While growing up across four continents, brother and sister duo Jamil and Alia Juma acquired a love of pattern and colour. Inspired by the vibrant hues of the Congo, Kenya, and Kazakhstan the siblings namesake line Juma is a modern girl’s guide to on-trend pattern play. This S/S season, Roots womenswear designer Lorrain Chow and Juma teamed up to design a small capsule collection combining the Roots aesthetic of comfortable, wearable fashion with Juma’s more whimsical approach. The result? Inventive pieces with serious street-style cred.
Roots chats with Lorrain, Jamil and Alia about the collaborative process and what makes their capsule collection so successful.
What was it like collaborating with another designer?
Juma: We think its always a great idea to collaborate. It’s a way to contribute new ideas and look at fashion with different perspectives and with new meanings.
How does the Juma aesthetic fit in with the Roots aesthetic?
Juma: We don’t necessarily think it’s about fitting together, we feel it’s about creating something together in symbiosis. It represents something new but still carries each other’s DNA.
Lorrain: Juma and Roots have very different sensibilities, not to mention we both play in very different worlds. But through this collaboration I have discovered we do share common denominators - an admiration for nature and how it inspires us to create.
What drew you both to doing a collaboration together?
Juma: It happened quite spontaneously! We met one of the directors at Roots while travelling. We have always wanted to work with an iconic company. Right from the beginning the design process between us felt right. We grew up with Roots too!
Lorrain: I have always admired Juma’s work from a distance.
What do you think you each bring to the pieces?
Juma: We bring tribal influenced prints. Roots brings a comfortable aesthetic and silhouette.
Lorrain: Juma was the driving force behind the brilliant prints on these sweaters, so my job was to simply find a setting in which we could best present their work that would resonate with our customers.
What was the collaborative process like?
Juma: The process was very organic. We feel we we’re working with like minded individuals who shared our same passions of creating something unique and vibrant for spring while still remaining true to our core values.
Lorrain: It was a pleasure! In fact, it didn’t feel like a first time collaboration. Despite working predominantly via email (we are both stationed on opposite sides of the world) the communication with Jamil and Alia was so easy and familiar. I feel we really have a good understanding and appreciation of each other’s aesthetic and sensibilities.
What was the inspiration for the pieces/season?
Lorrain: The theme for the season was “Natural and Free” and the timing of our collaboration couldn’t have been better. I can’t think of a more beautiful way to convey the theme than through Juma’s expressive prints.
Shop the collection on roots.com!