FA254, with Hub of Africa, focuses on communicating the sustainability efforts of young Ethiopian designers to an international audience, encouraging ethical, equitable, inclusive, and environmentally responsible practices to enrich sustainable African and global communities. The Mentorship Program seeks to connect emerging designers, graduates of fashion design schools, and talents with fashion design experts, facilitating knowledge transfer, developing future leaders, and providing every opportunity for start-up designers to have a successful and rewarding career in the fashion industry.
FA254, with Mahlet Teklemariam, the founder of the Hub of Africa Fashion Week (HAFW), sponsored by Goethe Institute Addis Ababa, specifies the common grounds this new generation of Ethiopian designers share on sustainability from an Ethiopian viewpoint.
The Mentors, Waridi Schrobsdroff – CEO and founder of FA254, and our External consultant Kelly Konings – design manager and creative director have worked with the selected designers: Bekalu Sindew, Betselot Zewge, Danawit Alema, Ekram Mohammed & Astede Bogale, Eyerusalem Lemayehu, Meaza Beyene, Meron Abraha, Meti Gaye, Rahel Edegelegn, and Ruth Cheho on women empowerment, Ethiopian culture and heritage, environmentally friendly materials, textiles, and recycling.
We started the mentorship in June 2021. The designers showcased their final results during Hub of Africa Fashion Week on January 26-30th, 2022. Moreover, the Goethe Institut – Addis Ababa held a conference and presentation on 27th January 2022.
The third edition of the competition was open specifically to Ethiopia-based designers and took place in collaboration with Goethe Institut and British Council. The winner had the opportunity to showcase the collection to international buyers during HUB of Africa Fashion Week in Addis Ababa. The collection was produced in Ethiopia under the supervision of FA254.
This mentorship was such an exciting experience. We came out of our comfort zone and got challenged. We learned a lot, especially how to create a collection based on our DNA to express our brand and industrialize ourselves. We found our purpose in what we do after the experience and learned about sustainability in a conscious manner. Thank you so much for the future.
Most importantly, now we understand our customers. We would love to learn more from Waridi and Kelly. So thank you!
Videographer: Anteneh Zerga