Gele is the crown of beauty that adorns the African woman’s head. It is our heritage and always adds glamour and beauty to the wearer. Gbadamosi Adeola-Akinola, the Creative Director of Dmobile Beauties, a beauty company, shares her views on the art of Gele with Saturday Sun. For her, the art of Gele-tying is the celebration of the femininity of the fashion-conscious woman.
What exactly do you do?
I am into gele/head-wrap craft, head wrap/gele training and makeup artistry. I display the femininity of the fashion conscious woman through gele which, is her crown of beauty.
What makes your creations unique?
Our imaginative ability makes our craft stand out and also our ability to make use of materials and object as a crown.
As there are hats for all seasons, are there geles for different seasons too?
Of course, yes. Gele/head wrap varies depending on the type of occasion. For example, a traditional wedding gele is different in size and fabric such as aso oke and sego. There are styles like fan gele, round gele, and turban which makes a bride looks unique and elegant compared to the day-to-day headwrap.
What is the secret to your fascinating creations?
It’s simply to bring to reality what seems impossible to an ordinary person.
Tell us about yourself?
I am a graduate of University of Ilorin. I hold a BSc in Health Education, a post-graduate of University of Lagos, and MSc on Health Education. I grew up in the hands of a fashion-conscious mother who liked to pamper people and educate them on skin care. I attended Downtown Beauty Academy where I graduated as Beauty Therapist and Makeup Artist. I started my entrepreneurial journey in 2012 as Dmobile Spa, then gradually I began to focus on my creative ability which birthed Peperempegele. I have contributed in one way or the other to the beauty industry with our in-imaginable gele signatures created by me and still hoping to do more. I have trained over 500 makeup artists and people in and outside Nigeria between 2012 and now. Gele artistry is practical work than theoretical.
How has technology come to play in the African art of gele tying?
Before now, gele was perceived as difficult to tie by most people which I think makes it discouraging for many to wear. But presently, the introduction of Auto gele, the use of machines to craft gele as ready-to-wear, has made it quite easy to wear in two minutes and also to store.
Has western fashion influenced the art of gele tying? If so how? Or has it been the other way round? Has gele’s tying influenced Western fashion?
Very well. Both have greatly influenced each other. Back then, gele is seen as a woman’s crown of beauty that inspires tradition which is limited to iro and buba and also to signify if a lady is married or single. Western fashion has made it easy for every woman- young and old, to wear the headwrap confidently and on any outfit.
What sets you apart from others?
The willingness to want to pioneer new gele styles and signature.
What inspired you to go into this business?
To promote our African cultural heritage and to create lasting impact on young minds on the relevance of African styling to the world.