BEHIND THE BRAND WITH ADESSO CEO, ABDUL AHMED
Abdul is the CEO and founder of Adesso. As is the case with all emerging brands, Abdul wears a lot of hats but his passions are brand, business, and strategy development - he is a big picture kinda guy. To make it through the day he needs his allergy medicine, an americano, and although he admits it with a tinge of hesitation, his phone. Learn more about Abdul’s personal style, business inspiration, and five-year plan.
1. When did you discover your interest in fashion?
I can’t recall the specific moment but it was probably at a very young age. My dad was a very fashionable man, and he made sure we were always dressed to the nines. I have experimented with a lot of different styles throughout the years—I’ve pretty much gone through every phase from baggy oversized hip hop to the skinniest of jeans.
2. What was the driving factor behind launching Adesso?
I worked in fashion retail for about ten years, and I was a store manager at Guess before pursuing Adesso. Starting a business is something I have always wanted to do. I never really liked being told what to do and was always drawn to taking risks. Maybe it’s because I come from a long line of entrepreneurs, but the the idea of creating something that is completely your own fascinates me. I guess you could say it is in my blood. The main driving factor behind Adesso was the realization that there was a gap for unique and bold accessories for men. We wanted to elevate the way people looked and how they felt by providing affordable quality lifestyle products for men.
3. How would you define your personal sense of style and what designers inspire you?
This is a hard question because I am influenced by so many different brands and designers. As of late, I love what Virgil Abloh is doing with this new surge in street fashion but some of the iconic designers that led the way for me are Versace, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, and Ralph Lauren. My personal style is a reflection of my mood. My top priority is comfort, so when I do get the chance I love being in sweats and a tee. I love street style and suiting so I enjoy merging formal and causal pieces. I guess my style is pretty versatile.
4. What brands and organizations does Adesso look to for guidance?
There are so many brands and organizations whose models, creativity, and stories I admire and am inspired by. I love branding and brand stories. I am fascinated by any brand that takes a risk or disrupts the scene. I am inspired by what Virgil is doing with Off White, by Bottega Veneta’s iconic leather accessories, by Apple because they are so forward thinking, tech driven and consumer minded; and by Google’s sheer passion, innovation, and creativity…the list goes on.
5. What sets adesso apart from other men’s lifestyle brands?
It has always been our goal to be different. We operate in a very niche market within the men's fashion industry with a focus on creating bold, functional and accessible products. What makes us unique is our willingness to experiment with designs, colours, patterns. We don't want to be defined by one product or a specific style, but rather by a commitment to constantly innovate and create newer and better products that cater to our target market.
6. Adesso recently rebranded, dropping the title of accessories to become a lifestyle brand - How do you want to see Adesso grow in the next 5 years?
Adesso is a lifestyle brand for the the modern gentleman. It speaks to the man of today, who is willing to step out of the mould and express himself in his own unique way. We don't just sell accessories, we sell a lifestyle which encapsulates what today's men look like and how they feel. We are in the business of making people feel good and that is how Adesso continues to grow—be it through our products, our service or our commitment to community, social awareness, and environmental consciousness. We want to impact peoples’ lives on a larger scale. We see our selves expanding our reach on a regional, national and global level with in the next 5 years with multiple locations and access points. We plan to achieve our goal, growing into a complete lifestyle brand, by focusing on expanding our product lines, our consumer reach, our community engagement, and our social impact projects.