The late Amsale Aberra was honored by her namesake fashion label at Bridal Fashion Week on Friday, April 13, nearly two weeks after she passed away from cancer on April 1.
The Amsale Fashion House hosted an intimate runway show presenting its spring 2019 bridal collection in an outdoor garden setting in New York City. The event itself was attended by industry editors, buyers and tastemakers all familiar with the late designer’s direct impact on the transformation of the modern day wedding dress. The Knot was front row for the moving presentation, which featured approximately two dozen designs reflective of Amsale’s refined design palette.
Twenty minutes into the presentation, the label played a tribute reel commemorating Aberra. “Every time I see a bride, I want to hug her,” Aberra said in one particular portion of the production. “The Amsale Bride is someone who classic but modern. Her approach in design is very simple and clean, yet sophisticated. She’s confident… and quality is important to her.”
The video itself also included key moments and benchmarks from Amsale’s illustrious career, including a throwback, sit-down interview of the Ethiopian-American designer with Oprah. Show attendees visibly had tears in their eyes as the final gown by Aberra made its way down the runway on a model. The piece itself was the very first gown ever designed by Amsale.
The ivory column dress, a sleeveless number with a partially-sheer bodice, was embellished with dainty buttons down the back and included a display of roses cinching the back waistline. Show spectators paid homage to Amsale with a moment of silence during the emotional final display.
The designer passed away at age 64 from uterine cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. She is survived by her daughter Rachel Amsale Brown, her father Aberra Motto, her half-sister Aster Vilma, as well as her husband, Neil Brown, the CEO of the label.
“Amsale was not only an inspiration to the company, but someone who inspired and impacted everyone around her with her strength, kindness, and humility,” Brown (nee Clarence O’Neill Brown) said in a statement on April 2. “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.”