The Ice Queen

by Zainab Ashadu


Our new bag, Ice Queen has been an instant hit with collectors. Originally debuted in teal turquoise goat fur and snakeskin print combination, we've added new colour ways and materials. This chic and elegant bag was inspired by Dominique Francon's character in Ayn Rand's iconic literary masterpiece, The Fountainhead.

I took the lead from a bag I'd designed earlier for men, and reworked it to suit my constraints. I can attest to the saying that simplicity is the most difficult thing to achieve; this bag took me weeks to finalise; I kept tweaking tiny, seemingly unnoticeable details till harmony was finally achieved.

The Original (which was quickly snapped up by an avid collector, even before we had finished it)

The Original (which was quickly snapped up by an avid collector, even before we had finished it)

Ice queen in mustard, bordeaux and purple, $450, N85,000

Ice queen in mustard, bordeaux and purple, $450, N85,000


A Thing Forever, Spring Summer, 2016

by Zainab Ashadu


‘A thing forever, Lagos’ SS16 

Retreat into nature to escape the city, surrender to the magnetism and secret sensuality of the forest. A Thing Forever explores the relationship between transience and depth; structure and chaos, and reassess preconceived notions of refinement and durability.

Box Clutch Classic and Mini in our season favourite, lilac and salmon pastel and metallic Ostrich print leather

Box Clutch Classic and Mini in our season favourite, lilac and salmon pastel and metallic Ostrich print leather

TKO Classic and mini in cornflower blue

TKO Classic and mini in cornflower blue

Introducing Ice Queen in teal and turquoise, and a very playful Understudy

Introducing Ice Queen in teal and turquoise, and a very playful Understudy

TKO Madam and The Justice in black Ostrich and leopard print goat skin insert

TKO Madam and The Justice in black Ostrich and leopard print goat skin insert



Heineken Lagos Fashion Design; Zashadu is Accessories Designer of the year!

by Zainab Ashadu


It was such an honour to receive the Heineken Lagos Fashion Design Week award for Accessories Designer of the year! Attending the fashion shows was fun, as usual, but this year the energy was effervescent! Enjoy these images of some of my favourite pieces

Receiving the award with joy :)

Receiving the award with joy :)

Bridget Awosika was fresh, feminine and playful this season. 

Maki Oh does it again for me with this immaculate fringe dress

Maki Oh does it again for me with this immaculate fringe dress

Sexy, playful, ethereal, Maki Oh doing what she does best

Sexy, playful, ethereal, Maki Oh doing what she does best

Tailoring done by the gods, clearly. Tsemaye Binitie's offerings left me swooning. 

Tailoring done by the gods, clearly. Tsemaye Binitie's offerings left me swooning. 

I discovered Maxivive newly this season; the freshest menswear I've seen in a while. Love these cheeky pants. 

I discovered Maxivive newly this season; the freshest menswear I've seen in a while. Love these cheeky pants. 


New Styles - TKO Mini and Crossover Sandals

by Zainab Ashadu


When on holiday earlier on this year, I observed the practicality and chicness of small, perfectly formed handbags on the shoulders of the coolest girls. My mind got whirring, and I thought, how can Zashadu partake in this dialogue? I love compact structured bags, but I also need space to put all my one million things! The challenge was to create a bag that was a style in its own right, with its own quirks, not just a smaller version of another.

Judging by the response from Zashadu collectors, it’s fair to say that we’ve succeeded in achieving this. Measuring 7” wide x 5” tall x 4.25” side depth, this cutie of a bag is small but mighty. We’ve added some toughness with our detachable chain handle that’s long enough to wear across your body.

Since I made it, I’ve been wearing it everyday and buying mini versions of everything just so I can have most of my essentials.

Similarly, we came up with a simple, classic, handsome crossover sandal. It was officially debuted in gold shiny leather but has since evolved to include other colours. What surprised me most about this sandal was the feedback we kept receiving about just how comfortable wearing it is! For me, a thing of beauty must be a thing of comfort and I’m glad this is greatly appreciated.

