Discovery: Juma’s Jetset Sets

While the rest of us were on the playground, Jamil and Alia Juma were getting an international fashion degree. The brother-and-sister duo, who are behind the Toronto-based line that takes their last name, grew up in Kazakhstan, Canada, and many places in-between. They’ve managed to turn that nomadic childhood into a viable collection available across the globe—in Hong Kong, Israel, New York, and Los Angeles—an ultra modern line of breezy separates made from exotic dreamlike textiles for both men and women.

Since launching the line in 2003, the Toronto-based Jumas have built on the refined edge they both share. “We wanted to develop clothing that created an individual look yet was accessible in terms of styling and price point,” says Alia.

“The look is pretty discreet and understated with an androgynous feel.  The influences are rooted in art, culture, and world travel, as that is where we came from,” adds Jamil.

For Spring 2011, the Jumas ventured into tribal territory. “[This season] was inspired by our times in Zaire and Kenya,” says Alia. “We used photos taken at Lake Nakuru and at the national parks.  We also illustrated Maasai-inspired borders used in the scarves, as well as on parts of the clothing.” The prints, which appear on many items in the collection, are most vibrant on silk scarves, which the designers create in a myriad of far-off pattern and color combinations. “We generally fuse photos, illustrations and watercolors of different ideas and mesh them together to make each scarf,” says Alia. “We have a look that can be quite dark and moody, and so we stick with that aesthetic.”