Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.


December 28th, 2011

Adèle Dejak – African Aso-oke and Eco Recycled Bags – Designer PROFILE

Adèle Dejak is a  brand-new dynamic brand that has its roots in the heart of Kenya. Here, stunning cutting-edge contemporary designs are created for all those stylish women looking for unique, contemporary accessories.

Adèle has been in business for five years and it’s almost been 3 years since the opening of her first boutique store, MagikGrace, in Lamu, Kenya and also has a workshop located in the upmarket area of Westlands, Kenya.

Workshop in Kenya – image courtesy Adèle Dejak

As hard as it may be to believe, from being born in Nigeria, educated in England and then married and moving to Kenya Adele did not start off studying design, she actually studied law but always had a passion for all things design. Born in Kano, Nigeria and brought up in Cambridge England, AdËle developed her multiple artistic interests in the UK and Italy, where she established her studio in Rome and worked as the Art Director of the best-selling Italian Pop Magazine. Her design career began when she wore a necklace she designed to a dinner party, and the unpredicted positive response she received is what led her to act on her artistic vision seriously.

Workshop in Kenya – image courtesy Adèle Dejak

Adèles best collection yet is the Afri-Love collection, which consists of beautiful handmade jewellery and bags,the objection of which is to ‘re-interpret certain African tribal features…for an international audience’ and we think she has done a brilliant job!

pieces from Afri-love collection – image courtesy Adèle Dejak

The collection also features the Atoti bag, which is made of kitenge (printed fabric from East Africa) and Aso-oke. Aso-oke is a cloth crafted by the Yoruba ethnic group of Nigeria and has been woven for hundreds of years in one form or another. The cloth is very sturdy and is mostly reserved for religious rituals, funerals, and very formal occasions. Originally, the pieces were either deep indigo, a natural beige silk, or an imported magenta silk weave. Today, the strands of cotton, polyester, rayon, silk, lurex, and acrylic are all merged on narrow strip looms into long, thin pieces of fabric.

Left = bag from Kitenge fabric, right = Aso-oke fabric – images courtesy Adèle Dejak

In addition to Afri-Love collection, we also love the Recycled Collection of beautiful bags made from recycled industrial bags, as Adèle Dejak says “One person’s discarded items are another’s style arsenal!”

Recycled bag collection – image courtesy Adèle Dejak

Recycled bag collection – image courtesy Adèle Dejak

Recycled bag collection – image courtesy Adèle Dejak

bag collection – image courtesy Adèle Dejak

bag collection – image courtesy Adèle Dejak

In late September this year, Adèle Dejak, was honoured to be one of the chosen design companies for Design Network Africa, a 36-month program that aims to ‘establish authentic interaction between 28 outstanding design companies throughout the African continent, who produce beautiful, contemporary work’. This was amazing for Adèle as the topics it aims to address are parallel to her views on the Kenyan fashion industry, these topics include:

-Increase in product ranges, sales and global visibility of member companies

-Origination of a sustainable network between design companies throughout the African continent.

For one night only, one-of-a-kind accessories created by Kenya-based designer, Adèle Dejak, will be on sale in London. Her bold, contemporary, African-inspired jewellery, bags and belts are ideal for that unique Christmas gift or treat. Dejak uses a variety of materials including reclaimed and upcycled metal, glass, cement bags and rice sacks; as well as a variety of African textiles and age-old craft techniques.

jewelery bag collection – image courtesy Adèle Dejak

The event will take place at The Drift Bar from 6pm on Tuesday 8th November, 2011. The Drift Bar is “an island of calm in the heart of the city”. The venue boasts striking bars, inventive cocktails and imaginative culinary creations bursting with flavour and colour.

For an opportunity to win one of Adèle’s creations, RSVP at with ‘Dejak Giveaway’ in the subject of the email and you will be entered into a draw (contestants must be present at the sale to win). The Drift Bar is located at the Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Please find more info at

All images courtesy of Adèle Dejak facebook page:

Photographs by Abraham Ali


Author: Natalie Nartey



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