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 Foto Francesco de Luca

Semhal Tsegaye Abebe

Semhal Tsegaye Abebe is the founder and creative director of Almaz textile design, a fashion brand that promotes diversity and African heritage, focused on bespoke products made in natural or recycled fabrics.

Born in Ethiopia and raised both in Ethiopia and Italy, she identifies as a fully bicultural who looks forward to addressing the untapped potential in the connections among the very diverse pool of people and expertise in the Italian context and aboard. She has a bachelor’s BSc in Urban Planning from the University of Florence, an MA in Marketing Management from the University of Pisa and a diploma in Textile Design from the University of Arts London.

The main focus of Almaz textile design is textile patterns that reflect the rich and diverse African heritage, as shown in the fabrics inspired by the architecture of Lalibela. With a view to embedding a sustainable business model in the existing one, which is based on natural fabrics, however not fully sustainable, there are plans to print on recycled or upcycled materials, either patterns or specific designed graphics.

With the Almaz brand I support causes that are very dear to me: the valorization of diversity and raising awareness of social justice. Clothing is strongly linked to the person's identity, it expresses what we want to convey, a clear and decisive message.

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© Almax textile design

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Museo delle Civiltà, Roma foto: Morteza Khaleghi


The Colonial Heritage of Italian and International Fashion Design and Its Impact on the Collective Imagination

Semhal Tsegaye took part in the Talk at the Museum of Civilizations, presenting her impressions on the impact with the fashion and textiles items of the Former Colonial Museum. She also brought in the discussion examples of her production to broaden the reflection.


Workshop Museo delle Civiltà, Roma

Semhal took part in the Decolonizing the Gaze project from the very beginning. She participated in the visit to the collection of the Ex Colonial Museum and in the Workshop at the Museum of Civilizations.

Her gaze as a fashion designer with Ethiopian origins offered very important reflections and ideas to the research.


Museum of Civilizations, Rome photo: Caterina Pecchioli


Textile Cultural Heritage vs Colonialism
Cultural Appropriations?

Semhal Tsegaye took part in the Round Table at Framer Framed, in Amsterdam. She introduced her research on de-colonization carried out in Italy, introducing it in the context of the Textile cultural heritage reflection.  She presented how she works with textile patterns that reflect the rich and diverse Ethiopian heritage.


Framer Framed Amsterdam, photo Alessandro Trevisin

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