The word “Gele” has its origins from the Yoruba tribe that is a major ethnic group in Nigeria – and it means female head wrap. These trendy head scarves are artfully constructed in a way that they’re tall, elegant, dramatic, timeless, colourful and exotic. This allows its wearer to make a bold fashion statement and turn heads.
The materials used for making these trendy head scarves are usually stiff, but flexible in nature. These are usually very colourful and are made from Brocades, Aso-oke, and Damask. The Gele head wraps are best suited to be worn with Aso Oke, Ankara, African Print, Brocades, and laces. When tied well, the Gele head wrap is seen as a crown, and something majestic. (Also check out the stylish ways Nigerian women are rocking the yellow gele.)
Over the years, the Gele head wrap has become very colorful and flamboyant more than they used to be years ago. The rise of the Gele head tie as a glamorous piece of fashion accessory was championed by Hakeem Oluwasegun Olaleye, a Houston based Nigerian popularly known as Segun Gele – who made an artform out of tying the Gele head wrap.
His flamboyant and attention grabbing way of tying the gele received a lot of media attention. While it takes many a long time to tie a decent looking Gele, Segun the master of Gele head-wraps only needs about five minutes to tie a head-turning crown to leave admirers impressed.
According to a CNN report from 2010, Segun has been so popular with his Gele tie business that brides needs to book him a year in advance if they want him to personally tie their head wraps. For this service, Segun charges $650 to tie Gele for brides that their parties are taking place in Houston. For those taking place outside Houston, he charges $1,000 as well as extra cost to cover hotel, car rental, as well as air ticket.
In London, there is an event dedicated to these trendy head scarves. It is the Gèlè Tea Couture fashion show that combines the British tradition of drinking afternoon tea with raising awareness on the impact of dementia on black and minority ethnic (BME) communities.
In the photo above, American super star singer and multiple award winner – Beyonce is photographed wearing a trendy Gele head scarf for a magazine photo-shoot.
A scarf is an important piece of fashion accessory for the African woman. Whether it is Damask scarves, satin scarf, or any other fabric, African head wraps comes in various sizes and colours. Besides buying them in the shop, you can buy different kinds of scarves online. You can buy wholesale head wraps as well as retail. And the choices are unlimited.
See more trendy head scarves and styles from the colourful Gele headwraps collection below.
Check out this post for ideas on how to rock your red gele headgear and also how to coordinate it for a great statement at your next event or outing. If you are looking for ideas to wear your yellow gele headgear or planning to get one, this post will give you some ideas and inspirations.
Photo Credit: Ewar Makeovers/Zen Magazine/BM Pro/Unknown