Adèle Dejak cut her teeth in the world of typographic design in England and Italy before moving to Nairobi, Kenya in 2005 and turning her attention to accessories design. She was captivated by the natural beauty of horn and began experimenting with it, using different techniques to create chic, original pieces.
While in Kenya last April, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet fashion designer Adèle Dejak, who’d I’d posted about earlier in the year. I continue to be impressed by Adèle’s productivity, perfectionism and professionalism. All of these attributes are evident in the high quality of her prolific collection of work. She gave me a tour of her workshop and showroom in Kiambu and sat down with me to talk about her story and her inspiration.
What’s your passion?
Passion for fashion! I love fashion and fashion accessories. A woman deserves to look good and that’s my passion. Sorry, change that. Design. Anything: it could be fashion, photography, illustration, websites, anything to do with design. That’s my passion.
What has been your greatest obstacle or challenge in establishing and developing of your business?
Quality. Finding the right suppliers for my horn ebony. I would create a drawing and give a sample to the guy doing the horn work and it would come out tacky, cheap and badly made. I think the biggest challenge is finding the right people. Not labourers because that’s quite easy – I’ve been quite lucky in that respect. I have very loyal labourers: tailors, jewellery-makers, beaders. But the biggest problem with the business I’m doing now has been finding good quality artisans – those who produce good quality work.