Designer Spotlight: Admas Mahdere

From a young age, fashion has been a solid part of Admas’ identity. Her love for fashion was first evoked by her mother’s beautiful, traditional Eritrean dresses. With traditional materials her mother would bring home from Eritrea and Ethiopia, she began to create dresses for herself to wear at family weddings, and was soon creating garments for family and friends. Fast-forward to today, her self-titled fashion line matures every day as an innovative East African clothing line, mixing together traditional Eritrean and Ethiopian materials with modern designs that are intriguing, beautiful and fun.

Admas Mahdere was born in Nairobi, Kenya to Eritrean parents, but grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. She has admitted the exposure to various cultures has influenced the her in creating looks that are just as unique as her background.

The garments in Admas’ collections offer fashion lovers and consumers an incomparable product, one that isn’t mass produced and is made of materials exclusive to Eritera and Ethiopia. With no formal training, Admas creates with fashion forward women in mind, offering a rare experience with different fabrics and designs.

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Admas teams up with non-profit organizations that support sustainability of weavers (known as “Shemane”) through co-operatives and access to supplies, equipment and facilities.

The fabric is the central aspect of Admas’ designs.

“Some designers would likely start out with a design and then source fabric, but for me it’s the other way around.  It all starts with the fabric making process. ” said Admas Mahdere

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The designer travels to Ethiopia to source material and instruct the weavers what colors to use and give them ideas for patterns.  Much of the pattern designs are from their own inspiration, using techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. The fabric inspires each design, and is brought to life by a seamstress or tailor.

Admas will showcase on Saturday, July 20th at “The Pattern of Sustainable Luxury” themed Africa Fashion Week in New York (AFWNY).

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AFWNY, a staple on New York’s fashion calendar, is a luxury multi-day event produced by Adirée. This year’s AFWNY will take place at the Broad Street Ballroom on July 18th, 19th and 20th in New York City’s Financial District.

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