STORY OF HAJ
Exhilaration. Distinction. Heritage. Innovation. Mademba expresses ideas of excellence in design, color, materials, and poise. Born in Senegal and raised in Paris, Elhadji Mademba (Haj) Gueye is a third- generation couturier designing and dressing global leaders throughout West Africa, Europe and America. Under the tutelage of Parisian haute couture houses, Haj envisions a unique design philosophy rooted in impactful presence and style.
Wolof and Mande ideals of sanse-(self), kersa (honor), sutra(discretion and service), are communicated by what one wears. “I was born in Senegal, raised in Paris, and, all my creativity, my talent, reflects my culture, and my father and grandfather. As a designer, this is what my father always instructed: ‘This is not what we do, this is who we are.’ So, when we get up in the morning, me and my sisters, in their short dresses, playing around the house, and the boys have on their dress pants, dress shirt, and a clip tie. That's how we were playing.” Fashion exhibited the societal and personal advantages of being in some one’s service. Ancestry, tutelage and mentorship build excellence, poise, presence, in fashion and in life.
Mudcloth, batik, kente, kuba and other African and African influenced cloths fashioned for the 21st century by the innovations of Mademba’s continued past vibrancies of Bilad al Sudan. Along ancient African pathways of memory, Musa Mansa’s courtiers appeared in splendid robes of woven cotton, silk, or intricate brocade pattern. The clothier created a form of currency, but it was more than that… It was a quintessence and celebration of life. Mademba embodies this era of culture, wealth, and prestige evocative of status. Today’s business leaders and entrepreneurs, professional athletes, entertainers, and high net worth individuals are sewing’s of ancient kings, dignitaries, and members of their retinue, who articulated authority through color, material, poise, and style.
Mademba empowers elite heritage brands to achieve next-generation transformation through an international expression of fashion, presence, and tradition. These values are diversity and adaptability, inherent and in action, in this fast paced and increasingly tech-enabled world. Madembe’s warrior ethic strives for excellence with all its clients. Haj lives in Paris, Dakar, New York, speaks six languages and has traveled to six of seven continents. Haj is actively engaged in a multicultural world. Through his life exposures and a sartorial legacy, Haj is adept at creating couture fashion.
“The art of eloquence is no secret to us.” The griot brought forth memory of a timeless tree of “great girth” so valued for the shade it provided caravans of restive travelers. The heartwood, to the amazement of the writer, held a loom and a weaver, steadily at work in the hollow of the tree. Mamaduo Gueye, Bashir Gueye, are branches of an ancient tree of sartorial knowledge in a close-knit family, who taught Haj this rewarding craft; an inspiration for design of suits, shirts, shoes, and ties.