Blog - Zashadu
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A Refreshing Break

I escaped to Dakar, Senegal for a few days early this month with my family; we rented a beautiful villa by the sea on the Island of Ngor, which we were to get to by boat, in the middle of the night on cold waters. It satisfied the adventurer in me, but terrified my partner, nanny and friend, much to my (unexpected) delight. Thankfully my son slept through it so I didn’t feel too guilty.

We visited the many different exhibitions at the Dakar Bienalle, and I came back refreshed and totally re-inspired. Here are some images from the trip.


My photographer friend Aisha, and I explored Dakar’s art and surfing scene

Zoe would drag me to the ocean everyday, fascinated by the shells

A vacation without our Nanny is not a vacation, the wonderful Mrs O.

Dakar’s Romantic too! Strolling on the island with Mr N

After many hours of sleep I felt like a beauty queen

En route to the Biennale

Don’t you agree?

“Water, water, water” Zie would sing over and over

The more I travel, the more I encounter Zashadu Girls! On my way to deliver Yaikah’s bag and Koyo’s shoes x

Some beach side sexiness

Choosing the Box Clutch That’s Right For You

Although we’ve built up a loyal following of collectors in love with our compact yet spacious clutches, we know that it can be hard knowing exactly which clutch is right for you if you’re a first time collector, of if you’re looking to add one of the new styles to your collection. So we’ve come up with a few pointers and insider tricks to help guide your selection!

Box Clutch Classic

The mother of our signature cut out feature, the Box Clutch Classic was our first ever clutch. Perfect for every event, this structured clutch bag is large enough for all the essentials and a little bit extra, and the detachable strap provides added practicality for the woman on the go.

Perfect for you…

  • if you want require more space than a basic clutch but still want to look elegant, effortless and well put together
  • if you you have been known to wear clutch bags in the daytime too
  • if you require a (detachable) shoulder strap
  • If your phone is bigger than an iPhone X /If you need to carry around your iPad mini

Box Clutch Mini

Small but perfectly formed, the Box Clutch Mini is the ultra feminine, dainty show stopper. Measuring 4.5” tall, her small frame makes her the ideal accessory for any glamourous event. She’s the perfect size to hold 2 phones, bank cards, lipstick and keys.

Perfect for you..

  • If you travel light
  • If you speak high octane glamour

– If your style is ultra feminine

  • If your phone is an iPhone X or smaller
  • If you want to wear a clutch on your wedding day

Box Clutch Elongated

The latest addition to our clutch family, the Box Clutch Elongated was designed to be an elegant extension of your arm. Sleek and spacious, it is the perfect statement piece for the futuristic fashionista

Perfect for you..

-If you love the Box Clutch Mini but could do with a bit more space

-if you’re the ultimate fashionista and forward thinker

  • If your phone is an iPhone X or smaller

– To attend glamourous event with


P.S. –Remember to take advantage of our Revive and Restore service, offered complimentary till 20th April!

Revive and Restore.

From the 20th March till 20th April, we are pleased to offer collectors complimentary restoration on your Zashadu pieces. Think of it as a mini spa for your bag! So why not drop it off in store and let us show it some love? Give us a call to find out more!

Telephone – +2348099912941

Address – 60 Norman Williams street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The Mule

It was my friend Zara Odu, founder of Designers Consociate who alerted me to my love of mules a few years ago, “Z, you’re always wearing mules, I know they’re on trend right now but you’ve been wearing them even beforehand”. It got me thinking, and I begun to analyse my sole dependence on mules as shoes for almost every event.

Pretty early on in, in my late teens, I understood the shape of my feet, the position of my natural arch in relation to the type of heels that gave me comfort, and pretty much steered clear of anything uncomfortable. I also understood my feet in relation to my body, the size of my ankles in relation to the shape of my legs, and chose shoes as a conclusive answer to all these factors. Aesthetically, my favourite type of shoes were what I referred to as ‘naked shoes’; sexy, strappy, not much leather, 2, 3, or 4” high and showing off as much of my foot as possible.

