Inspired by his older brother, Aman Tekle, he went to college to get a degree in Computer Science before he became a successful fashion designer. After college, he began working as a make-up artist and a fashion instructor. Yes, he does it all. Working out of Ayni Designing School, Aman showcases his wide array of talents while also encouraging young, aspiring fashion artists.
- -Where do your inspirations start, Aman?
Although I was born with the talent for designing and art, it’s my big brother, Luul Tekle aka Ayni, a renowned fashion designer, who influenced me to get into fashion. I began working at his shop when I was young, which allowed me to expand my knowledge of designing. In 2014, my brother opened a designing school, where I completed courses in design and make-up art.
After I graduated, I began working as a teacher. I teach about fashion design and professional make-up art. As well, I produce various types of artistic works, usually used as gifts.
- -What do you think about Eritrea’s fashion standards?
A designer is like a country’s ambassador. It is through a designer that we get to share our culture and identity with the world. In my opinion, fashion should be culture-based. However, that doesn’t mean it should limit creativity.
Until today, I don’t think we have been very active or competitive within the fashion industry. Many reasons may come to mind as to why, but I think the main reason may be lack of copy right standards. Anyone can copy someone’s design. Also, very few competitions have been organized over the years. However, I think that with the large number of talented students, there is going to be more competitions among designers, which can only help upgrade the fashion industry.
- -How talented are the fashion school graduates? What opportunities are available to them?
Honestly speaking, all the students who I had the pleasure of teaching over the years are highly talented and skilled. Since the fashion industry requires a great amount of income, many of the students that graduate are unable to work in the field. However, that shouldn’t stop them. I always tell my students that being a designer doesn’t always mean sewing clothes. It is all about creativity and using the little things you have to make something great. That is how you get to earn money and be a great designer. One always has to start at the bottom to get to the top. As long as they have the will to upgrade themselves as designers, they can make it. For example, they can always start by working at a tailor’s shop. They shouldn’t think solely about the money but instead focus on the experience they are getting. Money comes after that.
Although almost 90% of the students who are interested in fashion designing are females, I have seen many male designers with a great eye for designing. Fashion doesn’t depend on gender or age. For instance, last time we had an 11-year-old girl who came to learn designing. She was one of the best students I had seen thus far. What I want to remind everyone is that as long as people recognize their talent and work hard, opportunities will come.
- -I have seen your students use recycled materials to create outfits. Please tell us about that.
At a time when textile resources are hard to come by, fashion designers are turning to recycled materials such as plastic, straws, paper and other materials. This is what we call the “Eco Fashion.” We wanted to see how far the students would go to bring the level of creativity we wanted. It is amazing how they responded to our expectations. They came up with beautiful outfits made out of recycled materials.
- -Do you also teach make-up art?
Yes. I first became interested in make-up during our first graduation. We had to get a hair and make-up artist to have the fashion show. That is when I thought about learning more about make-up skills since we had graduations annually.
It is also an interesting field which is done by men and women. Make-up art includes the type of skin, types of faces, bridal wear, manicures and pedicures. These are all conducted according to specific rules and guidelines. It is important to understand the relationship between skin types, make-up and application procedures. Applying the wrong type of make-up can cause a permanent skin damage.
- -What do you think is required to be a good designer?
Most of all passion. You have to be passionate to be good at almost anything. Of course, one also has to have fashion skills. After developing fashion skills, one has to choose the specific field of fashion in which to work. That is the only way that someone can be great at what they do.
Also, designers must decide if they are ready to confront the obstacles that they may face in the future. Is that where you belong? Again, work to be successful. Keep up with the latest trends in the fashion industry and stay inspired. But most of all develop your portfolio. All your work should be included in your portfolio.
- -Is there anything you would like add?
I would like to remind anyone who is interested in the fashion industry that fashion is for everyone. As long as we have a good aim, we all are capable of producing quality work.
Also, I am currently working on a designing book. It will be useful for anyone interested in fashion design. I also have a dream to one day open a student-centered fashion house, which students can use to showcase and sell their work.
I also would like to thank my wife, Hermon Ghirmai, who inspires me to work even harder. As well, I want to extend my appreciation to my brother, Ayni, my family and all the teachers who have been working with me. Nothing would have been possible without their support.