TKO Mini, Three colour tan

TKO Mini, Three colour tan

TKO Mini,Three colour turquoise

TKO Mini,Three colour turquoise

Leather shopping is definitely one of my favourite parts of being a designer. Often I come across leathers that are so decided, and self-assured that it stops me dead in my tracks, as my brain reshuffles to accommodate its awesomeness.

Leather shopping is definitely one of my favourite parts of being a designer. Often I come across leathers that are so decided, and self-assured that it stops me dead in my tracks, as my brain reshuffles to accommodate its awesomeness.

Gold and silver should always be worn together!

Gold and silver should always be worn together!


Zashadu X African Artists' Foundation - Youth Empowerment through Creative Art

by Zainab Ashadu


In conjunction with African Artists’ Foundation, and Ford Foundation, we’re pleased to announce a series of workshops aimed at skill development, as part of the Youth Empowerment through Contemporary Art, program. The first workshop took place in Alara, Lagos and was attended by students from Girls Academy Senior Secondary school in Isale Eko, Lagos.

"Let me show you what this simple but sharp tool can do" Cristina looks more fixated on my braids, however!

"Let me show you what this simple but sharp tool can do" Cristina looks more fixated on my braids, however!

Vivian, my right hand woman, shows off the Easy Fold Pouch we had just made.

Vivian, my right hand woman, shows off the Easy Fold Pouch we had just made.

Babangida entertains our guests and attempts to bottle shine in unfamiliar surroundings. Usually he is sat on the floor atop a glass pane, moving at lightning speed, turning dull, freshly dyed leather into glossy and glistening skins.

Babangida entertains our guests and attempts to bottle shine in unfamiliar surroundings. Usually he is sat on the floor atop a glass pane, moving at lightning speed, turning dull, freshly dyed leather into glossy and glistening skins.

The girls each made a Zip Pouch they could take home with them. It was fun watching them choose their leathers and getting excited by the entire process.

The girls each made a Zip Pouch they could take home with them. It was fun watching them choose their leathers and getting excited by the entire process.


Venice Biennale

by Zainab Ashadu


Earlier this month, I attended the opening week of the Venice Biennale, themed "All the World's Futures". This year's biennale was curated by Okwi Enwezor, a fellow Nigerian, and the first African born Curator to curate the biennale in its 120 year history.  

I’m very sensitive to my environment and reminded just how high maintenance I am whenever I travel! My partner was shocked that I had 2 heavy suitcases for just a week away, but what do these men really know anyway?

The weather was beautiful, the famous Venetian spritzes were fresh and went down oh-too-easily, the parties were crazy and the art, very inspiring.  Okwi did a great job and I was so proud to be there to witness history being made. The biennale is on for at least 6 months, if not more. If you have the chance to be in Venice, you must visit it.

MariaPia, my new Italian sister, and I next to Chris Ofili great piece

MariaPia, my new Italian sister, and I next to Chris Ofili great piece

Left to right, Ashley, Model and beautiful wife of David Adjaye, MariaPia, I, and David Adjaye, superstar architect and fun loving person at the Ford Foundation Party for the biennale.

Left to right, Ashley, Model and beautiful wife of David Adjaye, MariaPia, I, and David Adjaye, superstar architect and fun loving person at the Ford Foundation Party for the biennale.

Okwi Enwezor being interviewed upon the roof top after the award ceremony. Nigerian/Ghanian artist, El Anatsui was awarded the Golden lion Lifetime award in front of my very eyes. What a moment!

Okwi Enwezor being interviewed upon the roof top after the award ceremony. Nigerian/Ghanian artist, El Anatsui was awarded the Golden lion Lifetime award in front of my very eyes. What a moment!

Had a few meetings in Milan, and stopped to pose at the Piazza Gae Aulenti, of course. The fountain decided to stop just as I perfected my pose. Win some, lose some :)

Had a few meetings in Milan, and stopped to pose at the Piazza Gae Aulenti, of course. The fountain decided to stop just as I perfected my pose. Win some, lose some :)

I don't argue with fate. When I walked past Ferragamo's flagship store in Milan and saw they were showcasing the special edition, Limited Edition, numbered, handcrafted, archival shoes, I understood that something spiritual was occurring around me, followed the voice and walked into the store. Can you guess which pair I got?!

