Not too long ago, Ethiopia was hardly on the international fashion radar. Now the country boasts world-renowned designers, a productive textile industry, and even its own fashion school. Addis Ababa, the nation's capital and home to 4 million people, has become a major fixture in the global fashion community, having everything from mainstream stores like Urban Outfitters to local boutiques.
The Folklore team has compiled a list of some of the most well known Ethiopian influencers who have captured the attention of audiences with their culturally inspired and boundary-pushing style.
The influencers on this list span a variety of disciplines and are based all over the world, but are all united in their impact on the fashion industry. Model and multidisciplinary artist Alewya Demmisse seeks to do a little bit of everything. While influencers like Aysha Harun and Hermela Solomon create engaging, fashion-based social content on platforms like Instagram and Youtube.
Below is our list of seven Ethiopian fashion influencers that you need to add to your Instagram feed.
Having first been discovered by Cara Delevigne while shooting a video for her friend, Alewya has since signed to Women and Storm modeling agencies (the latter of which was Kate Moss's agency). She is well acquainted with some of the biggest names in fashion modeling, having briefly lived with the likes of Binx Walton and Adwoa Aboah. Alewya is a woman of many talents also being a prominent musician signed to French indie label 'Because Music' and a visual artist specializing in painting and sculpture.
Adam Daniel, better known by his stage name Aminé, is an Ethiopian-American rapper, singer, songwriter, and music producer from Portland, Oregon. Aminé takes a relaxed approach to fashion often making or styling his own looks as he did in the music video for his Billboard top 100 single "Caroline." He is known to wear brightly colored, eye-catching garments and incorporates both highbrow and lowbrow labels.
Kenyon born, Somali-Ethiopian Saada Ahmed co-founded Everyday People in 2012 as a monthly brunch party in downtown New York City. The events, which now occur regularly all over the world celebrate mental health and wellness as well as elevate African culture and dialogue. The event has managed to attract several prominent cultural figures including Solange and Kellis. In addition to her entrepreneurial endeavors, Saada also models and has been featured in several videos revealing her beauty secrets.
Graphic design student and model Andebet Ayalla stands out as an Ethiopian-jew in the heavily white Israeli fashion industry. He was first discovered on Instagram and has since modeled all over the world including Milan, Paris, and Seoul. His feed consists of in-the-moment photos showcasing his characteristic streetwear in the city of Tel Aviv.
Aysha Harun is a beauty and fashion vlogger based in Toronto. She has amassed upwards of 215 thousand followers on instagram and 369 thousand subscribers on Youtube. Aysha's content covers everything from hijab tutorials to Eid lookbooks.
Ethiopian-Israeli rapper Eden Dersso has made quite a stir within Tel Aviv's growing rap scene. She got her start uploading rap videos to Facebook as a 16 year old before being discovered by prominent Tel-Aviv-based musician DJ Mesh, and signing to his label, Shingola records. Eden has since garnered a large following with music videos averaging 70k to 100k views.
Hermela Solomon is a Washington DC based influencer covering beauty, fashion, and natural haircare. Her feed is teeming with images of her full natural curls and her minimal yet chic fashion looks.
Words by Natalie Jarrett