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Amsale Aberra (Amharic ኣምሳለ ኣበራ) is a New Yorkmarker based fashion designer known for her bridal andeveningwear collections.


Born in Addis Ababamarker, Ethiopia, Ms. Aberra, professionally known as Amsale (pronounced Ahm-sah’-leh) journeyed to the United Statesmarker to study commercial art. Political upheaval in her native Ethiopia forced Amsale to stay in the United States and to support herself through her undergraduate years. As financialresources were limited, Amsale began to design and sew her own clothing. For the first time Amsale considered the possibility of a career in fashion design. After receiving her degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amsale left Boston and enrolled in New York’s Fashion Institute of Technologymarker. Upon graduation, she began her career as a design assistant at Harve Benard.

Amsale first tried her hand at bridal design in 1985, when she was planning her nuptials to film executive Neil Brown. Unable to find a simple, refined wedding gown amidst the overly excessive bridal fashions of the 1980s, Amsale decided to design a gown for herself. With the discovery of this untapped niche in the bridal market, Aberra launched her own custom bridal gown business out of her New York City loft apartment with a small team of couture sewers. Over the past 20 years, the Amsale label has expanded to encompass a bridesmaids line, party dresses and couture eveningwear.

In addition to being featured in top bridal and fashion publications, numerous celebrities have worn Amsale’s gowns, including Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Selma Blair, Salma Hayek, Lucy Liu, Heather Graham, Kim Basinger, Deborah Norville, Vivica A. Fox, Vanessa Williams , Lisa Kudrow, and Heidi Klum. Amsale has also designed for both television and the movies. Most recently, her gowns have been worn by Katherine Heigl on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and on Uma Thurman on “The Accidental Husband.”

In 1997 Amsale opened a flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City, expanded to its current size in 2001. The boutique is an urban sanctuary with serene, modern décor and a gallery-like atmosphere that provides a sleek backdrop for Amsale’s elegant and sophisticated designs. In addition to the Madison Avenue boutique, Amsale’s designs are found nationwide at the fine boutiques and specialty retailers such as Bergdorf Goodmanmarker, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

In 2004 Aberra appeared as a guest-judge on the first season of Bravo’s Project Runway, and in March, 2007 was profiled on the Oprah Winfrey Show. A partnership in 2006 between AMSALE and Lincoln motors has led to atelevision and print advertising campaign for the Lincoln MKX SUV featuring Amsale. In February 2007, Amsale was a featured on the “Moms Who Made Millions” episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show, which highlighted her unique story of her success.

In 2008, the Amsale bridal line was featured in the movie 27 Dresses with Katherine Heigl. The dress that was to be worn by Heigl's sister Tess for her wedding with George was an Amsale dress called Reese.

Amsale Aberra has been an active member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America since 1995.

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