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Zainab Ashadu: Bringing Glenfiddich’s Filigree To Life With Handbags

By Guardian Life
28 November 2021   |   6:07 am
Think luxury, think Zashadu, one of Nigeria’s top luxury handbag company. Behind the scenes of the famed Zashadu is Zainab Ashadu, the creative founder and director of Zashadu. With influences from architecture, art curation, and fashion styling, she used her knowledge to make bags whose design was inspired by the Glenfiddich Filigree. The Guardian Life…

Think luxury, think Zashadu, one of Nigeria’s top luxury handbag company.

Behind the scenes of the famed Zashadu is Zainab Ashadu, the creative founder and director of Zashadu. With influences from architecture, art curation, and fashion styling, she used her knowledge to make bags whose design was inspired by the Glenfiddich Filigree. The Guardian Life had a chat with Zainab Ashadu about her recognition as a Glenfiddich Maverick, what makes “Crowing the occasion” special, and her fashion musings.

  • What does “Crowning the Occasion” mean to you?

“Crowning the Occasion” means honouring the original essence of the celebration. It is a commitment to quality, love, and the magic that human beings create when united by a single goal. It is both inspirational and aspirational.

  • You’re one of the few designers Glenfiddich chose to collaborate with, how do you feel about that?

I feel honoured, seen and celebrated.

  • What is your dream for Zashadu?

We are currently living the dream at Zashadu; keeping alive age-old leatherworking techniques native to West Africa, operating an internationally renowned accessories brand from Lagos, Nigeria, creating beautiful handcrafted pieces for Zashadu collectors, while directly impacting the lives of hundreds of people across the nation through job creation.

  • Glenfiddich Where Next?” Can you tell us about it? 

The pioneering spirit of the Glenfiddich brand is interested in asking the right questions, and rightly so. ‘Where Next?’ is such an important question for any serious brand or Maverick spirit to ask themselves. How do we sustain our success? How do we keep inspiring ourselves and others? What other barriers are there to break? How do we improve on what we already have? What is the trajectory of the journey thus far?

  • How do you navigate the fashion world? Isn’t it difficult to part with your work? 

A very interesting question! I consider myself a bit of an outsider in the traditional ‘fashion’ business world, but I like that vantage point. It also helps me keep my eyes firmly on design which I consider to be my true vocation. Funny enough, it isn’t difficult to part with my work. When I see a collector fall in love with one of our Limited Edition pieces, I understand the feeling, it’s the same thing that I feel. It’s a beautiful, inspiring, and joyful feeling. I want as many people as possible to have that feeling, so I’m very happy to part with our pieces.

  • Where does your artistic inspiration come from?

 From everyday life, from the magic present in the mundanity of everyday life. There is so much magic in everything. For those that have eyes to see, all things are bright and beautiful. From this mad and wonderful city, Lagos.

  • What inspired you to work with Glenfiddich as part of the Grande Composition?

I was inspired by the opportunity to take part in an empowering creative project on an international scale, by the most awarded single malt whisky company in the world; especially as an African brand. It was important to me to represent us in our own way.

  • Glenfiddich has always continued to pave the way for creativity, what advice do you have for rising designers?

Commit yourself to being forever curious, question everything, read all types of fiction, take an interest in your culture, care about your immediate environment, surround yourself with beauty. 

Guard your mind fiercely, love yourself and others, rust yourself and avoid small-mindedness, dream big and start small, have and uphold standards, be and enjoy yourself, and yes! drink Glenfiddich (Smiles).