At the LivespotXFestival, Cardi B meets with Nigerian Fans and was presented with a luxury handcrafted leather made in Nigeria handbag that was inspired and named after her song, Bodak Yellow. The creative designer, Dolapo Deji-Torey says the realness of the song which talked about Cardi’s struggles, challenges and rise to fame inspired her to pursue her dreams with HELEJANÉ.
Talking about her experience meeting Cardi B at the LiveFestXFestival, HeleJane reveals that she first fell in love with the artiste from the Love & Hip-hop reality TV show whose challenges resonated with her own personal experiences.
Growing up, HeleJane had many talents but struggled with identifying her passion as she was constantly nagged by the fear of failure.
She started her brand 10years ago but had to shut it down a year later because she felt she was failing and not doing enough.
Six months ago, the Nigerian designer started over with the luxury handbag collection which is a testimony to following her dreams and seeing it through just like Cardi B did when she left the Love & Hip hop show to pursue her rap career.
HeleJane, inspired by Cardi B, then named one of her handbags “Bodak” after the artiste’s “Bodak Yellow” song.
In September 2019, HeleJane learned that Cardi B would be in Nigeria and she just knew she had to meet the person who inspires her.
She wanted Cardi B to have the handbag named after her song and started to put plans in motion.
HeleJane sent messages to the artiste’s stylists, promoters and even Cardi herself but got no response. Nevertheless, she persisted.
She restrategized, recharged and sent even more messages but this time around to the event organizers and anyone who was likely to be in touch with Cardi B for the event.
Two days to the show, HeleJane still had no guarantee that she’d meet Cardi B but had told everyone she was going to meet her. In a way, she had come to believe it.
A day before the event, a friend suggested she goes to Lagos and try to make it to the Meet and Greet with her
Cardi B. Prior to that, she had participated in an online contest to attend the meet and greet.
She got a mail on the D-day that she had won a ticket to meet Cardi and her dream was finally becoming a reality.
At the venue, HeleJane met Dare Art Alade who introduced her to his wife and arranged with Cardi’s team to meet with the designer.
During the photo session, HeleJane’s dream and all of her hard work finally paid off as she was introduced to Cardi and presented the bag to her.
To her surprise, the rapper unwrapped the box right there and the expression on her face was priceless. In HeleJane’s words, “for me, it was an early Christmas gift. It made my year, it made all the hard work worth it.”
She describes Cardi B as warm, real, accommodating and down to earth.
Our story – “Synergy in Art and Technology”
Helejané Is a brand driven by passion, creativity and craftmanship.
The philosophy is to create beautiful luxury leather goods out of simple materials with an artistic elegance. Helejané captures timeless silhouettes of unique art and bears quality details, creating a fascinating, fresh and forward-looking interpretation of luxury. The brand is dedicated to delivering only the finest quality handbags for women. Each bag is created using a careful selection of calf skin leather, strong light-weight supports and polished brass delicately plated in 24-carat fine gold.
LE CHEVAL – “THE PRINT COLLECTION”
“A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful” – Pam Brown.
Helejane’s “LE CHEVAL – PRINT COLLECTION” is a celebration of strong, beautiful women achieving success. It is a love letter to women riding on and conquering in every sector: women who are impacting their communities. The print collection features distinct graphic representation of Nigeria’s history, culture and art. The le cheval collection celebrates the legendary Queen Amina of Zazau in Northern Nigeria. She represents the spirit of strength and
womanhood. She is illustrated with a spear in hand, on her charger in this collection’s campaign.
The collection celebrates modern femininity with emphasis on craftsmanship and expertise to create the most astonishing and unique handbags. To create the Le Cheval collection, the band designed its unique leathers. The designer was inspired by 3 pillars of Nigerian culture: Vlisco’s flying horse Ankara, inspiring women (This Day print) and National heritage (Nigeria Flag) thus creating a functional piece of Art.The le cheval collection is a first of its kind in Africa, while the African fashion world is associated with fabric bold prints, Helejané changes the game, the designer expertly usestechnology to emboss beloved Nigerian print Ankara, newspaper patterns, on genuine calf leather to create cheeky, layers of textures, colors, and culture. These iconic bags are transcendent. The collection is set to officially launch on the 6th of September with timely press coverage by British Vogue and other media platforms.
The Helejané minimalistic but luxurious aesthetic is visible in all six bag styles. The le Cheval collection includes
The following limited editions lines:
HELEJANE: BEHIND THE BRAND
Dolapo Deji-Torey was born on September 24, 1986 in Akure, Ondo state. She is a Nigerian born Fashion Designer renowned for her trademark luxury fashion accessories. In 2008, she launched her luxury fashion brand, Helejané, famous for timeless designs, simple and sophisticated for women of style. As the Founder and Creative Director of Helejané, she believes every woman is unique and fashion is self-expression.
Owning to the challenges of being a young entrepreneur in the fashion industry in Nigeria, Dolapo took a break from her young brand to pursue other ambitions. She embraced the opportunity for career development,earning herself a Master’Degree in Marketing
Communications from Pan African University and subsequently, a degree in Strategic Marketing from Imperial College London Business School. Dolapo has served in different roles and has a proven track record of success as an astute Investment portfolio manager. She is a result-driven Business Development executive responsible for driving Capital EPC projects for the onshore and offshore Oil & Gas Industry, Construction, Power, Telecommunication and Infrastructure Industries.Inspired by a recent encounter with a local handbag manufacturer, Dolapo released a capsule line showcasing Nigerian artisanal acumen. Dolapo designs luxury leather items that are creative, original and functional aimed to celebrate modern femininity.She may be found in Abuja, Nigeria, or Houston, Texas depending on the season. She lives with her husband, Mr. Deji Torey, and their children,Shih,Tzu, Cody.
In Nigeria, Treasures are passed down from mothers to daughters alongside family heirlooms and spicy recipes. An appreciation for the finest Nigeria crafted jewelry is one of such treasures. Helejané partners with Women in Mining to craft only the finest accessories of gold and precious metals as design ornaments for the bags. In doing so, the brand supports artisanal miners which are mostly women in the industry.