Akintunde Ahmad is Taking African Textiles Global with Ade Dehye

In recent years, African prints have begun to enjoy global attention. This is in part due to the diaspora community, but also because the world is beginning to notice designers based on the continent. Akintunde Ahmad may not have thought global when he first started making his clothes sourced from Ghana, but now, with the birth of his luxury fashion brand, Ade Dehye, that is changing.

Ade Dehye is an American fashion brand with roots in Ghana
Ade Dehye is a US Fashion brand with roots in Ghana. Image courtesy of Darrin Baldridge for Ade Dehye

Akintunde Ahmad left his native East Oakland, California to study in Ghana for half a year. During his time in the West African country, he became enthralled in the fashion culture: the diversity of style, the fabric markets, the accessibility to tailors and, ultimately, the endless possibilities.

“With an abundance of tailors and access to any fabric you could desire, from woven kente to wax print to Bogolanfini (mudcloth), people could quickly get anything they imagined turned into a reality.” He quickly found a creative partner in Awurama Mankatah, creative designer and manager of luxury clothing brand Threaded Tribes. “I immediately started sketching designs, visiting fabric markets, and getting my own pieces made.”

Akintunde Ahmad is the founder of fashion brand Ade Dehye
It was while he was in Ghana that Akintunde thought of making clothes from African fabrics. Image courtesy of Darrin Baldridge for Ade Dehye

At first, though, it was small-scale: “I began making items for myself and my family. But whenever I posted pictures on social media or wore my outfits back in the States, friends or strangers would ask where I got my clothes from and how they could get their hands on something similar.”

And thus, the idea of Ade Dehye was born. Founded in 2020 with continued close collaboration with Threaded Tribes, Ade Dehye is a fashion brand that draws inspiration from across the African Diaspora, with products ethically and sustainably made in Ghana. It fuses West African textiles with urban streetwear and luxury quality, including fugu, a woven fabric from the upper west region of Ghana; kente, a traditionally woven fabric found throughout Ghana and Bogolanfini, also known as mudcloth, a hand-dyed fabric that is made in Mali.

Akintunde combines African textiles with urban streetwear
Ade Dehye fuses West African textiles with urban streetwear and luxury quality. Image courtesy of Darrin Baldridge for Ade Dehye

Concerned with the lack of diversity in the fashion industry, he notes that while black people often have some of the least financial resources, we spend the most money per capita on luxury designer goods. By building a pipeline that connects the rest of the world to sustainable fabrics and fashion from Africa, Ade Dehye is Tunde’s latest contribution that creates economic empowerment for black communities while reassuring the world of black peoples’ contribution to global culture, fashion and style.

Ade Dehye is a fashion brand for Africans by Africans
Akintunde is trying to create a luxury fashion brand for people of African descent by Africans. Image courtesy of Darrin Baldridge for Ade Dehye

“When people shop with Ade Dehye, they are doing more than just purchasing our outfits. They are investing in the continent of Africa and the diaspora.”

Source: Creative Boom

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed