"Having graduated from IFA Paris was the most remarkable landmark and turning point in my life!"
IFA Paris graduate in 2018, the talented Ghanaian fashion designer Dziedzorm Adjei just created his own fashion brand in Paris, ADjéi, a mirror image of his personality and latest collection. Premiere interview of a promising talent and permanent traveler!
Michel Temman: Dziedzorm, thank you to give us a bit of your busy time! Where do you come from in Ghana and please give us some insight about you and your creative path. How did you join the planet fashion?
Dziedzorm Adjei: My name is Dziedzorm Kwasi Adjei and mostly known as «Monsieur Adjei»! I am an emerging designer based in Paris but I’m coming originally from Ghana. I was actually born in Accra but grew up in a city called Tema which is also part of Accra. Tema is an industrial city and also has the main harbor and port that serves other west African countries. It is also a city that has bred many talents including top Ghanaian musicians. My career in fashion is quite new as I have just created a niche brand in Paris which was elaborated and built around my personality and under the brand name ADjéi which is also my family name.
M.T.: Please tell us about your childhood in Ghana?
Dziedzorm Adjei: My childhood in Ghana was somewhat fun but a bit challenging as I had to be switching schools at certain levels due to various circumstances. My life has mostly been built on adapting to change and settlement, which is, having to deal with making new friends and exchanging cultures. I wasn’t so comfortable with it but today it’s quite understandable as I try to relate to the situation of finding myself living in a city in a different country from my country of birth. The most interesting aspect is the fact that travelling is one of my favorite hobbies. I may have been born to roam and move around.
M.T.: What about your family?
Dziedzorm Adjei: I come from a family of five, which is made of my mum, dad and two senior brothers. If I have to talk about my family I would rather talk about how we are all artistically inclined. Starting from my dad, Dr Mawuli Adjei, who is an English lecturer but expresses his art in creative writing, mainly poetry and prose. One of my elder brothers, Dr Sela Kodjo Adjei, is also a lecturer at the Ghana National Film and Television Institute and also a freelance illustrator, painter and graphic designer.
M.T.: Yourself you are a creator. To materialize your dream and to build your own brand, was it a long journey?
Dziedzorm Adjei: This path that I have chosen is actually, for ever since I can remember, my lifestyle as personally, I always loved shopping, especially footwears – and that is where my love for fashion started. I would say that this journey has been quite tough as it consumes you physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally but this also had a huge influence on my latest collection which is titled «Survival of the Fittest».
M.T.: How did you join IFA Paris and how valuable where your studies there?
Dziedzorm Adjei: Discovering IFA Paris was as a result of making the toughest decision in my life. I was torn between quitting the study of Sociology in my second year at that time in the University of Ghana and starting what I actually wanted to do from scratch. I followed my instincts, and at that moment I knew where I wanted to be. I finally settled on applying to IFA Paris to study fashion through recommendations from a family friend and online searches. My studies at IFA Paris during my Bachelor Fashion Design were very valuable to me because I knew where I had come from, where I was and where I wanted to be. At IFA I really got a wealth of knowledge and skills in fashion. Also, my mindset about fashion has broadened immensely. Having graduated from IFA Paris’ Bachelor Fashion Design in 2018 was the most remarkable landmark and turning point in my life!
M.T.: How did you create your latest collection and would you define the DNA of your brand ADjéi?
Dziedzorm Adjei: Barely a year after graduating IFA Paris’ Bachelor Fashion Design, I successfully created the brand ADjéi which has also been my biggest achievement and pride. As the creative director of the brand I realized my first major collection which included a capsule collection released during the Paris Fashion Week for Spring/Summer season and followed by a release of the main collection inspired by the survival of living organisms and relating it to common traits of human survival! ADjéi is a brand built around my personality as I told you: I want people to feel more connected and to link the brand to my identity. The name Adjei is my family name but the brand name has an ascent on the letter é which gives it a little French vibe and makes me feel more connected to my city of abode Paris. I think I would want to maintain this brand as a niche brand and to be able to build a good inter-personal relationship with customers.
M.T.: How do you envision yourself to be like in a few years?
Dziedzorm Adjei: I hope to become a great contributor in many areas of creation. I don’t see myself making just clothing. I want to be a versatile person doing a lot of different things and making a lot of people feel involved. I want to be everywhere doing a bit of everything, I want to be seen as an influential creator, like creating ideas, creating products and creating opportunities anywhere I find myself.
M.T.: Tell us about Ghana and about the Ghanaian fashion scene. How do you see both evolving?
Dziedzorm Adjei: Ghana as my country of birth is a very beautiful West African country with so much to offer in terms of tourism and hospitality. The people are very nice and welcoming. As a typical African country, Ghana can boast of a lot of rich cultures in terms of food, music, languages and many more that one can think of. Ghanaian fashion in recent times has gained a lot of recognition globally. For me I think fashion in Ghana is now well embraced as compared to the past where designers were seen as mere tailors and seamstresses who were mostly looked down upon. Today I would give credits to the internet and social media that has come to boost visibility of most creative works and content creators who can now express their arts and ideas better and to reach a much wider audience. Finally, I’m so glad that there is the Ghanaian Fashion Week event which helps to promote Ghanaian designers and other African designers as a whole and gives hope to Ghanaian and African fashion. I am really proud of my African heritage!
For more information on the program pursued by Dziedzorm: Bachelor Fashion Design & Technology