Aso Oke is a short form of Aso Ilu Oke also known as Aso-Ofi meaning clothes from the up-country. It is the traditional wear of the Yoruba’s (the tribe of the southwest people in Nigeria, Africa).
The Yoruba’s are the second largest tribe in Nigeria after the Northerners. Aso Oke is a popular cloth that is worn on special occasions by the Yoruba’s usually for chieftancy, festivals, engagement, naming ceremony and other important events.
It is said that “the beauty of Aso-Oke comes out more when it is taken as Aso-Ebi (group of people e.g. friends, families e.t.c)”, however Bellafricana verified members through their creativity have changed the narrative and are showing the beauty of Aso-Oke in interior decorations, fashion, shoes, bags and many more. You should click here to read the culled history written.
Lets meet these amazing business owners and brands…
Meet Bayo Ademiluyi, founder Ty Tys Design (click images below)
Mr Bayo Ademiluyi is a lawyer by profession and Head of Design at Ty-Tys. Design (an asooke inspired brand) A company that produces hand-made distinctive neckwear (i.e. ties, bowties), pocket squares, laptop bags, ladies’ tote bags, wall hangings and scarves using traditional African fabrics, predominantly aso-oke.
Ty tys Design draws inspiration quite extensively from the Nigeria heritage, being that the main raw material is sourced from within the country and the ethos of the business is based on local culture and heritage.
Meet Gbemi Johnson, founder O’Eclat Designs (click images below)
O’Eclat Designs (pronounced O-eyklah) is a derivative of Oluwagbemisola and Eclat which means Style, confidence, distinction etc. She wanted a name that is not entirely eponymous and would not be too much hassle to register as a business name.
O’Eclat Designs is a Nigerian ethical leather handbag and accessories design label, birthed in 2010 by Gbemi Johnson.
Meet Tunde Owolabi, founder Ethnik (click images below)
Ethnik by Tunde Owolabi, an asooke inspired brand is about making aso oke accessible to the fashion-forward modern man and woman. Beyond accessibility and creating fashionable pieces for brand savvy trendsetter, Ethnik is about promoting culture and giving back to the community.
Ethnik believes that sustenance is the key to preserving our heritage. To this end, a core element of our social responsibility means we invest in our local artisans and create an enabling environment where they can continue to weave aso oke the way it is done traditionally, a skill that is passed down through generations.
Meet Tosin Oshinowo, founder Ile Ila (click images below)
Ilé Ilà (translated “House of Lines”), an asooke inspired brand was started by Tosin Oshinowo in 2017 to celebrate her native Yoruba culture. It is a lifestyle furniture-line designed and hand-made in Lagos, Nigeria. They design period-conscious furniture with a contemporary African content, hand-made with love, in Lagos Nigeria.
Tosin Oshinowo, an Architect behind the design and execution of the Maryland Mall has a natural affinity towards product design. She is particularly interested in the functionality of chairs, but also placing them in a Nigerian-African context.
What is a community without people? As for us at Bellafricana, we are so passionate about our league of talented creative members, and you should be too.
For the love of asooke, have these products below
What really is this Bellafricana about? Bellafricana is the leading platform that empowers, supports and provides creative Indigenous Businesses with a platform to showcase their business and connect to their global consumers looking to patronise and trade with them.
Need quality creative products, think bellafricana!
What is your Mission: To Make Finding Quality Indigenous Businesses Easier.
But Why: We noticed a vast increase in the number of unique quality creative products made in Nigeria (Africa) but noticed a huge gap between local creative Indigenous Entrepreneurs and consumers.
Hence, we created this platform to bridge that gap. What better way than through online, which gives it a global opportunity.