Who We Are
LeyeLesi is a sustainable and ethical luxury brand, that specialises in handbags, footwear and jewellery. African craftsmanship, heritage, creativity and sustainability are at the core of everything Leyelesi does.
Our handbags and footwear infuse luxurious textures of locally sourced, sustainable leathers and indigenous Adire fabrics, made in Nigeria.
Our jewellery is handcrafted in Ghana and Senegal using traditional African techniques native to local artisans; the lost wax casting technique that has been used for centuries by the Asante people of Ghana is one process used to create LeyeLesi jewellery.
As a brand, LeyeLesi aims to pay our local artisans a liveable wage and preserve aspects of traditional African craftmanship and heritage with each design.
Art. Culture. Design.
The Background and Ethos of the LeyeLesi Brand
LeyeLesi pieces are made using materials that showcase Africa’s rich culture and creative craftsmanship. Our accessories come alive using locally dyed and sourced Adire fabrics, leathers and metals.
Our designs are characterised by unique, exuberant and bold colours with an emphasis placed on quality finishing. Our goal is that each piece is a limited-edition work of art, giving our customers luxurious products that encompass our rich African heritage and culture with a contemporary twist.
Every Leyelesi design radiates the heart of what it means to be African: genuine, vibrant and proud leaving each design with a strong sense of personality, self-identity and truth. We strive for class and individuality in every piece. Our handbags are limited edition pieces, due to sourcing sustainable leathers locally, as we do not mass produce leathers for the brand.
We aim to create products that promote and sustain the culture and people of African societies. LeyeLesi is committed to using artisans in West Africa (many of whom are women) to produce quality pieces in the motherland. We believe in responsible production, where artisans are treated fairly and can support their families with an honest wage. We live by the motto of "Leave this earth a better place than you met it" and there's no harm in looking good while doing it!
All final products go through quality control to ensure every product lives up to the expectations of a sustainable luxury brand.
The African Artisan
Our artisans are found during travels to African countries. We currently have artisans and suppliers in Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal. As we grow, we aim to work with other African countries. and artisans.
Aghogho Ogunlesi is a Nigerian-American of Urhobo heritage currently residing in the United Kingdom. It was while studying at Howard University that she embraced her innate love for fashion and started her first fashion brand SouL BoutiQue; a hand tee shirt and accessories line, that used Ankara fabric featuring bold political statements. After graduating with a BSc. in Chemistry and minor in Photography, she relocated to the United Kingdom to study Pharmacy.
After graduating from Pharmacy school, she began working in the pharmaceutical industry; Inspired by sketches of handbags she drew during university days, she decided it was the perfect time to reignite and pursue her dreams of running a fashion brand.
While looking for manufacturers for the brand, she was reminded of the Nigerian leather clutches her mother and aunties would wear to parties as a child; she immediately knew she would be making her designs in Nigeria. Thus in 2015 she travelled to Nigeria to find local artisans to manufacture the brand and LeyeLesi was born. Shortly thereafter in 2018, she was led to take to trips to Ghana and Senegal to find artisans that make jewellery.