T.B.N Interviews: Jamil & Alia Juma

Today T.B.N Interviews Jamil and Alia Juma of the hugely successful Canadian based, contemporary clothing label entitled “Juma”. Their modern yet functional aesthetic and eye for cut and detail is reflected amazingly in their collections for both men and women. We talk to them about their goals, inspirations for the line and what the future holds for this vastly talented, brother and sister design duo.

Jamil & Alia Juma / Co-Designers of the Juma Clothing Line

T.B.N: So Juma is the name of your Men’s & Women’s Contemporary clothing line, what drove you to create it?

Alia: I’ve always been interested in Fashion. From a young age I was always dreaming up collections and sketching out my ideas. Getting into the industry was inevitable for me.

 Jamil: I actually was helping my sister with her collection and I ended up falling in love with the industry so we decided to put together a ready-to-wear collection under our last name Juma.

 T.B.N: Did you always have a passion for design? How did you realize Fashion is where your interest was?

Jamil: I found fashion interesting but never took it seriously as a career path until I started helping out my sister. It was then that I realized that it can be a reality when the flow of things felt natural.

 Alia: My passion for design stems from a very young age where my mother had a large influence on me. She herself is a very creative thinker and has always been a fashionista.

 T.B.N: What do you love most about what you do?

Jamil: I love the design, marketing and travelling.  Those are things that I love exploring and experimenting with.

 Alia: I love the creative process. I enjoy the ability to sit down and sketch out ideas, and also travelling the world to look at interesting fabrics. We create our own prints as well and I enjoy the thought process that goes into each print. I love seeing what’s in our heads being translated into our designs.

T.B.N: What or who motivates you? What are your design inspirations?

Jamil: I’m motivated by the challenge of doing better than our last season.  The collection is always inspired by our own lifestyles as well as the lifestyles of people around us who work in the creative industry.  They are curious and discerning and are always looking to cross boundaries.

 Alia: Being able to wake up in the morning and enjoying what we do is a huge motivation. I can’t pin point one inspiration. It’s more of a collective of travelling and hanging out with creative and interesting people. We are also and inspiration as we design clothing that we want to wear.

T.B.N: What was the hardest part about starting Juma?

Alia: The hardest part was more in getting the company organized and figuring out the business side of things.

T.B.N: Who is the Juma customer?

Jamil: Someone who is looking for utility and comfort as well as an understated but directional look.

 T.B.N: How do you separate your brand from other brands?

Alia: We are always re-interpreting jersey and knitwear basics so that it’s easy to wear and yet it is directional and unique to distinguish our line from others. 

 T.B.N: Being based out of Canada, how has it been reaching out to other customers in the United States?

Jamil: New York is only an hour flight from Toronto so it’s not too bad. But it is always easier to reach out to people if you are living in the city.  However, I think we have developed a good following in the U.S over the years.

 T.B.N: Finally, in 5 years time what does the future look like for Juma?

Jamil: We will continue to innovate our line and reach out to new customers worldwide.

 Alia: We will also have new product lines including one we are launching next season that will merchandise well with our ready-to-wear collection. But for now it’s all hush hush.

Juma Fall 2009 Mens & Womens Collection

By: James Field / The Black Nouveau

The Black Nouveau sincerely thanks,

Jamil & Alia Juma for their time and consideration.

Visit Juma.ca for information on the Fall 2009 Collections and more.


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