Adèle Dejak (AD), is an edgy African luxury fashion and accessories brand that represents sophistication, style and quality, designed and handmade in Kenya using reclaimed and recycled materials from across the African continent. AD was founded in 2008 in Nairobi, Kenya by Anglo-Nigerian designer, Adèle Dejak in memory of and celebration of her mother who epitomised style and elegance. Born in Kano, Nigeria, from a young age Adele was obsessed with her African culture and heritage with a relentless passion as her driving force. Armed with a law degree, Adèle formally trained as a photographer, graphic and typographic designer and honed her creativity and passion to shape and develop AD.
The brand’s founding principle was based on creativity, guided by a strong sense of ethical responsibility. AD products are original and unique pieces utilising recycled metals, brass and aluminium, Ankole cow horn, Maasai and West African glass beads. For the handbag line, they capture cowhide, Bakuba cloth, mud cloth and African wax print, solely inspired by African tribes, textiles, culture and traditions.
In 2012, AD was rebranded and launched as ‘Adèle Dejak, Discover African Luxury’ to create and showcase AD products to the highest quality both in terms of finishing and branding, by encapsulating a revamped clean cut company logo to reflect the vision and aesthetic of the designer and company. In addition, a new style of photography for AD’s collections and website were introduced and investment was made for our bags and jewellery to clearly identify and differentiate the AD brand and products in the open market.
We have built a powerful brand to the extent that every piece tells a story and is inspired by African textiles, cultures and traditions, with production undertaken in the Adèle Dejak workshop or through collaboration with an established network of partners. AD’s work integrates local materials and traditional designs with a modern European style. Our designs seek to make a bold statement and at the epicenter of the brand is our handcraft-skills that are thoughtful and intimate with the nuances of pattern placement and texture. Adèle was featured on CNN African Voices and Avant-Garde in 2019, who described her as a “creative powerhouse, combining tradition and contemporary style to great success”.
Adèle has collaborated with Salvatore Ferragamo, Samsung Amaze Africa, DNA (Design Network Africa) AFI (Africa Fashion International) former Vogue Italia Fashion Editor, Franca Sozzani selected the brand for Milan Vogue Talents as well as COMESA Forum, Egypt under She Designs. The designer was also selected to participate in the Lioness of Africa, a social enterprise working to advance Africa’s women’s entrepreneurs. More recently Adèle Dejak was selected by Canex Creatives and Afrexim Bank to participate at Portugal Fashion Week and the Tranoï Tradeshow Paris.
AD’s ethos has been guided by sensitivity to and an engagement with the local environment. We always strive to make our contribution to sustaining the local environment and we are committed to a strong corporate social responsibility in the creation of job opportunities. The company has invested in communities in East Africa by training people in new skills to enhance their livelihoods and contribute positively to the local and global community; by working with the UNHCR and the Lutheran Foundation on projects to train and thus empower refugees at the Kakuma refugee camp.
The AD brand has worked hard to develop and maintain a strong brand position which has created bold and unique handmade pieces of jewellery and accessories through a meticulous curation and articulation of the brand narrative. If the African Renaissance needs evidence, Adèle Dejak has brought its items into the world of luxury accessories to show how African inspired style receives global admiration. Adèle’s distinctive motto is ‘Own Your Style’ which captures the very essence of the Adèle Dejak brand.