Hi, I’m Dami Junaid and I’m the founder of Talojẹ́.
I'm a Third Culture Kid (TCK) who was born in Nigeria but have also lived the majority of my formative years in Niger Republic, England, USA, and Canada.
As a TCK, I’ve experienced an identity crisis while navigating the idea of home, which feels like it’s both everywhere and nowhere. When I’m in Nigeria, I’m considered as not Nigerian enough, and when I’m in the West, I’m also not considered Western enough. As a result, it feels like I don’t truly belong anywhere. At the same time, there is an expectation and idea of how I should show up in the world and be defined, which feels like I'm being constantly placed in a box.
Therefore, making unorthodox decisions like taking a career swerve (choosing Business school over Medical school) or exploring interests (e.g. fashion) that are contrary to what I’m known for, has come with its external resistance. My response has been to honor my intuition and confidently embrace and accept my growth. This has enabled me to curate my ideal career path, define and hone in on my strengths.
Talojẹ́ was born out of a desire to break out of expectations and provide an avenue for individuals to confidently embrace their evolution and own the authentic expression of their identity, despite outside voices. I’m using fashion as a lens to express an acceptance of myself fully even if it seems fragmented and not enough to the outside world. Similarly, by choosing to confidently express yourself through a Talojẹ́ piece, it's your way of saying you are enough in who you are and becoming. Even if your change or swerve may scare others, it’s not about them. It’s about your commitment to show up and allow the full expression of your authentic self, even if it brings others discomfort.
Talojé is a Yoruba (Nigerian) phrase that translates to “Who are you?”.
Inspired by this phrase, Talojé is a brand centered around identity and an individual’s freedom to evolve into who they’re becoming. Talojé celebrates identity free of judgement, stereotypes or rules for how one should be according to their race, gender, or career. To us, identity is fluid, and doesn’t have to fit in a box under one description or look.
Talojé celebrates this fluidity through clothing that integrates fabrics and designs through a multicultural lens rather than a Western one. Much of mainstream fashion right now integrates Western styles and fabrics, and is not inclusive of fashions from Africa, Asia, and other regions of the world. At Talojé, we value multiculturalism and serve as a channel for customers to express this appreciation & embrace of their authentic selves through our garments.
Talojé’s designs are handmade in Nigeria through ethical manufacturing and labor practices. Our future collections will hold true to our Nigerian roots while integrating styles and fabrics from other cultures around the world such as India, Korea and more. Our designs are intentionally crafted and produced. We are not a fast fashion brand and instead focus on quality, ethical manufacturing practices, and compensating our craftspeople fairly.
Our customers are invited to follow Talojé’s journey of becoming — we love sharing how our collections are made from ideation, production, to delivery and hope that our garments encourage you to explore your identity, express your most authentic self, and connect with our multicultural world at large.