Designer Manale Dagnew Uses Her Artistry to Create Unique Accessories to Raise Money for Girls’ Education in Ethiopia

NEW YORK, Oct. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Well-known haute couture wedding gown designer Manale Dagnew has a new mission in life. After spending most of her career in fashion in New York and Paris designing and sourcing couture-quality wedding gowns and evening wear with great success, the Ethiopian-born designer has left behind the world she once knew to launch her new collection of scarves, wraps, neckties and pocket squares that are designed with motifs and colors from Ethiopia’s North and South. The goal of her new collection, which launches on Oct. 10, is philanthropic. Manale is giving 10 percent of all sales to educational initiatives for girls in Ethiopia.

After years of successful work in the West, and even being awarded the Magic Johnson Award for her achievements in 2000, Manale returned to East Africa, traveling throughout Ethiopia and rediscovering the beauty of her cultural heritage. She was motivated on the trip to bring her two worlds together, combining the timeless beauty of native art and decoration with sophisticated textiles to create an affordable African luxury brand.

“The collection’s designs are inspired by the practice of the North’s traditional weaving and the South’s intricate body painting,” says Manale. “More than just raising awareness of African art and culture from my homeland, I want to make a real difference and positively impact education for girls in rural regions of Ethiopia.”

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world with more than 38 percent of its population living in poverty, according to Feed the Future. Close to 85 percent of the country’s workforce is employed in agriculture but frequent droughts severely affect the agricultural economy leaving more than 12 million people chronically, or at least periodically, food insecure. The country also has 4 million orphans, which account for nearly 12 percent of all children. Education is essential for young girls to break the cycle of poverty and be able to contribute back to their families and agriculture-driven communities.

During the initial phases of this effort, Manale will work with established schools and learning centers to improve the lives of local children and their families. Once a revenue stream is more established, the goal is to start new schools for primary education and also training academies for graduates to learn job skills in the Belessa, Gayent, and Addis Zemen regions.

To learn more about this collection and Manale’s charitable initiatives, visit

About Manale International

Ethiopian-born haute couture wedding gown designer Manale Dagnew has launched a new line of African art inspired scarves, wraps, neckties and pocket squares. The new collection is a way to highlight African art but also raise funding to help advance girl’s education in Ethiopia. To learn more, visit