In a world where fashion has become a global industry, many designers have opened up their doors to accommodate people’s desires of clothing. We have many talented designers who are working to upgrade the fashion industry of the country and be recognized internationally. One of them is Meron Ghirmai, a 31 year old lady who has realized her dream of being a fashion designer at a young age. After taking two years of hectic courses on designing, she opened her own fashion house and is now able to do what she loves.
Today, Q&A proudly presents this young lady who has believed in herself from the start and who is now motivating others to believe in themselves by working hard to achieve their goals.
- -Becoming a designer, was it a childhood dream?
It was my passion and dream. When I was young, whenever I went out and met with people, I used to notice their outfits and how they dressed. I didn’t know what it was back then, but it was my passion. I was too young to recognize it at the time. So, by the time I knew that I was in love with designing clothes and everything to do with it, I went to Capucinni Designing School for two years. The school was not a simple vocational school. We had to learn throughout the week like the academics and did some hard training, projects and exams. The teachers had a strict way of handling the students, especially on the examination times .Every single student was observed by the teachers during the examination to make sure that everyone was doing their best on their own. It was meant to make sure that they were capable of coming up with great works that would make them good designers for the future. And I think that helped us more than anything else to be good designers.
On top of the busy schedule of the designing school I went to, I also wanted to learn some sketching skills to upgrade my designing expertise. So, while taking the classes I was also taking sketching lessons at the Designer Negasi’s school for six months which added up to my home wok and projects. His courses included how to sketch and design, colors, blending colors, and dying colors and makeup art as well. I wanted to be a good designer so much that I didn’t even realize how busy I was at the time. I enjoyed every bit of the courses I was taking.
- -So where did you go after you graduated?
If one is prepared to make something better out of themselves, God makes a way. Profession alone isn’t enough when you are done with the theory and move to the practical job you have to deal with in real life. I always wanted to get experience while I was studying, and an opportunity presented itself at my graduation. One of the best designers of the country, Fana Taddese, was impressed with my work and offered me a job at her fashion house. I started working there as soon as I graduated from the school. I wouldn’t have been at the stage I am today if I hadn’t worked with the designer. She taught me everything I know to be successful in the career. Starting from where to get the materials, make clients, and have confidence in myself to everything else necessary.
- -Have you ever presented a fashion show before?
Yet. It was easy for me to present a fashion show since I had the materials and designs. However, I wanted to open up my own fashion house first. I wanted to have a place of my own where I can prepare the designs people would want and buy or rent for different occasions. Now that I have accomplished that, I am planning to do a big fashion show that includes traditional and modern outfits.
- -When did you open your fashion house?
Almost three years ago. It is called Shege Fashion, which simply means elegant or beautiful in Tigrigna. I want to reflect our beautiful tradition with a mix of modern styles, without degrading its value. I believe fashion design is a reflection of one’s culture. We have the most beautiful and elegant traditional clothes which is an important cultural heritage. It’s not like I don’t do the modern European styles. I do when I get specific orders from clients. I just love to come up with a mix of modern style to our cultural clothes that would make them competitive and be recognized internationally. It is good to dream big.
All my designs are a reflection of our tradition, and a reflection of my feelings. I take time on my designs as I want to produce clothes that people want to wear on every occasion. I sometimes hate to see people copying the designs from the display other designers have put on. The main thing is that people should never get into a profession because other people are doing it. One should be gifted to get into doing something. If not he\she are going to depend on other people’s creation which would technically be stealing.
- -Do you ever face gender discrimination in your career?
Well, not so much. But, sometimes people come to my shop and ask me if they could speak to the owner. I can see their astonishment when I tell them it is me. They expect a man or a much older lady to be the owner. They are always surprised to see a young lady running a fashion house.
- -You are also a makeup artist?
Yes. I do bridal makeups and work for individuals for different events.
- -Anything you want to say at last…
I want to tell my fellow sisters that God has made every single one of us with a brain that is able to work and create things. It is just up to us how we manage our selves. We, ladies, can do anything we want if we love what we do and work hard on it. We have to know what we are good at and stick to it; we shouldn’t be afraid to explore what we can do. Fear is the biggest enemy of success.
Again, I would like to thank my family for they have believed in me in such a great way. I wouldn’t have been where I am without them. Also, I want to thank designers Negassi Tesfatsion and Fana Taddese. To everyone who was part of my journey to get here, thank you, I couldn’t have done it without you.