Category: "Style Fashion Beauty"

Ethiopia: Fashion designer Amsale Aberra rates Addis Ababa as one of her five favorite cities in the world

June 29th, 2011

Ethiopia: Fashion designer Amsale Aberra rates Addis Ababa as one of her five favorite cities in the world

Fashion designer Amsale Aberra, known professionally simply as Amsale, is synonymous with upscale wedding gowns that can cost $75,000. Aberra stars in the WE tv reality series "Amsale Girls," which focuses on the brides who frequent her New York boutique and the women who help them pick out their fantasy dresses.

Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the 58-year-old Manhattan resident came to the United States for college. After earning a degree in political science, Aberra, who had been making her own clothes to save money, enrolled at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology to hone her skills. She designed her first bridal gown 26 years ago for her own wedding.

Read Full Interview from Chicago Tribune

Ethiopia - Supermodel Liya Kebede named new face of L'Oreal Paris

June 20th, 2011

Ethiopia - Supermodel Liya Kebede named new face of L'Oreal Paris

Ethiopian Supermodel Liya Kebede has been named the new face of L'Oreal Paris, the Paris based global leader in beauty care products. Liya joins such celebrities as Ines de la Fressange, Gwen Stefani, Freida Pinto, Jane Fonda, Aimee Mullins, Jennifer Lopez, Laetitia Casta and Gerard Butler.

"Liya is a very strong, inspiring and courageous woman, with an extremely refined and enchanting beauty. Her generous commitment to the cause of women's well-being is also remarkable," L'Oréal Paris global brand president Cyril Chapuy was quoted as saying by

"It is important for me that I represent a brand that reflects my personality. I'm pleased to play a part in sharing the uniqueness, the charisma and the incredible stories of women of all origins and from all regions of the world," Liya said.

Ethiopia: List of Celebrities who have worn wedding gown designed by Amsale Aberra

June 17th, 2011

Ethiopia: List of Celebrities who have worn wedding gown designed by Amsale Aberra

Source: We TV

Amsale Aberra's career as a couture bridal and eveningwear designer happened by necessity. While planning her 1985 nuptials to film executive Neil Brown, Amsale scoured the stores to find a simple, refined wedding dress. She found little in the way of clean, sophisticated gowns, and discovered an untapped niche in the bridal market—elegant and understated dresses.

"Everything was so overdone and with too much ornamentation," says Amsale, who was sure that her taste in gowns was shared by many other brides-to-be. Amsale placed a classified advertisement for custom-made gowns for other brides-to-be who shared her taste in sophisticated, understated designs. And so, with a few responses, a sketchpad full of designs, and a small team of couture sewers, Amsale started her business out of her New York City loft apartment.

Since then, the name AMSALE (pronounced Ahm-sah'-leh) has become synonymous with the "forever modern" wedding dress. Her collections are designed for brides who desire a fashionable, sophisticated and timeless look. Amsale believes: "Twenty years after the wedding, I want a bride to be able to look at her pictures and be as happy with the way she looked as she was on her wedding day." Amsale's love of fashion began as a young girl growing up in Ethiopia. However, Amsale never considered becoming a designer: "In Ethiopia there were no fashion designers. I never knew that designing beautiful clothes was a profession to which one could aspire."

Amsale convinced her parents to allow her to leave Ethiopia in order to study commercial art in New England. While in school a revolution broke out in her native country, which forced Amsale to stay in the United States to support herself and complete her undergraduate education at University of Massachusetts - Boston through a number of odd-jobs. With limited financial resources, Amsale admits "I would design and sew my own clothes because I couldn't afford to buy new things. That's when I first thought of becoming a fashion designer."

Amsale left Boston, enrolled in New York's Fashion Institute of Technology and began her career as a design assistant for Harve Bernard upon graduation. Two years later, Amsale launched her custom bridal-gown business with her "forever modern" approach to sophisticated design.

Amsale's design philosophy has redefined the perception of the timeless wedding gown. Her innovative twists to time honored hallmarks of the traditional wedding gown—reintroducing "illusion design," modern updates of the traditional bustle, and tasteful color accents including the now-famous "blue sash" gown—have become so popular among prospective brides that they have been recognized as modern classics.

