Fashion

Nigerian entrepreneur introduces ready-made “gele” headwrap

Designer Toyosi Ande hopes her creation will revolutionize the popular style for fashion conscious women everywhere. Serena Chaudhry reports

Could a new take on an essential Nigerian accessory be the next big global fashion statement?

The ‘gele’ has been worn by women for years across West Africa.

A popular colorful headpiece for special occasions

But it requires great skill and patience to wrap.

Sometimes taking up to 30 minutes to get the shape just right.

This 24-year-old Nigerian designer may have found a solution.

She’s invented the ‘autogele’ – a ready-made headpiece for all gele wearers

ENTREPRENEUR AND AUTOGELE CO-FOUNDER, TOYOSI ANDE:

“We wanted a solution to the gele needs or head gear needs in general for like the modern stylish woman, you know, I want something beautiful but I don’t want to stress myself to get it. I want something that will be portable for me to travel with, something that I could just strap on so that’s why we came up with. Our slogan is the gele that ties itself.”

But it’s not cheap.

An autogele can cost up to $110.

For Ande, it’s proving to be a worthwhile business.

Four years since starting the concept with a friend with just $140, she’s already sold more than 5,000 pieces worldwide and now employs four tailors – to meet what she hopes is a growing demand.


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