I don't argue with fate. When I walked past Ferragamo's flagship store in Milan and saw they were showcasing the special edition, Limited Edition, numbered, handcrafted, archival shoes, I understood that something spiritual was occurring around me, followed the voice and walked into the store. Can you guess which pair I got?!


ZASHADU for ALARA, AW16

by Zainab Ashadu


In collaboration with Alara, the breathtakingly beautiful new concept store designed by David Adjaye in Lagos, we launched our new Limited Edition collection, “Queen of the Land”

Referencing the reverence attached to the West African Python, also known as "Queen of the land" in northern Edo state, Nigeria; This collection employs indigenous exotic skins to explore the relationship between danger and superstition, between darkness and vibrance, between myth and tradition.
All skins used in this collection are hand dyed and glazed using traditional West African methods.

Available exclusively at Alara, Lagos.

 

Black Python Understudy

Black Python Understudy

Yellow Python TKO Classic, Green Crocodile TKO Mini

Yellow Python TKO Classic, Green Crocodile TKO Mini

Black Python Easy Fold Pouch

Black Python Easy Fold Pouch


Johannesburg

by Zainab Ashadu


I was invited to introduce Zashadu at the Mercedes Fashion Week in Jo'burg last November. My first time in Southern Africa, I had a very fulfilling time shooting a classic campaign with a fun and exciting team, attending fashion shows, and making new friends.   

Creative Director, AFI Prive, Kyle Boshoff and our beautiful model discussing ideas.

Creative Director, AFI Prive, Kyle Boshoff and our beautiful model discussing ideas.

Our make-up artist was a genius, playful and creative all the ideas were right up my street. I adore gold, I could wear it head to toe and feel as right as rain!

Our make-up artist was a genius, playful and creative all the ideas were right up my street. I adore gold, I could wear it head to toe and feel as right as rain!

The finished look

The finished look

I made great new friends in Jo'burg, say hello to Charlotte, Aurore and Toni!


Zashadu Mini Documentary

by Zainab Ashadu


Last year, my good friend, self-proclaimed super mama, and photographer, Aisha-Augie-Kuta and I, made a mini film on Zashadu, which was screened to Press and select audiences in Lagos and London. It centres somewhat around our AW14 collection, and was crazy fun to make! It definitely makes me want to make more films in the future.

Here it is for your enjoyment x



Staying true to one's self

by Zainab Ashadu


When I started blogging somewhat haphazardly in 2010, it was aimed to serve as a means of feeding the constant request for information about our bags, and the curiosity I encountered everywhere I went in Lagos, about this woman who was making bags but also juggling two full time jobs as Curator/Assistant Director, African Artists' Foundation and Head of PR, LagosPhoto Festival. I didn't expect the surge of interest I received from people around the world who didn't know me, or hadn't met me; I naively thought only those close to me would visit the blog, but it's not called the World Wide Web for nothing!

When I started to receive enquiries from collectors as far away as Russia, and Brazil, who were willing to (and who did) pay money into my private account, before receiving a bag, trusting that I would send it out, I decided to quit jobs I truly loved doing, and give Zashadu the respect and love she required. It has always been a dream of mine to create beautiful, timeless, hard-wearing handbags, I just didn't know other people would want them too, so it remained only a hobby for a long time.

I took to Instagram with ease, finding great pleasure in communicating with the powerful and very visual medium of photography, and for a long while it replaced a wordy blog, and probably will continue to do so, for the large part. But often times, and as the brand continues to grow, I have felt guilty, that I have neglected keeping up the blog, considering its vital role to our story.

So here I am again, wondering what details of the roller coaster ride that is living-a-fulfilled-life, to share with our encouraging, inspiring and loyal collectors? Whatever I decide to do, I must be true to myself, and share things that truly matter to me and my world view. 

Please enjoy the following pictures from recent events,

With love, Zainab x  

I was in Addis Ababa over the new year, with my significant other. I left Lagos exhausted, from a very busy season, and with pleasure because the ferocious harmattan was making up for its absence over the last 5 years. Needless to say, my skin was like a reptile's, my hair was like dried autumn leaves, and I was positively ashy with all the Saharan dust bathing me daily. Addis made Lagos seem like child's play. First, it was cold, like real brr kind of cold but of course I came with summer clothing, secondly Addis is mountainous with crazy altitude, with air drier than a bad joke, and my lungs let me know it. So if I appear a little stiff in this picture, understand that a cold, dry air was laughing at me. 

