In her showroom in Kiambu, Adele Dejak is decked out in her bold, sculptural jewellery.
Shoulder length earrings, a round double ring necklace inspired by Mali culture, heavy bangles and an assortment of rings on her fingers; all hang on her body.
“I like being completely decked out, I love odd numbers that is why you will always see three rings on one finger on me,” she says.
Born in Nigeria and raised in the UK, Adele handmakes fashion accessories that are heavily influenced by her roots.
This include the visual dynamics of the cultures mostly from Nigeria and other western African countries.
She has collaborated with Italian fashion house, Salvatore Ferragamo. She has also worked with Vogue Italia, Samsung Amaze Africa, Design Network and most recently Orange Culture in Nigeria.
“I feel that it is really important for all Africans to embrace their culture in whatever shape or form, whether it’s with jewellery or fashion. That is why in a lot of my pieces I inject a certain modern twist to it, keeping the history and heritage and at the same time blending in modern contemporary,” she says.
Her jewellery are statement pieces which she says empower women. “It’s not time to be shy anymore. Get over it shy people! But also I cannot force someone to wear my pieces if they are reserved. But my whole objective is to make women feel empowered when wearing my jewellery,” she says.
Adele Dejak brand has grown over the years and she now makes bags and home accessories.
“It is a journey... I always say that my seat belt is always on because it is a rollercoaster, you get to learn a lot, if I had to give advice to anyone thinking of starting a business I will tell them don’t start until you have a good business plan and business plan B,” she says.
Leather, recycled brass and recycled aluminium is strongly present in her products. She works on two or three collections in a year and says Kenya’s fashion industry has grown.
“I love Kenya and I think Kenyans rock, when I first relocated here there was not much happening in the fashion world. I think even fashion bloggers didn’t exist. And right now fashion has bloomed and it is demanding its own space,” she says.