In an interview with HYPEBAE, Haddy and Aissatou Ceesay talk of their Oslo-based jewelry line Diawéne, their experiences as sibling co-founders and more.
"One of our main goals is to honor the way that our culture respects and values art, especially jewelry. In our culture, jewelry — especially gold — is something of a high value and is often something that is given to you as a gift when there is a special occasion — when you get married, for example. The jewelry is made to last and is often customized," said Ceesay about Diawéne's designs and their inspirations. "In Senegalese culture, we have a lot of respect, honor, pride and gratitude. These are some of the traditions we try to keep with us when we work and interact with people."
When Haddy and Aissatou were asked what it's like working together as sisters, they said, "It is very fun! We get to know each other in a whole new way, and you learn a lot about and from each other. We live together in our childhood home in Ellingsrudåsen, Oslo, so there is never really a time when we are not talking about our brand almost. [Laughs] We have always been very close as sisters, so it was a bit challenging sometimes to separate being sisters from working together. We have managed to find a nice balance now, but it took time. Now, we love discovering new sides of each other and are growing even closer, if that’s even possible."
"We have been inspired to play with different kinds of accessories because of our creative mom," said the pair when asked about their other fashion-based endeavors besides jewelry. "She introduced us to jewelry when we’re at a very young age, as it is a tradition to gift your children and close family with gold or silver jewelry. We remember wearing small hoops with necklaces, and then styling them with matching colorful dresses and bags. Hopefully, Diawéne can branch out into becoming more of a lifestyle brand that would keep producing in Senegal or maybe other places in Africa. Senegals has a lot of talented creatives in different fields, like leather, jewelry, sculpting and so on. Since we were young, we have been obsessed with accessories of different kinds. Sometimes we would match with our mom, or our mom would sew matching outfits for the whole family. She still does this to this day."
When asked what's next for the brand, Ceesay said, "We are hoping to continue to grow our brand internationally . We wish to put focus on social sustainability through our work in Senegal. We hope to continue doing that, and hopefully get the opportunity to do the same in other countries in Africa. We are currently working on how to help support the education system in Senegal, and to help uplift women in the local community that want to pursue a career to support their families."
Information originally sourced from HYPEBAE.