OUR FOUNDER, GENET KEBEDE

Pioneer in authentic, handmade Ethiopian fashion

Genet Kebede

Genet Kebede was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From a young age, she loved fashion and the rich textiles she found in her own culture, yet she appreciated the inspiration coming from other countries and specifically the rich design heritage of Italy. In pursuit of her dreams, she took the opportunity to study fashion design and garment construction in Italy and then Argentina.

However, Genet always knew she would return to her home. Living through the significant political disruptions that led to near famine for much of Ethiopia during her childhood, she believed she had an opportunity to contribute to her country. She wanted to help the many people, particularly women, she saw in difficult circumstances in her city. She also wanted to share the beauty of her country’s rich weaving traditions with the world. Through her own fashion label, Genet saw an opportunity to do both.

In 1992, Paradise Fashion was born. Since founding the label, Genet has been celebrating the cultural tradition of Ethiopian hand weaving with a contemporary design aesthetic and providing sustainable employment to her largely female team. As a pioneer in Ethiopian fashion, Genet has built a brand and a business that supports the livelihood of a network of over 55 Ethiopian women who, with their skill, preserve and enhance the art of her country’s rich Ethiopian textile heritage.