I was in Addis Ababa over the new year, with my significant other. I left Lagos exhausted, from a very busy season, and with pleasure because the ferocious harmattan was making up for its absence over the last 5 years. Needless to say, my skin was like a reptile's, my hair was like dried autumn leaves, and I was positively ashy with all the Saharan dust bathing me daily.

Addis made Lagos seem like child's play. First, it was cold, like real brr kind of cold but of course I came with summer clothing, secondly Addis is mountainous with crazy altitude, with air drier than a bad joke, and my lungs let me know it. So if I appear a little stiff in this picture, understand that a cold, dry air was laughing at me. 

However, the view from my hotel room gave me great pleasure

However, the view from my hotel room gave me great pleasure

That's a whole 5'11 me in between huge vats used to process leather, at the very impressive Institute for Leather Development in Addis Ababa. With a record number of cattle, Ethiopia exports the highest quantity of leather out of Africa. Their sheep and goat skins are of excellent quality too; I picked up some gorgeous examples. The Institute provides world-class training in all aspects to do with leather production and manufacturing. They have lofty aims, but I have no doubt that they will meet them, hard work and determination always pays off

That's a whole 5'11 me in between huge vats used to process leather, at the very impressive Institute for Leather Development in Addis Ababa. With a record number of cattle, Ethiopia exports the highest quantity of leather out of Africa. Their sheep and goat skins are of excellent quality too; I picked up some gorgeous examples. The Institute provides world-class training in all aspects to do with leather production and manufacturing. They have lofty aims, but I have no doubt that they will meet them, hard work and determination always pays off

At night, I visited one of the several Cultural Centres in the city and witnessed the splendid and energetic expressions of Ethiopian dance; at one point one of the dancers implored me to dance along, and with everyone at our table looking, I couldn't say no! I felt so silly, lol


One massive catch up!

by Zainab Ashadu


Blogging is real life; sometimes you go AWOL for months at a time and then you return with a sheepish smile. Here's a concentrated version of what has been going on with Zainab Ashadu from February till July. Catch me if you can! Love, Z x

April 2014, Lower East Side, New York. This was my first visit to New York City. I envisioned myself a Nigerian Carrie Bradshaw in the spring time. I packed appropriately. Unfortunately for my life, winter greeted me upon my arrival, snow storms and all, I almost died. So I decided to shopping for an all black wardrobe to express the mourning of my crushed dreams. 

April 2014, Lower East Side, New York. This was my first visit to New York City. I envisioned myself a Nigerian Carrie Bradshaw in the spring time. I packed appropriately. Unfortunately for my life, winter greeted me upon my arrival, snow storms and all, I almost died. So I decided to shopping for an all black wardrobe to express the mourning of my crushed dreams. 

Next stop London, my lovely sister, Karimah Ashadu happened to be passing through London after one of her Artist residencies. We spent some quality time with our niece and nephew, the most beautiful little people on earth. 

Next stop London, my lovely sister, Karimah Ashadu happened to be passing through London after one of her Artist residencies. We spent some quality time with our niece and nephew, the most beautiful little people on earth. 

It wasn't all play in London though, I worked with the talented Trine Stephensen photographing our AWI4 collection in an experimental manner.

It wasn't all play in London though, I worked with the talented Trine Stephensen photographing our AWI4 collection in an experimental manner.

The results. Image by Trine Stephenson

The results. Image by Trine Stephenson

June 18th, Next stop New York. I attended the Handbag awards, at which we were finalists for the Most Sociably Responsible Handbag. So much fun. Dress by St John, shoes Badgley Mischa, clutch Zashadu.

June 18th, Next stop New York. I attended the Handbag awards, at which we were finalists for the Most Sociably Responsible Handbag. So much fun. Dress by St John, shoes Badgley Mischa, clutch Zashadu.

