Talking the business of fashion with Ethiopian designer

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Ethiopian craftsmanship is perhaps best displayed by the country’s traditional clothing that combines cotton fabrics with strips of hand-embroidered multi-coloured patterns. During special events such as weddings, guests adorn ‘Habesha’ clothing as they are referred to.

But they are expensive for most people, with some of the priciest garments selling for 15,000 Birr (US$730). Additionally, urban youth who want to keep up with global fashion trends also choose not to wear traditional clothing on regular days.

Egla Yetnayet Negussie

Fashion entrepreneur Egla Yetnayet Negussie, however, hopes to make Habesha clothes an everyday choice. She runs ES Collections, a fashion business focusing on combining Ethiopia’s rich cultural heritage with modern designs.

“My target customers are the hardest to capture – it is young people. If you walk around Addis Ababa you will see clothing stores everywhere. I try to stand out by blending the modern trendy designs with Habesha designs,” explains Negussie.

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