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    Le Jenke, whose full name is Jenke Ahmed Tailly is a stylist and creative director who hails from Ivory Coast and Senegal, is very vocal about the role his African heritage has played in his career and contributed towards his creative vision.

    Photography by Chris Craymer/Ray Brown Represents

    The story of Le Jenke, the African stylist with a global impact

    Words by Elaine Okoye

    He’s Naomi Campbell’s right hand man and the person responsible for some of the most iconic looks from stars such as Beyonce and Kim Kardashian but what do we really know about the enigmatic figure, Le Jenke?

    Le Jenke, whose full name is Jenke Ahmed Tailly is a stylist and creative director who hails from Ivory Coast and Senegal, is very vocal about the role his African heritage has played in his career and contributed towards his creative vision.

    Photography by Chris Craymer/Ray Brown Represents

    Speaking to ELLE magazine about his public persona or lack thereof, Le Jenke says, "I like to do my work quietly. I don't really like to put myself at the front. I only just joined Instagram recently and all of my friends were yelling at me because I haven't posted anything yet or accepted any followers." In a social media age where nothing moves without being posted online, this Ivory Coat native is a rare breed.

    However, Le Jenke does not need to shout about himself because his work precedes him and his reputation within the industry is solidified. His big break came 8 years ago when he had the opportunity to style Beyonce for the cover of Parisian style mag, L’Officiel for the anniversary of their 90th issue.

    Beyonce appeared on the cover wearing an iconic gold fringed dress which was intentionally tribal in aesthetic. Beyonce would mark the third black woman to be featured on the cover in the magazine’s 90 year history and Le Jenke wanted to ensure that her heritage was represented, loud and clear. The shoot was well-received and Le Jenke went on to work with Beyonce as her creative director for 3 years.

    Photography by Chris Craymer/Ray Brown Represents

    Through Beyonce, Le Jenke met Kim Kardashian and was credited with transforming her image after she married Kanye West. Suddenly, Kim was front and center at Paris Fashion Week and Le Jenke was the man behind the scene pulling all the strings.

    Championing diversity and pushing the African narrative is something that is very close to Le Jenke’s heart. Speaking to ELLE magazine, he says, "I'm flabbergasted when I go to a fashion show and I don't see a black model or an Indian model or an Asian model or anyone of color in the front row. The buying power of those minorities is enormous, why are we still not represented enough?

    Photography by LeJenke

    I'm flabbergasted when I go to a fashion show and I don't see a black model or an Indian model or an Asian model or anyone of color in the front row... immense and diverse beauty of Africa in a different way by focusing on a specific culture, country, region, etc.

    Africa has been such an immense source of inspiration for years to many of the greatest artists in history. I strongly feel it is my role to show the immense and diverse beauty of Africa in a different way by focusing on a specific culture, country, region, etc.’’

    Photography by LeJenke

    Le Jenke is not just talk. The creative director is responsible for connecting Naomi Campbell with the motherland. In recent times, Naomi has publicly expressed an affinity with the continent and has travelled widely, modeling and meeting royalty in Nigeria and speaking on the amplification of African voices in South Africa.

    Rumors have run rife about the development of an African Vogue and one thing is clear. If an African Vogue was to come to pass, it would be thanks to people like Le Jenke, who, not matter where in the world they have, carried the culture with them.

    Take a peek into Le Jenke's world on Instagram