Looking through the featured AFWNY designers (2012 showcase), I stumbled on a series of stunning designs from Fikirte Addis, and immediately fell in love with her elegant, everyday wear with an Ethiopian twist. As a young emerging designer from Addis Ababa, Fikirte started designing in high school where she enjoyed the freedom of creating and experimenting with different designs and fabrics.
This hobby and passion has now slowly developed and turned into opening her own label, Yefikir Design, in 2009. Since then, she has been into different fashion events in Addis Ababa, including hub of Africa Fashion Week.
What I really appreciate about her designs – having never put them on so my opinion is only based on what I see – is the finished, professionalism and easily translatable ease to modern, international standards. Her styling really reminds me of Anya (Project Runway Season 9 winner) which makes me believe Fikirte could certainly compete against globally successful couture designers – all Africa needs to do is seriously support her designs.
Also a psychologist working with children, her other passion, she manages to integrate the two professions to reach out to disadvantaged kids in Ethiopia. As a designer she creates awareness in various sensitive issues regarding children such as child labor by participating in various fundraising and fashion shows which allows her to give back to the community.
Fikirte gets her inspiration from the Ethiopian culture and vibrant environment to reflect the everyday life of the people and she believes in and is proud of her African culture and weaves her legacy into every piece of clothing she creates. ”It is important for me not to lose the connection I have to my culture, just giving it a modern twist and bringing it to the international fashion arena.”
The fabric she prefers is handmade cotton – one that has been the staple for Ethiopia, with its moderate to high temperatures and some very dry seasons. Yefikr Design is mainly known for turning this fabric into tailored made and fashionable designs without losing its cultural touch for the modern day women.Ethiopians though have traditionally created clothes fabrics known for their sophistication, colorfulness and uniqueness, and Fikirte’s designs deliver on comfort and style from casual to wedding dresses for women.