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.”

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STYLE MAP: Independent Designers Outlet

Story by Justine Iaboni. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Independent Designers Outlet (1418 Dundas St. W., 416-238-7045,

The term “outlet shopping” usually conjures up images of frenzied women coming home from Buffalo, wearing five layers of Rodarte for Target dresses in an attempt to evade those tenacious Canadian customs officers. Back in Toronto, Lara Stephenson has, thankfully, given a whole new meaning to the word “outlet.”

The designer of Revolve Clothing, Stephenson is also the owner of the Independent Designer’s Outlet (IDO), which offers customers chic, reduced-price items from a wide range of local designers. And, although the clothes are overstock from last year’s collections, Stephenson selects only classic items that are easily re-invented, like the timeless LBD or a silk, patterned tunic from Dagg and Stacey. It’s a win-win: Shoppers get sweet deals on high-quality, non-outlet pieces and independent designers finally have a space into which their closets can overspill.

When people hear the word “outlet”, most of them think about rummaging through racks of ripped clothing—the word carries negative connotations. IDO is a totally different experience. Why did you choose to call it an outlet?

“I always wanted ‘outlet’ to be in the name of the store, but my intentions for IDO were different from what the term makes people think of. I think the main difference is quality. I wanted IDO to be a place where designers could sell their overstock, but at the same time, all the brands we stock make really high quality stuff—and we won’t have a gazillion XXS’s or one sample size of something. We usually get in a full range of sizes from our staple brands like Juma.”

What’s the hidden gem that’s in-store right now?

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