She extends that viewpoint of individuality to her collection of chic and refined gowns for the bridal party, and in the Amsale Evening collection of couture evening wear—both lines a natural progression from the sophisticated and modern styles of her bridal collection. Amsale's ball gowns, cocktail dresses and evening suits have been featured on the fashion and party pages of all the top fashion magazines, and worn by celebrities and socialites including Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Selma Blair, Salma Hayek, Lucy Liu, Heather Graham, Kim Basinger, Deborah Norville, Vivica A. Fox, Vanessa Williams, Lisa Kudrow, Heidi Klum, Katherine Heigl and many others. Producers turn to Amsale when they need beautiful designs for films and television programs; her gowns have been featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show", "Grey's Anatomy" and "27 Dresses."

Amsale's Madison Avenue boutique, which opened in September 2001, has fulfilled Amsale's desire to present her designs in a setting that reflected her "forever modern" vision. The 5,000 square foot boutique is an urban space with a gallery-like atmosphere that provides a sleek, sophisticated canvas and the perfect backdrop for Amsale's elegant designs. The boutique offers a full range of designs from all of the brands within the Amsale Design Group, including Amsale, Amsale Bridesmaids, Christos and Kenneth Pool. The Kenneth Pool line is designed by Project Runway alum, Austin Scarlett, while Amsale Aberra is the Creative Director for the Amsale and Christos lines.

In addition to the Madison Avenue boutique, Amsale's bridal designs are found nationwide at the finest boutiques and specialty retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

Amsale Aberra is a dress designer to the stars! Here's a list of celebrities that have worn Amsale:

Halle Berry
Julia Roberts
Selma Blair
Salma Hayek
Lucy Liu
Heather Graham
Kim Basinger
Deborah Norville
Vivica A. Fox
Vanessa Williams
Lisa Kudrow
Heidi Klum
Katherine Heigl
Kristen Bell
Kate Hudson
Charlize Theron
Jennifer Garner
Uma Thurman
Anna Paquin
Bethenny Frankel
Malin Akerman
Julianna Margulies
Sara Rue
Elizabeth Moss
Sally Pressman
Uma Thurman

Films and television programs that have featured Amsale's designs:

The Today Show
Good Morning America
The View
Rachael Ray
The Oprah Winfrey Show
Grey's Anatomy
Private Practice
Brothers and Sisters
Bethenny Getting Married?
Housewives of Orange County
27 Dresses
When in Rome
The Hangover
Something Borrowed

Ethiopian Bridal Designer Amsale Aberra's New Reality Show: Amsale Girls

June 16th, 2011
Amsale Aberra (C) and cast members during the private screening party for the WETV show Amsale Girls, held at the Amsale Showroom in New York City, Wednesday, June 8, 2011.
Photo by Jennifer

Ethiopian Bridal Designer Amsale Aberra's New Reality Show: Amsale Girls

NEW YORK, NY – May 23, 2011
– Everyone knows the amount of anxiety that comes with being a bride. Still, that’s nil compared to the daily stress level and pressure felt by Manhattan’s elite bridal consultants, who strive to help future brides find the perfect wedding gown  and make the all-important sale. WE tv’s newest reality series, AMSALE GIRLS, goes behind-the-scenes of New York City’s renowned Amsale boutique, a luxury bridal salon that caters to a fabulous and high-maintenance clientele. With gowns donning price tags of $4,000 to $75,000, Amsale’s sales consultants are the best in the business. For these ladies, it’s more than just finding a bride her dream dress. Being a bridal consultant at Amsale means navigating family disagreements, stroking egos and bending over backwards to move the merchandise. Inside the shop, these ladies are often pitted against each other as they work to make their monthly sales numbers. Yet outside, they’re girlfriends, helping each other in their personal lives. AMSALE GIRLS, a six hour-long episode series, premieres on Sunday, June 12 at 10pm ET/PT, immediately following new episodes of BRIDEZILLAS. For photos, please visit

At the posh Upper East Side boutique, celebrity wedding gown designer Amsale Aberra, who has a client roster including Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Salma Hayek, Heidi Klum, Selma Blair, Lucy Liu and Katherine Heigl, has high expectations for her staff. The girls  Lauren, Emily, Kori, Linda and Samantha  work under the leadership of store manager, Debbye. Amsale’s business philosophy “from my gowns to my girls, it’s all about perfection”  is evident from the moment a bride walks into the showroom. The pressure is on for the consultants and staff to maintain this reputation 24/7, and it’s certainly frustrating and trying at times. They must make every bride feel special, even when the bride  or her entourage of opinionated family and friends  misbehaves and, worse, jeopardizes a sale. As crème-of-the-crop experts in the field, the girls are skilled at navigating the obstacles and turning the focus to the brides, making sure each one walks out with an amazing experience and the perfect gown.

