Renowned African Designer, Fikirte Addis, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is the creative Director and Founder of the fashion house Yefikr Design. This psychologist perfectly blends her love and passion for children and culture with creativity in her work. Her label, Yefikir Design, celebrates urban Africa, featuring everyday wear in Ethiopia.
Adding a layer to her brand is her work and passion for children. She manages to perfectly integrate the two professions (being a fashion designer and psychologist) to reach out to disadvantaged kids in Ethiopia. As a designer she creates awareness on various sensitive issues regarding children, such as child labor, by participating in various fundraising and fashion shows which allow her to give back to the community.
Fikirte’s design aesthetic gently weaves between modern and traditional styles; using fabrics made by hand, assisted by a weaving machine, albeit producing clothing through century old techniques.
Splashes of color are introduced to designs by adding hand-embroidered or detailed, woven, multi-colored patterns, usually pieces of tilet and tiif. Each piece outlines waists, or hems of skirts. Each tiff can take approximately 2.5 days per dress- keep in mind, dresses can use up to 3 tiffs.
Ethiopian fabrics are well known for their sophistication, color and uniqueness. Yefikr Design is mainly known for turning this fabric into tailor-made and fashionable designs without losing its cultural touch for the modern day woman.
As a result of such intricate work, merchandise from Yefikir’s collection can retail for up to 15,300 birr ($850; £530).
At Origin Africa 2011, Addis stood out from 12 creative fashion designers from across Africa and landed a spot at Africa Fashion Week, New York, in 2011. New York consumers’ response to her designs was so overwhelming that Adiat Disu, Adirée President and Director of Africa Fashion Week New York, invited the young designer to showcase her work again in 2012. Fikirte Addis showcased her collection on the Africa Fashion Week New York catwalk on Saturday, July 14th for her second year at the event. Africa Fashion Week New York, the luxury multi-day event produced by Adirée, took place at the Broad Street Ballroom on July 12–14 in New York City’s financial District. Inspired by her country’s culture and vibrant environment to reflect the everyday life of the people, the Ethiopian designer Fikirte Addis is known for giving everyday cultural wear a modern twist.
Fikirte states, “It is important for me not to lose the connection I have with my culture, just giving it a modern twist and bringing it to the international fashion arena.” The main fabrics used in all her designs are handmade cotton and the designs are to give comfort with style. Fikirte gets her inspiration from the Ethiopian culture and vibrant environment to reflect the everyday life of the people. She designs clothing from casual to wedding dresses mainly for women.
Fikirte started designing in high school while enjoying the freedom of creating and experimenting with different designs and fabrics. This hobby and passion has now slowly developed and blossomed into the opening of her own label, Yefikir Design, in 2009. Since then, she has shown at different fashion events in Addis Ababa, including hub of Africa Fashion Week.