Who are you?
This is a question that I'm still trying to figure out. As of today, my name is Kassim Lassissi and I am the founder and creative mind behind the brand Allëdjo. I was born in Parisian suburbs, but I am originally from Benin, West Africa. I have lived most of life between France and Benin with a lot of travel in between. I am a fashion entrepreneur so I wear multiple hats which include; designing, fabrics sourcing, production & quality management, visual communication, sales & inventory management. In a nutshell, I would consider myself as a creative.
Tell us about Allëdjo.
Allëdjo is a unisex online clothing brand Made In Africa with a mission to give values to African craftmanship. Allëdjo means "wanderlust"; nomad, or traveler in Yoruba, in my mother tongue. Yoruba is a language spoken in West Africa, principally in Benin and Nigeria.
The brand has been founded with a desire to merge my passion for travel and exquisite apparel. Each collection is dedicated to a destination and its culture. People come to live and go and we want to celebrate the diversity of the world.
(You can check it out here: https://www.instagram.com/alledjostudio/ // OutfitWeek).
From where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from my travels. The people I encounter, the flora, the wildlife, the landscapes, nature... In a nutshell, everything that stands out during my trips. Traveling speaks to my soul, the energy generated turns into emotions that I translate into physical products.
Describe your personal style.
I think my style has changed over the years, as I am personally evolving. In my teenage years, I have been very bold in terms of colors, meaning red skinny jeans, a vivid colored tank top, and some vivid colors pairs of converse.
In my early 20’s I was more into rock n’ roll, black skinny jeans, grey t-shirt, black leather jacket, and some pairs of Dr. Martens. As of now, I think I'm pretty much a minimalist. A printed silk shirt, some cotton pants, and a pair of white sneaker such as Zespa, Aix en Provence. And when I am working, I just wear a plain white shirt + jersey basketball shorts and some white sneakers – I like to feel very comfortable.
Must-have items in your wardrobe?
This question comes often, you will have to excuse me as I will give you the same answers to you... I have many, many pieces that I like and for a very good reason: I do not create on the basis of what people may buy but on the basis of what I like. I would, however, pick the Allëdjo "Palmeraie" shirt for the lightweight of the fabric and, the colors. It is wearable day and night, to go out to the beach or to dinner with friends. Just be aware that it is out of stock. I preciously keep the prototype I made at the time for myself.
From our recent collection, I like the cocktail hour set. Like its name explains it already, the set is very laid back and chill, ideal for drinking cocktails with your friends, or simply enjoy a relaxing weekend getaway. I have worn it all summer!
Which are some brands you think are heading towards a bright future?
Truth be told, I do not pay attention to what others do. I am only focusing on my own race, not to lose focus. However, I think that any brands that are sustainable, ethical with great products, and great communication skills have a chance for a bright future. Then again, you never know, art is like a lottery, so you never know which one is the next big thing.
I do not have a favorite destination – it all depends on my state of mind and the goal of the trip. I like Cotonou, Benin to get resourced because I am from that city and my mum lives there. I also like New York, Bangkok, Tokyo, Barcelona, Menorca and Mykonos. They are all completely different, I vibe differently in these cities. I like spending time in all of them depending on my mood.
Name your three favorite spots in Paris.
I have many good spots in Paris. A Top 3 is too restricted... I like Le Duc – a french seafood establishment, that has one of the best products in town. The interior is very classic, yet you feel like you are on a boat.
Then there is Taokan, an Asian fusion food restaurant. The interior is chic and refined - they have a shell crab dish that is crispy and tasty. I mostly go for that dish, even though they have a list of great meals.
Beefbar opened 2 years ago in Paris and I have been a loyal customer. They have a variety of meats from all over the world, between grilled and luxury street food. Although I don’t eat much meat, I must confess the dishes are delicious and the place is beautiful. There is a "1900 room", an Art Nouveau winter garden style from the Belle Époque period, and it has been listed as a historical monument since December 9, 1983. On top of this, the staff is kind.