It takes a strong personality to handle the job, as each girl proves:

DEBBYE “The Queen Bee,” Salon Manager  Managing all the girls and their personalities is not for the faint of heart. A London native and fashion retail veteran, Debbye knows how to keep the girls working hard and on their toes. Debbye’s job is not only to make sure the others are doing theirs, but also to maintain the salon’s famed reputation. Although this single mom is always on-the-ball at work, when it comes to dating she’s a bit clumsy!

EMILY “The Go-Getter,” Bridal Consultant  Determined and ambitious, this Midwesterner is the salon’s star sales consultant. Emily will do whatever it takes, wherever and whenever. But after time away for her own wedding and honeymoon, Emily’s frustrated to learn she’s having an increasingly difficult time getting back in the groove and finds herself in a sales slump.

LAUREN “The Princess,” Bridal Consultant  A Texas girl new to New York, Lauren is living out her dream in the big city, working for Amsale. She’s established some great friendships with the other girls but is beginning to miss her family back home more and more. Lauren’s eager to move ahead quickly in the salon, but boss Debbye sees a few areas that need improving if she wants any chance at moving up.

KORI “The New Girl,” Salon Concierge  She’s the first person brides meet when they enter the salon, but Kori never imagined this is where she’d end up. A native of New York, Kori realized her dream and left behind a high-paying job in finance to work for Amsale. While she doesn’t regret her decision, Kori’s eager to prove she’s ready to move from the concierge desk into the coveted bridal consultant role. She finally gets her chance, but does she really have what it takes?

LINDA “The Therapist,” Bridal Consultant  Recruited by Amsale, this New York native loves that there’s never a dull moment working in bridal. She’s therapist and friend to the other girls, but recently has been under tremendous pressure. With her husband recently out of a job, Linda is struggling to generate enough income as sole provider. She’s trying not to let the stress carry over to her brides, but the others girls are starting to take notice that something is wrong.

SAMANTHA “The Practical One,” Operations Manager  With more than a decade of bridal experience under her belt, Samantha immerses herself in special events and keeps everyone moving forward in the store. She loves working at Amsale and after being in the business for so long, is beyond excited to get married one day. For now, Sam is focused on her career. She’s looking for more responsibility at work and is eager to prove she deserves it.

AMSALE GIRLS goes inside the high-pressure world of the bridal industry and reveals what it’s really like to work at a premier high-end dress salon. The ladies may have fun and love what they do, but it’s not a profession for those easily deterred. Challenging, stressful and, at times, an emotional rollercoaster, being an Amsale girl means constantly managing differing personalities, drama, personal issues and career aspirations, all with grace, composure and a smile.

AMSALE GIRLS is produced for WE tv by Authentic Entertainment. Executive producer for WE tv: Annabelle McDonald; SVP of Original Productions & Development: John Miller.

Visit for exclusive extras including a video tour of Amsale's bridal salon, sneak-peeks, extended & deleted scenes, and video bios from the girls. Additional content includes photos, blogs, a full list of Amsale's celebrity clients, chats and more. Be sure to enter the "Amsale Designer Dress Giveaway" Sweepstakes on June 19th: follow @WEtv on Twitter and visit Then tune-in on premiere night to find out what phrase to retweet for the chance to win an Amsale gown. Visit for complete rules.

About WE tv
WE tv ( is the women’s network devoted to the wild ride of relationships during life’s defining moments. The original series, including Downsized, Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? and hit wedding shows – Bridezillas and My Fair Wedding with David Tutera, among others– underscore the network’s brand position and tagline, Life As WE Know It, which signifies the connection that women share based on similar life experiences. Whether it’s the thrill of getting married, the drama of family chaos or the excitement of a second chance, the stories on WE tv allow women to see themselves, someone they know or someone they’d love to know. Owned and operated by Rainbow Media Holdings LLC, WE tv is available in over 77 million homes and is available in HD and on demand.

Markus Lupfer to mentor Ethiopia's emerging fashion talent

April 18th, 2011

Markus Lupfer to mentor Ethiopia's emerging fashion talent

This weekend, Bazaar favourite Markus Lupfer touched down in Addis Ababa where, over the course of the next ten days, he’ll be mentoring five super talented emerging Ethiopian fashion designers for The Goethe Institute’s Fashion Renaissance initiative.

The programme which debuted last year – also with Markus at the helm – equips the country's largely self-taught fashion designers with the tools to operate in the global marketplace and will culminate with a full-on fashion show in Munich.

Read More from Harpers Bazaar