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Ethiopian-born Bridal Designer, Amsale Aberra Dies at 64

Amsale Aberra, Ethiopian-born bridal and evening wear designer who created wedding gowns for actresses like Halle Berry, Heidi Klum, Salma Hayek, Vivica Fox among other prominent people died on Tuesday at 64.

According to a representative of her brand, Amsale Business which she launched in 1985, the designer died due to uterine cancer.

Aberra who had also opened a boutique on New York City’s Madison Avenue in 1997, was known for her understated aesthetic with her pieces famously featuring on the silver screen and television.

Aberra was born in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. She moved to Vermont for college, and then went to New York, where she earned her degree in fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

A time came for her to shop for her own wedding dress and that’s when she discovered a gap in the market for simple, understated, timeless gowns.

She launched Amsale as a custom bridal business out of her apartment. It quickly grew into one of the industry’s most recognized brands expanding to designing evening gowns, cocktail dresses, and bridesmaid dresses.

Aberra also designed fitness and wellness expert Hilaria Baldwin’s champagne-hued wedding gown for her June 2012 marriage to Alec Baldwin. She dressed Jessica Alba in a bridesmaid’s dress to a friend’s wedding in 2013.

Before she passed, Aberra had already chosen a successor, Margo Lafontaine, recently the senior studio director at Vera Wang who will oversee sales from Amsale’s extensive bridal and ready-to-wear design teams.

She is survived by her daughter musician Rachel Brown, and her husband, Amsale CEO Neil Brown.

“Amsale was not only an inspiration to the company, but someone who inspired and impacted everyone around her with her strength, kindness, and humility. Working side by side, we spent 360 degrees of our life together, and I know only too well both her creative genius and her infinite goodness. Words cannot express the personal loss that we feel, but we are comforted by the avalanche of support we’ve received and the commitment of our team to carry on Amsale’s legacy,” Neil Brown was quoted by the Vogue magazine.

The company will be having launch of its Spring 2019 bridal collection and as requested by the designer, the runway show will continue as planned on April 13.

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