This cutie and media mogul, Aisha Augie Kuta, made it all the way to NYC to take a bathroom selfie with me :)

This cutie and media mogul, Aisha Augie Kuta, made it all the way to NYC to take a bathroom selfie with me :)

The very regal Justice on display at the SVA theatre, NYC

The very regal Justice on display at the SVA theatre, NYC

Hanging out with the Noor Images crew also in NYC

Hanging out with the Noor Images crew also in NYC

With Thelma Golden, Director of  The Studio Museum, Harlem

With Thelma Golden, Director of  The Studio Museum, Harlem

Carrie Mae Weems, Art Photography, at the Studio Musuem

Carrie Mae Weems, Art Photography, at the Studio Musuem

Off the beaten track, a spot of shopping in the Lower East Side. They've since moved to another location. Email them for amazing shoes.

Off the beaten track, a spot of shopping in the Lower East Side. They've since moved to another location. Email them for amazing shoes.

A night out on the town, Buddhakan, NY

A night out on the town, Buddhakan, NY

Later on that night... ahem!

Later on that night... ahem!

June 27th, At Duro Olowu's More Material exhibition opening. Meeting the incredibly stylish Iris Apfel 

June 27th, At Duro Olowu's More Material exhibition opening. Meeting the incredibly stylish Iris Apfel 

My favourite work at the show, Jane Bustin

My favourite work at the show, Jane Bustin

Outside the exhibition captured by Aisha Augie Kuta, dress is vintage, shoes Badgley Mischa, Clutch Zashadu

Outside the exhibition captured by Aisha Augie Kuta, dress is vintage, shoes Badgley Mischa, Clutch Zashadu

July 2014, Back in London, Wolf and Bagder Trunk Show at the Notting Hill branch

July 2014, Back in London, Wolf and Bagder Trunk Show at the Notting Hill branch

London, July I've started a new thing. Painting with Artist  Max Prus at the Royal Academy of Art. Check out his work, he's hilarious!

London, July I've started a new thing. Painting with Artist  Max Prus at the Royal Academy of Art. Check out his work, he's hilarious!

London, on set shooting the AW14 campaign shots with Mulan Itoje, the beautiful British Nigerian model

London, on set shooting the AW14 campaign shots with Mulan Itoje, the beautiful British Nigerian model


Autumn Winter 2014 LookBook

by Zainab Ashadu


Hello! Greetings from London, where we recently debuted our new collection at London Fashion Week at the Savoy Hotel. We had a blast and are pleased to share our new collection with you. To download our Look Book, click this link AW14. This collection will be available in stores from September 2014.


Hello 2014!

by Zainab Ashadu


I hope that your January has gotten off to a great start! Apart from the reality of being devastatingly broke, I love January for the feeling of New Beginnings. In the weeks since my last entry, I have gone on a mini holiday by myself with the intention of escaping Lagos, but found that every other Lagosian had the same idea. I have discovered 2 inches worth of proof that one's metabolism really does slow down when one hits 30, I have come to the conclusion that just because I have a box of 12 cupcakes it doesn't mean I must eat them all, and I have cut off my big fro into a smaller one.

There are also lots of exciting new things happening at Zashadu detailed in the pictures below. Enjoy! x 

Zashadu will be stocked at the Mayfair branch of Wolf and Badger, London, from the 2nd of February!

Zashadu will be stocked at the Mayfair branch of Wolf and Badger, London, from the 2nd of February!

We are featured as part of the Beautiful People of Lagos in PAPER Mag. Click on the image to find out how I'd spend my perfect day in Lagos...if I owned a helicopter! Lagos traffic is in a league of its own.

We are featured as part of the Beautiful People of Lagos in PAPER Mag. Click on the image to find out how I'd spend my perfect day in Lagos...if I owned a helicopter! Lagos traffic is in a league of its own.

