrant lemlem stripe, right this way.

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