Juma Spring 2008

This year I decided I would visit designers at their studios more often. I wanted to get a look behind the facade and get more of an appreciation for the fashion designer as a person. My first visit was with Juma at their new digs in the west end.

Juma was a resident of the Toronto Fashion Incubator before the Queen Street location was bought out by developers. This left them in a bit of a bind as the new TFI location didn't have immediate resident availability after the move. They opted to break out on their own and acquire a warehouse space settling in the Wallace Emerson neighbourhood just north of Bloor Street on Landsdowne.

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The building is massive and it stands tall and alone among houses in this residential area. I take the elevator to the fourth floor. The hallways are wide and long with unbelievably high ceilings. Everything is immaculate. I'm already impressed.

As expected, the studio is filled with racks of clothes. Like the hallways, the ceiling goes on forever and the large windows let the final light of the setting sun shine in. It's a beautiful space. I browse through inventory and samples from spring 2008 and previous seasons. Pushing through these racks leads me to a large worktable with fabrics and patterns strewn across it. Hundreds of pattern pieces hang from a rack besides the table. This is the history of Juma.

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The brother and sister duo of Jamil and Alia Juma produce two lines; Juma, the contemporary ready to wear collection and Juma Movement, the fashionable activewear collection. This five year old company can now be found in the US and Japan

The seasons in fashion really screw with one's head. I'm always over collections before they even hit the stores. I didn't talk to Alia or Jamil about the Spring collection because in my mind spring was old news and over months ago. I wanted to hear about Fall 2008. Sadly, I promised not to post any pictures of Fall 2008. It's a secret, but as a consolation prize I do have some for the Spring.

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Fall 2008 brings new developments to the Juma family - a line of complementary knitwear for men and women which uses jacket shapes like the bomber. The Movement line was influenced by golf and you can find details like ball pockets in pants and shirts. The line also moved away from using bamboo fabrics and is continuing to use high quality organic cotton.

I was curious about the move away from bamboo and the reasons were simple: softer fabric, less piling and longer lasting. The colour palette for both lines feature yellow, black, grey and blue.

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More news! Juma online sales are coming in February 2008.

Photo courtesy of Juma

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