And although the pairing of handbags with shoes seems like the most natural, I have always been shy of venturing into creating shoes, for the huge responsibility of fit, and ergonomics involved; preferring instead to go back to school, sometime in the future, to learn the science of shoe making.

However, my curious mind has gotten the better of me once again. Noticing that I am drawn to very specific kinds of shoes that no one seems to make in the exact way I wanted, I begun to create shoes for myself only, becoming increasingly obsessed with the process, opening up shoes to see its inner workings, researching local material, understanding local constraints, and respecting the handmade process.

My foray into our range of mules is a natural progression of this long and sometimes arduous process. Thus it is with pleasure that we present a 3 piece collection of 1.5” high mules working with exciting skins such as hand dyed and polished Ayers snake skin in turquoise and orange, Natural Raffia and cotton, and sustainably farmed Rabbit Fur.

Ayers Snakeskin in Turquoise

Rabbit Fur and Gold

Raffia Mules


Love Zainab x

Elongated Box Clutch 

I have always loved box bags; As a designer I love playing with the constraints of space and form, of rigidity and fluidity; by my mid twenties I had amassed a collection of over 200 bags, with around 50 box bags; all of them beautiful looking, but each one spatially inept.

The idea of the Box Clutch Elongated came to me out of the blue; I recently attended a gorgeously lavish event with great company, excellent food and drink, dressed up to the nines with a beautiful metallic Ultraviolet Box Clutch Mini.

As the evening wore on, and I became merrier, at one point I lazily reached across the table to retrieve my abandoned phone from friends now on the dance floor who had been swooning over my son’s cuteness moments before. I couldn’t reach, so I grabbed my clutch and tried to use it to draw the phone nearer; still no luck. Mildly irritated I was forced to get up out of my seat to retrieve my phone. Going home later that night, definitely giddy at this point,I begun to think about the fact that my bag was unable to assist me. “I need a bag that is an extension of my arm!” I proclaimed haughtily and with new found enlightenment.

The first bag we produced was so close yet so far, large and bulky, the artisans at the workshop enjoyed laughing at my expense “Madam done come again o!” “Ma, this one na coffin abi wetin?’ Nevertheless I stuck to my guns and worked at it, and after a few tweaks, The Box Clutch Elongated was born; elegant and perfectly proportioned, and as I tried it on for size and eyed the artisans one by one, I couldn’t help but notice that it was perfectly suited for knocking the heads of those who had mocked me earlier.

I’m proud to share the newest, most elegant addition to our Clutches with you, available in store and online next week!


Love Zainab x

How to…take care of your patent leather bag.

Recently, a long time collector called and asked if there was anything we could do to spruce up her beloved crocodile skin TKO Classic she acquired 5 years ago. After she opted in to our ‘Revive and Restore’ service, she was absolutely delighted, and it got us thinking, whilst we might be experts in the field of all things leather, not everyone is! Hence our “How to”series was born. This week, we’re sharing tips on How to take care of your Patent Leather bags.

1.Storage: Keep in dust bag.

Though this might seem straight forward, patent leather is notorious for transferring onto other items, keep your patent bags stored stuffed, away from moisture and other greasy products.

2.Protect from surface dust: Dust after every use.

Patent leather is leather (usually calf or kid leather) that has been coated in a high gloss finish. Because of this, it makes it more resilient to scuffs and scratches, though it also attracts dust and other particles, which dull its shine over time. Dust your bag with a soft cloth before storing it away.

3.Temperature control: Store in a cool, dry place

Due to the nature of the leather, keeping patent bags in warm, humid spaces could shorten the lifespan of your piece and increase the chances of colour migration. A spell out in the sun periodically also does wonders for your bag. Hold on to the silica gel sachet and leave in your bag always.

4.Clean with knowledge: Using the right cleaning products.

This is a vital tip; using the wrong type of cleaning product could really do more harm than good, so be sure to stay clear of leather creams, food and other grease based products. Try using a soft, damp cloth to clean basic marks or a good quality window cleaner for harder to shift blemishes. Spray a small amount onto a soft cloth, wipe in circular motions, and clean with a dry cloth. You can thank us later!

P.S. –Remember to take advantage of our Revive and Restore service, offered complimentary 20th March till 20th April!

