Adele Dejak – Passion Made Her Do It
Born in Nigeria, Adele Dejak's mother was Nigerian of the Tiv tribe and her father was British. She spent most of her childhood moving around in Nigeria and began to develop a love for African culture and art. A shared love for accessories created a beautiful bond between Adele and her maternal grandmother, and they would often spend time together making jewellery with the beads she bought from the market with her own pocket money. Aged eight, Adele moved to the UK to attend boarding school. "I then went on to study at the Blake College of Art, Design and Media and London, before attending the London College of Communication, formerly known as the London College of Printing," she told Fashionomics Africa. "I have always loved the organized precision of typography. I believe it gives a good solid base for all design."
When her husband was assigned work in Kenya, Adele found herself back in Africa and filled with inspiration. "I think I just fell in love with the abundance of diversity and at the time, the opportunity presented itself with people's interest in buying my jewellery. It took a very natural course. I started making jewelry for myself to wear. What I wanted to wear, I often didn't find so I made my own and people would recognize some of the pieces with the intention of buying. I usually begin with research on shapes and textiles from photos, artwork, books and magazines on African tribes. I then draft sketches and working very closely with my team, we develop the ideas into the designs they are today. I try to ensure that at least 99% of the materials I use are recycled. I am big on maintaining a sustainable business that looks after its environment. I also appreciate turning what some see as waste into something refined and beautiful," Adele explains.
Founded in Nairobi in 2008, Adele Dejak has established itself as a luxury fashion and accessories brand that represents sophistication and style. The brand's collection features edgy bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings and handbags, inspired by African culture and made with the finest materials available. “Every design has an inspiration behind the concept whether through its history or through its development process,” she told us. Adele has a strong presence in popular hotels and shopping malls in Kenya and has become a leading handmade-in-Africa affordable luxury brand. She has utilized years of excellent feedback to continuously improve on and reinvent Adele Dejak designs. With a flagship store at the Village Market Mall in Nairobi and a workshop and showroom in Kiambu (on the outskirts of Nairobi), Adele has refocused her energies on generating merchandise for export, while local stock sold to the local market through existing partners such as hotels and lodges.
If the African Renaissance needs evidence, Adele Dejak has brought its items into the world of luxury accessories to show how African style fits global admiration the world over. Adele has collaborated with Italian designer label Salvatore Ferragamo, African design showcase by Samsung Amaze Africa and AFI (Africa Fashion International) fashion week. Former Vogue Italia Fashion Editor Franca Sozzani selected the designer for Vogue Talents that highlights the next generation of talents. More recently Adele was featured on CNN African Voices who described her as a “creative powerhouse, combining tradition and contemporary style to great success”. She was also selected to participate in the COMESA Forum, Egypt under the She Designs showcase in November 2018.
“Before the pandemic, 2020 had a lot of things lined up for Adele Dejak. We had some great collaborations with some brands, events and we were getting set to roll out Adele Dejak merchandising. We had to sit down and accept that our plans had to change accordingly. A lot has been put on hold, but we are adjusting, and we are still operational. We converted part of our workshop to produce masks for the community around us and also to enable us to donate masks and dry foodstuff to those in need. We also decided to launch gift vouchers online for our international community. This COVID-19 has been a trying time for the global fashion business. We have been affected by the pandemic just as much as everybody else, but I believe this is the worst time to give up. It has given us all a reality check but if we survive it, we will come out of it better than ever,” Adele remains optimistic and it all comes from a deep passion for her work.
Adele Dejak is the African renaissance – click HERE to shop her wonderful products through the Fashionomics Africa's marketplace.