Marika Barbie + [Men's Fashion]

JUMA—Wearable for the West!

When I asked designer Jamil Juma about the inspiration behind the recent 2016 spring/summer collection, he wrote:

“Our inspiration for the line was drawn from Kenya, Zaire using our silhouettes from previous seasons. Kurta pants have always come from India and we made them more wearable for the western world.”

Last year in preparation for my trip to North Africa, I began a series on African fashion; so I was very excited to read Jamil’s response. (I didn’t gain my nickname Culture Vulture for nothing!)

While I covered the fashion trends of West Africa, Kenya is a country situated in East Africa with 47 countries within it! Archeological research has proven that modern man originated precisely here!

Zaire is an African nation located in the center of the continent, now called the Democratic Republic of Congo, with 250 ethnic groups and 242 languages—talk about diversity!

While many men wear western dress, traditional Kenyan menswear varied with each ethnic group, typically with vibrant colors that carried symbolic meaning. Today some men wear a kanzu (long white tunic) with a kofia (round flat cap), while smaller tribes retain their garb.

Although varying according to the tribe, Congolese men traditionally wore a piece of raffia skirt around their waist. Now westernized, many men have turned to a version of the West African dashiki.

Interestingly, there exists a sartorial subculture of Congolese “Sapeurs”—African dandies—who sport outrageously multi-colored suits. Finding its roots in the Seventies and Parisian fashion, this movement is full of Safari Soul

Well, I must say, Jamil and Alia definitely know where to find inspiration!

Check out the styles.

Photos Copyright Juma.