Brother and sister, Jamil and Alia Juma's lifelong experiences across four continents are embedded in their casually sophisticated collection including their playful and distorted signature prints which incorporate their cultural based drawings and photographs.
Growing up, the duo spent a large portion of their
childhood living in the Congo and Kenya, immersing themselves in the local way of life. Weekends were spent in markets where they would sit for hours watching local craftsmen carve intricate designs into wood and bone for trade. They would also observe the Masai tribesmen bring their art and trinkets to sell to tourists. The duo would take beach excursions to Mombasa where they would collect sea shells on the beach and observe the wildlife.
In their later years, the duo lived in Kazakhstan where they spent time with their family picnicking in the outdoors, observing the mountain people and their customs. The siblings observed how the local people would survive in huts decorated with ornate blankets embroidered with batik and mirrors hanging on the walls and thick woolen carpets strewn on the floors for warmth. They watched the Kazakh’s adorn themselves in elaborately embroidered kaftans, which are tapestry printed dresses worn with wool trimmed velvet hats.
They spent time travelling through Karachi, walking through bazaars watching the local artisans dye silks and hand embroider fabric for saris for the local designers. They spent hours on end with their mother at the tailors helping her sift through piles of brightly color silks and books upon books filled with clothing embroidery. These images left cultural imprints with the Juma's, and those imprints are the basis of many of their signature prints that are all carefully hand drawn and photographed.
In between international cities, Alia and Jamil lived in various North American cities including Los Angeles, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and New York where they went through schooling and spent time working on their collection, surrounding themselves amongst friends working in contemporary music, graphic design, film, photography and fashion. The line is an expression of their upbringing mixing their childhood experiences with their eclectic lifestyle.
The JUMA collection is available at its flagship stores in called JUMAstudio in Dalian and Hangzhou in China as well as multi-brand shops worldwide. The label has been worn by Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, Coca Rocha, Solange Knowles, Rachel Bilson as well as Rachel McAdams.
Alia attended George Brown College and worked as an assistant designer at various design houses. A graduate with a degree in Biosystems Engineering from McGill University, Jamil worked as an investment strategist before entering the fashion industry.
Both Alia and Jamil are well-travelled and have lived in exotic locales such as Kenya, Congo and Kazakhstan as well as all over North America including Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta. In their spare time, the siblings have actively volunteered with various charities including the MAC Aids Fund.