By Melissa Segrest
Green Right Now
You might have seen Liya Kabede on fashion magazine covers or runway shows.
Perhaps you’ve heard that she wasÂ a goodwill ambassador for the World Health Organization, workingÂ to bring attention toÂ health issues in developing countries. She started her own foundation in 2006 to add to that support.
But if you’re into trendy kiddie clothing, you probably know KabedeÂ (right) best forÂ her Lemlem (that means “flourish” or “to bloom” in Amharic) line. Kabede,Â born in Addis Abbaba, continues her support of EthiopiaÂ by payingÂ men there do the hand-weaving of her clothes, and women to sew theÂ embroidery. The pretty, popular and hand-made line of clothes are made of 100 percent natural cotton, and you can see her spring lineup on her Web site.
Previously, you could only find Lemlem clothes in upscale stores or small boutiques.
Here’s the big news:Â Lemlem is going mainstream with a small collection of girls’ clothes available from all-American J. Crew.
Right now there are only six items to choose from on the J. Crew Web site (and one of them is a scarf for mom, $80),Â but the artisan nature of each pieceÂ likely makes production limited. They’re not cheap, either, with an embroidered dress for $158 (left)Â andÂ a sundress for $138.
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