Throughout African fashion circles, bright fabrics and bold designs are closet staples. Dominating the runway and the streets are multi-coloured, traditional patterned skirts, blouses and dresses such as the Mashua Dress, a maxi length chiffon material dress which features brown and white triangular patterns. The Lalesso Resort Collection features patterns similar to the Mashua in breezy shifts and bathing attire – perfect for lounging by the pool or at the beach. After a long day, one can slip into a brocade or metallic jacquard for an evening date. For these occasions, West Africans fancy the gele hot – a larger version of the staple head tie accessory – in bold and ornate designs. With all of these magnificent looks, it is easy to conclude that Africa is home to many artistic, talented, hard-working, innovative trendsetters.
One of these icons is Adèle Dejak, a sophisticated and resourceful designer. She is the genius behind the Adèle Dejak luxury brand of fashion accessories, which brings the best of African design to the rest of the world. She began her journey into design in Europe, studying typography at the then London College of Printing. At Rock Star Magazine in Rome, she put in some time as Art Director, but felt the pull to move to Africa later on. In 2005, after moving to Kenya, she focused her creativity in fashion and accessories, which had always held her interest since a childhood spent browsing the local markets in Northern Nigeria.
In Nairobi, she began to design jewellery from her home. She had long been fascinated with the hidden beauty and utility in waste materials, paying particular attention to the horn. So, she experimented with different techniques for creating fashion pieces using the horn. She also incorporated other materials in her work such as cement, brass, bone, and rice sacks. Each item is hand picked for its exceptional quality, then used to craft timeless pieces that meet in the middle of artefact and fashion.
“The Adèle Dejak brand creates handmade African fashion accessories for the modern, sophisticated and multidimensional, woman.” She is deeply connected to her rich African heritage and uses various shapes, textures, colors both to represent her nationality and to keep her items fresh and exciting. Dejak designs each piece and entrusts the consumnation of her work to only the most experienced artisans. She focuses mostly on jewellery and handbags but also works on sandals, belts, and clothes. Her Nigerian roots and her European influence have blended to make her one of the most ingenious designers in the world.
Dejak is not only a visionary artist, she is a model businesswoman. Her Artisan and management teams work from the same location, thereby creating a collaborative environment where everyone participates in dialogue about collections, designs, and challenges. With such a strong, united team, her success is no surprise. Dejak’s work has been featured in Elle Magazine, Zen Magazine, and Vogue Italia, proving that her inspired designs transcend African culture and appeal to women across the globe. Adèle Dejak designs are available for online purchase, and can be shipped to many destinations across the world.
In addition to being awed by her phenomenal designs, we can learn from her inclusive leadership style and her courage to pursue her passion. With her originality and dedication to fashion, there is undoubtedly more success in store for Adèle Dejak!