"Zainab dear, posing by flowers is so old school!" said my mum "But ma, you know I'm a retro type a babe"

"Zainab dear, posing by flowers is so old school!" said my mum "But ma, you know I'm a retro type a babe"


Our holiday sale

by Zainab Ashadu


In collaboration with EchoArt, we hosted a relaxed 3 day Holiday Sale at Eko Hotel and Suites, in Lagos. There was lots of champagne, macaroons, canapes and gorgeous handbags from 2013 with up to 50% off. The sale continues at Zashadu.com for a few more weeks, but hurry, it's selling out fast! Enjoy these images by Medina Dugger

Caline of EchoArt and I gist as the sun sets, a few minutes before the sale opens.

Caline of EchoArt and I gist as the sun sets, a few minutes before the sale opens.

My beautiful sister and award winning artist, Karimah Ashadu (who copied my hairstyle btw) gets serious contemplating figures

My beautiful sister and award winning artist, Karimah Ashadu (who copied my hairstyle btw) gets serious contemplating figures

The lovely Zara seeks a second opinoin regarding the faux Pony Skin Box Clutch

The lovely Zara seeks a second opinoin regarding the faux Pony Skin Box Clutch

Cecile falls in love repeatedly; I love the contrast of the Royal Blue and gold against the black. Tres Chic!

Cecile falls in love repeatedly; I love the contrast of the Royal Blue and gold against the black. Tres Chic!

Alexis arrives in her Python TKO and leaves with a grey TKO! I always enjoy seeing her relaxed and easy going style. That's the smile of a happy Zashadu girl!

Alexis arrives in her Python TKO and leaves with a grey TKO! I always enjoy seeing her relaxed and easy going style. That's the smile of a happy Zashadu girl!

Each one saying "own me", don't fight it, just succumb, you know you want to!

Each one saying "own me", don't fight it, just succumb, you know you want to!

Ndidi tries to decide on which clutch she wants...I wasn't much help either!

Ndidi tries to decide on which clutch she wants...I wasn't much help either!

A hotel guest walks in to the sale and exclaims "These are made in Nigeria? But that's impossible!" My heart broke hearing those words, but he left with a different view of Nigeria.

A hotel guest walks in to the sale and exclaims "These are made in Nigeria? But that's impossible!" My heart broke hearing those words, but he left with a different view of Nigeria.

I soak up the wonder that is Bijou's well crafted Hermes bag and allow its perfection inspire me.

I soak up the wonder that is Bijou's well crafted Hermes bag and allow its perfection inspire me.

Day two in the VIP lobby, Salima chooses a Tan Tie Me Up and a lady decides between Box Clutches.

Day two in the VIP lobby, Salima chooses a Tan Tie Me Up and a lady decides between Box Clutches.

If you are in need of divine macaroons, head to Eko, they make the best in Lagos!

If you are in need of divine macaroons, head to Eko, they make the best in Lagos!

Easy Fold Pouches are the perfect, perfect, perfect clutches.

Easy Fold Pouches are the perfect, perfect, perfect clutches.

Day 3, I model a Croc and Python Justice for a client

Day 3, I model a Croc and Python Justice for a client

Belts and pouches were the perfect stocking fillers!

Belts and pouches were the perfect stocking fillers!

Handcrafted in Nigeria with love.

Handcrafted in Nigeria with love.


Zashadu Girl, Ademide Adefarasin

by Zainab Ashadu


Ademide Adefarasin is a Financial Management Consultant living and working in Lagos. We love her simple chic style, never loud, but you are sure to notice her gorgeous eyes, smile and flawless skin anywhere!

Tell us a Beauty Secret of Yours?  I cleanse and tone daily, exfoliate and do weekly face masks...Origins 'Out of Trouble' face mask is really good, and affordable.

What is your Favourite city and Why? As much as they frustrate me sometimes, I would say Lagos and London. I love the chaos, the energy, the sounds, the smells, the people, the diverse cultures... keeps my heart pumping, and learning new things daily

What do you do to relax?  I get into a nice comfy pair of PJ's and watch a new TV series (right now I am watching the Borgias, I also love Scandal, Newsroom, Game of Thrones) or I read a good book ;the last two books I read were 'And the mountains echoed' - Khalid Hosseni and 'Lean In' - Sheryl Sandberg, I would definetly reccomend both.


What do you love most above your bag? I love my Zashadu bags so much it'll be hard to say! I also love God, my family, my friends ... they make my life that extra bit more awesome.


