Getaneh Kifle works in a research and development centre for the leather and leather goods industry in Ethiopia as a leather goods and accessories designer. Crediting his creativity to a love of art and nature, Getaneh likes to spend time in nature to gain inspiration. Consistently striving for innovation, Getaneh is conscious of the necessary balance of unique design and the business aspect of the fashion industry, and this is something he strives to achieve in his work.
INTERVIEW WITH GETANEH
Tell us about the inspiration behind your project:
The legend of King LALIBELA, the most well-known ruler of Ethiopia, serves as inspiration for the design. His name derives from the belief that he was born surrounded by bees, symbolizing the warriors who would protect and serve their king- “bees recognize his sovereignty”. The monarch was given the name LALIBELA at the time because people claimed “The king will eat honey”. The word ‘LAL’ translates to honey and ‘IBELA’ means eat.
For the design of the bag, I utilized both green and yellow gold. The bag has wavy surface patterning and sharp edges. The pattern of the design helps to decrease leather scraps since it is designed incorporating organic lines and forms.
What do you think makes leather a great material to design with?
Leather is highly sturdy and long-lasting, and it also has a wonderful aesthetic value. Additionally, leather is incredibly insulating yet permeable. Additionally, leather can be used to make furniture, shoes, and messenger bags because its surface can withstand water absorption.
How do you think winning this competition will impact your career as a designer?
I currently have plans to launch my own business designing leather items and accessories. Winning this contest will give me a head start and would allow me to market my business. This kind of chance can help a start-up business get inspired and find a solid market potential.
Click here to learn about the Africa Design Competition.
Click here to learn more about leather and sustainability.