Brand Spotlight: Lemlem
The dreamiest swimwear to wear to your backyard swim or balcony tan party-of-one is coming
from lemlem. Independently-owned, ethically-sourced, and culturally-inspired, lemlem’s suits
are sure to get you into that summer feel, even if proper summer is not quite possible right now.
Inspired by her own Ethiopian roots, supermodel Liya Kebede launched the clothing line in
support of native weavers who no longer had a place or outlet to produce their craft.
In addition to being pleasing to the eye, of course, Kebede’s pieces for lemlem, meaning to bloom and flourish in the Ethiopian language of Amharic, aim to commit to artisanship and production, as
well as providing jobs across Africa. Its core collection is handwoven from natural cotton from
Ethiopia, staying true to Kebede and the brand’s ideals and goals. And, although there are
pieces for men, women, and children, women and their well-being take paramount; as lemlem
continues to focus on their thriving both in and out of workshops. Continuing with her own goals
and mission, Kebede founded the lemlem foundation, which, according to its website, helps
“women artisans in Africa thrive by connecting them to healthcare, education and pathways to
jobs.” lemlem donates 5% of every single sale to this foundation.
Apart from lemlem’s generous roots, its styles scream carefree summer day. With light colors
and stunning patterns, these suits say a lot without being excessive. It is easy to envision the
Semira suits adorned with small squares in a salmon-pink color by the pool, and having the
Bahiri Flutter Sleeve Dress nearby to throw on post-pool to go get afternoon drinks with friends.
This scenario may not be real or feasible right now, but these pieces transport to a time when
they were possible, and make you long for when you will be able to do them again.
Swimsuits can be simple; they empirically are. But this swimsuit and lifestyle brand is anything
from boring and mundane. lemlem’s brand is creating a larger narrative through the promotion
of cultural pride and job creation; it all seems to come so naturally to Kebede and lemlem.
By: Emily Goldberg