A young lady dressed in a cheetah-print pullover and a silver-studded denim vest sits down and flashes a simple smile. Outside, the rain is scattered and the wind chilly, but even the dreary weather of November could not dim the bright personality and eclectic sense of style of this 19-year-old up-and-coming student designer from Ethiopia.
Seble Abebe is a sophomore majoring in journalism with a public relations concentration and marketing minor at Georgia State. Her desire to pursue fashion design professionally began when she and her mother took a visit to Thailand. She met with seamstresses and tailors and was able to network and build rapport. She believed that she was able to make her dreams reality.
This year, Abebe made her first appearance as a featured designer in Infinite Enigma, Infinite Appeal’s annual fashion show. She hasn’t created a name for her label, but she has developed concepts and collection pieces.
Some her designs include a form-fitting metallic gold dress with ribbons tied to the front rather than the back, and her closing piece for the show was an all-white feather-embellished cocktail dress.
“My clothes are very international and classic,” Abebe said. “Any girl can wear it, any size, and it’s very elegant.”
Abebe’s inspiration comes from travelling the world and exploring other cultures.
Most of her sketches include mostly women’s wear, lots of dresses with a ‘50s influence and Afrikana prints. She is in full control of the designs, all the way down to picking the fabrics and matching pieces. The only job she leaves to the professionals is constructing and sewing the garments.
Abebe doesn’t necessarily admire the clothing designs of famous fashion designers, but admires their ability to create a brand for themselves.
She specifically respects Tom Ford, a leading fashion designer in luxury clothing, and his ability to branch out and develop an empire for his name.
When she isn’t sketching up a new piece, she enjoys reading and following music blogs. She is also involved on the Georgia State campus through her role in public relations for the Ethiopian Student Association and has served in the past as a Spotlight Programs Board volunteer and a participant in activities with Baptist Collegiate Ministries.
She’s also involved also involved in her global community. Abebe participated in a weeklong opportunity in her native country as a volunteer at one of Oprah Winfrey’s hospitals for women in Africa. She avidly believes, “You have to do good to get good.”
For those aspiring to work in fashion or design, Abebe said “Don’t give up and don’t be intimidated by other people’s aspirations. If you have a goal and if you’re hungry, it’s not going to be easy – being normal is easy.”