What Bag do you have your Eye on from the current Collection? 

I think I will always love the Box Clutches, but right now I'm liking the Justice.

Perfect skin, perfect red mouth and that yellow...sizzling!

Perfect skin, perfect red mouth and that yellow...sizzling!

Simple Chic in her silvery grey Pleats Please Zashadu bag

Simple Chic in her silvery grey Pleats Please Zashadu bag


Inspired by Uniformity

by Zainab Ashadu


I notice that I have steadily been cultivating an obsession with uniforms. "Oh yeah, Utilitarian Chic, innit?" my sister offered by way of explanation. No, not utilitarian chic, plain old-fashioned elegance is what I realise is the connector. You see my eye is pleased only by girl’s secondary school uniforms; the kind associated with Comprehensive Grammar Schools in Nigeria, of course inspired by 1950 England School girl's uniforms, reminding us of our colonial roots, and of course, as a British Nigerian (Yes I love this term actually)Ihave come full circle. I love the length of skirts, just below the knee, the semi-fittedness of the waist, the blouse with oversized collars, the flat shoes and oft-times, the boater hat. I like the way that the uniformity accentuates the individuality in the young women. I like the relaxed feeling that accompanies each student. It is as if the Uniforms allow them be themselves without fear of judgement, thus their real selves emerge, quietly elegant and confident, highlighting their beauty.  

Of course in true Zashadu style, I am developing an absession with Porn Culture, at the very same time. Especially in what ways it affects how we dress and talk about sex! More on that when I have fully analysed my interest in this. Till then, enjoy these images x

 

 

Look at those beautiful collars! Look how lovely Mint green and Moss green look together! Look at the laughter that says, "I know I am effortlessly elegant and chic.!" Image by Stuart Franklin

Look at those beautiful collars! Look how lovely Mint green and Moss green look together! Look at the laughter that says, "I know I am effortlessly elegant and chic.!" Image by Stuart Franklin

Living in Nigeria, one comes across the most colourful uniforms. What could brighten your day up your day more than Fuschia pink? Image by Barbara Davidson

Living in Nigeria, one comes across the most colourful uniforms. What could brighten your day up your day more than Fuschia pink? Image by Barbara Davidson

The girl on the extreme right does it for me. I like the length of her top and skirt, her head wrap and green flask that looks like a wonderful handbag. Image by Utomi Ekpei

The girl on the extreme right does it for me. I like the length of her top and skirt, her head wrap and green flask that looks like a wonderful handbag. Image by Utomi Ekpei

1950's Uniform English Catalogue

1950's Uniform English Catalogue

Just a beautiful picture of girls in pastel coloured Uniforms. Image from MotherlandNigeria.com

Just a beautiful picture of girls in pastel coloured Uniforms. Image from MotherlandNigeria.com


My favourite month of the year...

by Zainab Ashadu


Is October when FelabrationLagosPhoto Festival and Fashion Week all take place.
This year's LagosPhoto was by far my favourite with an impressive line up of international photographers showing and visiting. The parties were awesome as well!  Here are my favourites from October.

At the LPF Private view, dancers bring Christina De Middel’s ‘Afronauts ‘ series to life! Definitely one of my favorites from the festival.

At the LPF Private view, dancers bring Christina De Middel’s ‘Afronauts ‘ series to life! Definitely one of my favorites from the festival.

Marin Parr poses at one of the outdoor exhibitions in Lagos!

Marin Parr poses at one of the outdoor exhibitions in Lagos!

Seun Kuti performs his electrifying show at the Private view.

Seun Kuti performs his electrifying show at the Private view.

My favorite look from Bridget Awosika at Lagos Fashion Week.

My favorite look from Bridget Awosika at Lagos Fashion Week.

My favorite look from Jewel By Lisa at Lagos Fashion Week

My favorite look from Jewel By Lisa at Lagos Fashion Week

  My favorite look from Maki Oh at Lagos Fashion Week

 

My favorite look from Maki Oh at Lagos Fashion Week


Zashadu girl, Ivy Dohounon

by Zainab Ashadu


Ivy is a Barrister   by day and a fashion and travel enthusiast all other times. Ivy especially loves made in Africa and African Designers because “I believe that we have lots of talents and treasures on our continent that we need to explore instead of waiting for others to explore them.” She lives and works in Paris.

 a. Tell us a Beauty Secret of Yours? 

