Forget statement—XXL earrings are about to trend, hard, and we’ve got just the local brand to procure said baubles from. Adé, created by Andréa Kpenou, a visual arts enthusiast from Benin, specializes in a permanent collection of XXL pairs that are lightweight and comfortable to wear. Each piece is unique as it is shaped by hand using polymer clay. We chatted with Andrea to learn more. —Noa Nichol
Hello Andrea! Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
I’m a French-Beninese-Canadian creator! I came to Canada in 2012, and I live with my partner and my 3-year-old Leo in Montreal. When I’m not designing earrings, I’m creating visuals since I’m also a graphic designer.
When and why did you start Adé?
I started Adé in May 2021. Why? Because I’ve always loved to create. As a teenager, I was already painting. Later on, following a long job search after graduation, I had to move back home with my parents. This was in France in 2012, just before I came to Canada. I was bored in my small hometown. So, one afternoon, I decided to break apart my old necklaces and create new ones. My passion for jewelry design was ignited at that moment. The idea of starting a jewelry brand came soon after. But it took me years to really make it happen, since I never had the time to spend on it. It was during my maternity leave in 2020 that I thought about it more seriously and honed my technique.
What products do you currently carry and what makes them unique?
I carry a line of 8 pairs of earrings, all available in different colours. What makes them unique is their shape, which I draw by hand, as well as their texture. These are polymer clay pieces that actually feel like ceramics. When people see them in real life (at shows or in stores), they’re often surprised and always ask me what they’re made of because, while they look like ceramics, my pieces are very light!
Tell us about your creative process, from inspiration to execution.
I create in my small home studio. I get inspired by art, ceramics and the corners of my imagination! I love pieces that tell a story, that allow the wearer to express their personality and feel seen, beautiful and strong. Everything is handmade—I mix my own colours, for example. The most important part of my creative process, what allows me to have a quality finish, is buffing!
What jewelry and earring trends are you eyeing for the 2023 season? What are the key pieces we should be wearing?
I don’t really follow trends—I mostly wear what I feel like! I encourage everyone to do so! But for the warm season coming up (slowly but surely), it’s all about bright colours and statement pieces (I’m preaching to the choir!)!
Which Adé earrings do you wear all the time?
The Adé pair in navy! I’m very attached to them because, for the record, they were the first piece I created for the permanent collection. I wore them for the first time to hang out with some friends, and everyone loved them. When I got home at the end of the evening, I was definitely convinced that the Adé brand had to see the light of day.
Photos by Amélie Pedrini
Win! A Pair Of Adé Earrings Of Your Choosing!
Congrats Mona L. of Quebec, QC, who will receive a pair of Adé earrings of their choosing! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.