Revive and Restore.

From the 20th March till 20th April, we are pleased to offer collectors complimentary restoration on your Zashadu pieces. Think of it as a mini spa for your bag! So why not drop it off in store and let us show it some love? Give us a call to find out more!

Telephone – +2348099912941

Address – 60 Norman Williams street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

How to travel with an older baby (No, not your spouse)

If you’ve not been around babies full time, social media will have you believing that everything about being with them is cuteness, giggles and snapchat-filter-induced glowing. You may also be led to believe that travelling with a baby is a doddle; biggest mistake of your life. I too am guilty of the social media deceit; my recent Instagram pictures of my Cape Town holiday failed to omit the real reasons behind my wide grins; one of Zie’s nanny , (Mrs Oni, a wiry old, warm and wise woman, with tales from the war, and other generally alarming stories), whom Ziemife loves and frankly I cannot do without, traveled with us.

Admittedly I tried it once and I came back frazzled, haggard and in need of an actual holiday. It was to London, I took him to see my parents when he was 10 months, for 10 days and the ‘fun’ started almost immediately. On the plane, all Zie wanted to do was walk around, meeting ALL the passengers, or else he would fling his arms up, throw his head back and emit a wail so loud and decisive, you could hear it all the way from the moon. I had no choice but to walk with him and observe as he introduced himself to everyone. One nice air hostess saw my situation  and kindly offered me several strong beverages; I promptly broke my rule of not drinking whilst in the air and I discovered that dry, dehydrated, ashy looking skin was a small price to pay for some semblance of sanity.

The trials continued, upon arriving in London, Zie refused to be carried by anyone but me; not my mum, my dad, no one. So, he became literally glued to my hips; and he started walking at 9 months, so I couldn’t leave him alone for even a minute. If I managed to take a shower by 2pm, it was a good day. My sister came to the rescue again by taking him overnight, “But Hafsa, he doesn’t go with anyone, not even mum” I bemoaned, “Forget that one, he will follow me by force” she retorted. And follow her he did, when he saw his cousins and their cute barking puppy, he stood enthralled, giggling wildly, without even a backwards glance back at me; I escaped and walked 40 minutes on the country lane, back home, joyously alone.

On our way to see Aunty Oreke in Camden Town

As I walked back I contemplated what I was finding so testing about being his only carer for 10 days and nights, and it was simply the fact that his schedule wholly dictated my own, coupled with the very shallow sleep I was now experiencing as he was back to sharing a bed with me, any slight turn or whimper would wake me up.

It wasn’t all drudgery though, I enjoyed being alone with him and gleaning more insights into his dynamic personality, and we made a good team; a few firm words from me held a lot of power which I didn’t fail to use; in turn he would reward me with sloppy kisses, giggle fits and that priceless look of adoration. I vowed to do a solo trip with him at least once a year.

My tips for travelling with a 10 month old or older baby

  1. Use a rucksack as a baby bag, and a slim cross body pouch for your passports and money. Forget about a handbag my sister; unnecessary extra weight.
  2. Similarly, you’ll find it almost impossible to use a carry on luggage, so forgo it or ask if it can be checked in for you, if you want to use your allocated weight allowance
  3. I’m usually a big advocate for staying hydrated, but I would say avoid drinking many fluids on the day you travel. Constant loo trips with baby are frustrating. Keep up your hydration levels, 2-3 days before your trip; that should suffice. But keep baby very hydrated; he’ll be far less irritable.
  4. Take an iPad with some baby entertainment
  5. This may seem impossible but don’t forget snacks for baby, and for you. All the brain work I was doing left me famished
  6. If your baby is energetic, inquisitive and strong, make sure you secure your wig very well.
  7. Request for assistance from the airline; you can’t push a baggage trolley and a pushchair at the same time. Technically, you can, but it’s not worth it. You deserve better mummy.
  8. Accept assistance from well meaning strangers.
  9. Reward yourself daily for making it through each day(cakes, glasses of wine, chocolates; you catch my drift), and indulge yourself in a countdown till you are back to your normal. Very dramatic but totally worth it for the sense of accomplishment it provides when you make it. And you will make it mummy!