I have no beauty secret, I'm very lazy when it comes to having a daily routine!

b. What is your Favourite city and Why? 

Abidjan (Ivory Coast) for the atmosphere of party, good food, lovely places to visiand hang out; Paris: where I've been living for 12 years now: incredible city, lots to do in terms of culture, fashion, food and so on. Rome and Napoli: not the same atmosphere but both cities are just lovely. Andalousia I fell in love with this Spanish region, and loved the Arabian imprint. Accra because it's a really modern city and at the same time still very traditionally African.  I also recently discovered Rwanda : what a wonderful place!! Iwill be an it place in the future, Watch out....:). Kyoto: loved the traditional atmosphere mixed with the modern ways...I could go on and on, I love travelling.

c. What do you do to relax? I usually cook or dance in front of my mirror with Ghanian or Nigerian 'azonto' (popular dance on the continent ) At the moment I love "Personally" by P square :)

d. What do you love most above your Zashadu? I already own 4 zashadu bags and I love them because they are statement pieces, they really stand out and each time I rock them I get lots of compliments. I like the use of local African materials. Also, I can easily put all my necessary items in it :)

e. What Bag do you have your Eye on from the current Collection? The yellow snake prinbox clutch from the SS14 collection, because I love bold colours!

 

Flirty and cute in vintage inspired ankara print skirt

Flirty and cute in vintage inspired ankara print skirt

Colour blocking in Japan

Colour blocking in Japan

Ready to hit the streets of Paris with the blue SS14 Total Knock Out

Ready to hit the streets of Paris with the blue SS14 Total Knock Out

Yellow snake print SS14 Box Clutch 

Yellow snake print SS14 Box Clutch 


London. Art Inspiration.

by Zainab Ashadu


Tonight is my last one in London, after stopping over from Paris briefly to introduce the SS14 collection. Whilst in town, I managed to catch a few art exhibitions.

'Metamorphoses of a Line', HC Berg at Kashya Hilderbrand Gallery. One of the things this body of work aimed to do was to provoke subjective experiences of optics and light. An honorable and necessary cause in my opinion...

'Metamorphoses of a Line', HC Berg at Kashya Hilderbrand Gallery. One of the things this body of work aimed to do was to provoke subjective experiences of optics and light. An honorable and necessary cause in my opinion...

'Metamorphoses of a Line', HC Berg at Kashya Hilderbrand Gallery. The interaction between light and line really rocks my boat...

'Metamorphoses of a Line', HC Berg at Kashya Hilderbrand Gallery. The interaction between light and line really rocks my boat...

Daniel Kelly, 'I see it all now...Some of it!' Paint on paper at the Saatchi gallery. Grandiose and fragile at the same time.

Daniel Kelly, 'I see it all now...Some of it!' Paint on paper at the Saatchi gallery. Grandiose and fragile at the same time.


SS14 Collection unveiled at Paris Fashion Week

by Zainab Ashadu


We introduced our Spring and Summer collection in Paris last week to much oohing and aahing! The collection features intense pops of colour and is limited in styles to the TKO, Box Clutch and Justice. I was interested in creating bags that are handsome as much as they are lady like.

Paris is one of my favourite cities and although I was working more than I was playing, I loved every minute of my short stay...

Entertaining the lovely Tiphaine of Les Temps Du Luxe, an amazing Sustainable Luxury Lifestyle blog, during our interview.

Entertaining the lovely Tiphaine of Les Temps Du Luxe, an amazing Sustainable Luxury Lifestyle blog, during our interview.

An exciting new collaboration coming soon to Paris!

An exciting new collaboration coming soon to Paris!

This Justice got soooo much attention in Paris, everywhere I went someone was sure to ask who the designer was! :)

This Justice got soooo much attention in Paris, everywhere I went someone was sure to ask who the designer was! :)

A stroll through the park on my way to a show. The weather was divine!

A stroll through the park on my way to a show. The weather was divine!