There is a rising ambition for fashion and design, especially among the millennial generation. However, the notion of being a ‘designer’ has been misconstrued by many young aspirants. For them, it is all about glitz, glam and money. The truth about fashion is that there is more to what meets the eye.
Recently, girls from the Evelyn School of Design paid an industrial visit to the Adele Dejak Workshop in Kiambu. We were amazed at how shocked they were to see the collection; they immediately perused through item after item even before introductions were made. The excitement that filled the air could almost be seen and touched! The students were introduced to the Adele Dejak collections, the history of products, materials used for production and the production process. The students even had a chance to witness an actual brass casting process, and watch other artisans live at work. During tea break, the girls took a tour to our creative neighbors the GOAT Social Club. GOAT is an exquisite art space and café with state of the art pieces, from handmade bags to paintings; the perfect ambience for the girls to interact with Adele Dejak the creative.
The most important part of the entire tour was the mentorship session they had with me, about the heart of design. At the beginning of the trip I asked the girls who would like to be a jewellery/accessories designer; none was interested. Our young girls want to be fashion designers, but they don’t know what being a fashion designer entails. To them it’s about clothes, shoes, travel and lifestyle – the girls had to have a reality check.
All of them wanted to own their own businesses but don’t know the hard-work, sweat and tears that go in to building a brand; lots of years and lots of experience. Adele Dejak is all about passion and empowerment. We had to teach these young designers the basics of fashion and design; and the main basic is passion. Almost all of the girls admitted that they dedicated less than 30% of their time to design. A brand needs 100% dedication for the smallest bit of success. It was a wake-up call for our girls who were educated and empowered by the end of the visit.
Adele Dejak is an educator and ardent promoter of the Girl Boss movement.