TOP SPOTS: Alia and Jamil Juma

Sibling rivalry is an ancient story, but sibling collaboration is a rarer tale. For Jamil and Alia Juma, unexpected teamwork is the secret to their success. The brother-sister designers have been working together since 2003, when they launched JUMA, a line of cool, casual men’s and women’s clothing. They design the line together, then Alia, a former model, handles product design and development, while Jamil, a former investment strategist, focuses on branding.

Originating from a studio on Wallace Avenue, JUMA is carried across the globe, in boutiques from Toronto to Tokyo, Vancouver to Israel, and at Henri Bendel’s in New York.

The designers shared a few of their favourite places in Toronto with The Style Notebook.

What’s your favourite place to go for a drink during the week (and what’s your drink of choice?)

Alia: “Sweaty Betty’s (13 Ossington Ave., 416-535-6861) for a glass of red.”

Jamil: “The Beaver (1192 Queen St. W., 416-537-2768) for a rye and ginger.”

To go for a drink on the weekend

Alia: “I rarely go out on weekends unless it’s to a concert or event.”

Jamil: “I like going to friends’ houses on the weekend.”

Top brunch spot

Alia: “I don’t go for brunch, ever. I always at work at that time.”

Jamil: “Ditto.”

Favourite overall retail experience

Alia: “I love going to Serpentine (Toronto), Pho Pa (Toronto), Oak (New York), and Joyce (Hong Kong) because of their service.”

Jamil: “I enjoy Serpentine (Toronto), Sydney’s (Toronto) as well as Uniqlo (NY, Hong Kong). Everyone is passionate about the items they have and very knowledgeable.”

Place to work out

Alia: “I use the stability ball at our studio or I run outside in different areas of the city.  I also do yoga in our studio.”

Jamil: “I do yoga with Abigail Godfrey—sometimes she comes to our studio, sometimes we go to hers.”

Pho, dim sum or both? (And top spots for both)

Alia: “I live in China part-time, so I’m not really into either when I’m in Toronto.”

Jamil: “Dim sum in China, or at places in Markham.”

Place to buy books or magazines

Alia: “I like spending time at BMV (416-967-5757) on Bloor near Bathurst.”

Jamil: “I enjoy reading blogs and The Economist.”

Place to buy shoes

Alia: “Chasse Gardée on Queen Street.”

Jamil: “Only Chasse while in Toronto.”

Top date spot

Alia: “Doesn’t matter. I only care about the company.”

Jamil: “I don’t date.”

Top vintage shop

Alia: “My grandparents’ and parents’ closets in Thornhill.”

Jamil: “69 Vintage.”

Place to check out art

Alia: “My mother’s basement—she’s my favourite artist.”

Jamil: “Ditto, as well as Clark & Faria in the Distillery District.”

Neighbourhood to go for a walk in

Alia: “Leslieville.”

Jamil: “King East into the Distillery District is nice.”

Place to meet a friend for coffee

Alia: “Dark Horse on Spadina.”

Jamil: “Tequila Bookworm on Queen.”

Place in the city where you feel most at home

Alia: “That’s a tough one. I love the fact that Toronto is such a diverse city with many nooks. I feel at home in a lot of different parts of the city, including Kensington Market, Queen West, Thornhill, and the Beaches.”

Jamil: “I feel at home in Queen West, Thornhill and the Bloor/Landsdowne area where our studio is.”

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