Paris, London, Addis Ababa? Ethiopia’s future is fashion forward

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (CNN)The country has an international supermodel. It has a world-renown designer, a centuries-old textile industry, and its very own fashion school. It’s Ethiopia, and it’s perched to hit the global fashion industry by storm.

“I do see a trend of Ethiopian fashion going abroad,” admits Mahlet Teklemariam, the organizer of Addis Ababa Fashion Week.

“(Fashion in) Ethiopia in the past was mostly local. It wasn’t known on the international market,” she notes. That, she says, is starting to change.

“A lot of international companies are investing in Ethiopia. The Turkish have a lot of big companies producing here and HM are producing here.”

Could Ethiopian fashion go global?

Telling a story

Many companies are drawn by Ethiopia’s textiles — stunning woven cotton with a range of rich designs. However, there is also an increasing number of homegrown designers hitting the scene.

Fikirte Addis studied child psychology, but ultimately the pull of her mother’s sewing machine proved too powerful for her.

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