Hand-weaving is a traditional craft practiced by every part of Ethiopia. In each region’s language, the art of story-telling woven into patterns and colour is used to create collections that we can enjoy and love.
Ethiopian fashion designer Mahlet Afework (Mafi), introduces us to her 2014 collection the “Last Resort” featuring hand-woven fabrics made by these extraordinary female weavers.
This season’s motif Dinguza, the name of the pattern on many of Afework’s pieces for her 2014 collection is the product of the Dorze people in the Chencha region of southern Ethiopia.
Afework’s exceptional eye to detail is coupled with the richness and diversity of Ethiopian culture. Her modern interpretations of traditional fabrics and engagement with the communities that produce them classifies this fashion label as one to watch.
From time to time we all have an extreme need for a fresh perspective – a light bulb to be switched on.
In 2012, after discovering Mahlet Afework, the founder and designer for Mafi, in Ethiopia during Adiree ‘s partner’s Source Africa / Hub of Africa Fashion Week event, we realized that Mafi was the antidote- the light to be added to the New York ‘s darkening fashion scene- thus our Director’s need to immediately bring her into New York to showcase.[nggallery id=204]
Mafi out of several African fashion labels from the continent, was selected to showcase in New York, being the second Ethiopian designer to showcase in New York- hand selected by Ms. Adiat Disu, the director of Adiree, producers of Africa Fashion Week in New York.
Thanks to partners at the USAID / Compete Africa, we were able to ensure that New York’s introduction to Mafi would be a success.
[nggallery id=114] Her 2012 showcase provided New York’s fashionistas and international visitors with light-weight cottons and story-telling through colour- with patterns and motifs from Southern and Northern regions of Ethiopia.
Her collections has always been about her interpretation of Ethiopian culture, a fusion of traditional Ethiopian fabrics married with modern perspective.
What makes the bond between traditional fabrics and her modern perspective stronger is her interaction with communities that produce each fabric. The fibers that hold her collection together are made from sustainable efforts.