Art & CultureNews

Ruth Girmay Named Most Commendable Designer at African Design Showcase

Ruth Girmay has been announced as the most commendable designer at the African Talent Leather Design Showcase 2023 grand finale in Mombasa, Kenya.

The Real Leather. Stay Different. African Talent Leather Design Showcase 2023 was held in partnership with the Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute last week.

Celebrating Africa’s most innovative leather designers, the event served as a platform showcasing exceptional talent from across the continent while advocating for the use of sustainable practices in the fashion industry.

The showcase transcended borders to spotlight the diverse talent rooted in the continent’s rich artistic heritage, celebrating traditional craftsmanship but also contemporary design.

The grand finale displayed innovative and heritage-rich leather designs from fifteen finalists who had been shortlisted from many applicants, spanning ten countries from Burundi to Zimbabwe by our esteemed judging panel.

The panel consisted of leather industry experts, from specialist Preston Viswamo, to distinguished designer Judy Mania and co-founder of the trailblazing footwear Podohub online, Tezera Ketema.

Preston Viswamo, showcase judge and Regional Design Studio Project Manager at the Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute, praised the 2023 incredible selection of entries.

“The designers of tomorrow must steer the fashion industry towards sustainability while delivering captivating designs. Each entry showcased a harmonious blend of sustainability and creativity, embodying the future of fashion.”

Ruth Girmay of Ethiopia was crowned the most commendable designer of the 2023 African Showcase for their exemplary piece titled Diversity Bag.

Ruth’s work, ‘Diversity Bag’, was applauded for its remarkable artistry, exceptional craftsmanship, and striking vision. Inspired by Zebra’s skin color and pattern, the Diversity bag represents beauty, equality, and strength.

“Receiving this award and recognition is an immense honor,” Ruth said, “This competition has not only acknowledged my work but also provided invaluable insights into the beauty and potential of natural materials.”

The creation of the African Talent Leather Design Showcase in partnership with ALLPI, signifies a concerted effort to foster sustainable leather value chains and emerging creatives through education within Africa.