Ahwatukee resident Jummy Salami is the hot, new designer to watch on the runway.
Her local clothing business, SiSi Aduke (pronounced “see-see ah-doo-keh”), debuted at Phoenix Fashion Week in October 2018 and has been growing steadily since.
Salami has been sewing fashion pieces for friends and families for nearly a decade, but officially went into business here in Arizona.
She is originally from Kwara, a western Nigerian state and moved to the United States in 2013.
Salami has made custom pieces for celebrity clients such as TV news anchors, music artists, fashion models and local influencers.
Her work does not go unnoticed. The bold and celebratory nature of her line has intrigued a diverse clientele that continues to widen as the movement to openly identify with one’s roots popularizes.
When asked about her idea-to-design process, Salami replied, “Every outfit I design is based first on comfort. Then, I create globally appealing silhouettes that celebrate African culture.”
On her web page, she calls her work, “Vibrant, Afrocentric designs for the bold woman.”
This description should come with a disclaimer, however, as the designs are not intended to be limited to any particular ethnicity of wearer.
The Afro-fusion blend is eccentric and meant to appeal to all demographics without an attitude of ethnocentricity.
She puts the idea of limits to rest with this statement: “My designs show appreciation for my own culture which I can share with everyone, but they are not limited to any particular race or color.”
The SiSi Aduke line incorporates Ankara fabrics that add a splash of color to every outfit. Ankara is printed cotton with traditional motifs, commonly referred to as “Wax Prints” in the fashion industry.
When creating a custom piece, she said, “We may start out with an idea in mind, but when translating it to the fabric, it doesn’t always work out. I take into consideration the client’s body shape, color preferences, personal style, and desires to highlight or tone down various features.”
Her goals also include accentuating femininity while keeping her prices affordable. She creates out of passion, desiring her client to look and feel good without hesitation.
The clothing line is not only for women, though they are her true niche.
“I love making clothing for curves,” Salami explained, “but, I have two beautiful daughters that ask me to make dresses for them, too, so I am new dabbling in a more youthful line.”
SiSi Aduke has been recently showcased for the African Student’s Association at Arizona State University, the Runway of Hope with the Pearce Family Foundation, and at the African Fashion Weekend hosted by LagosPhx.
She also presents selections at exclusive events on request.
Her next public runway event will be on March 30 at Kiwanis Park in Tempe as part of the AfricanFest (AfricanFestUSA.org.
There, she’ll be launching the spring and summer collection, in addition to having a vendor booth with affordable ready-wear to purchase.
Besides the release of her new collection, Salami anticipates a rush in orders for the upcoming prom season.
She emphasized the powerful impact a young client can have on their community.
Salami hopes to encourage women to dress confidently, starting at a young age. When she arrived in the U.S., Salami observed, “a very real struggle young girls have with openly identifying with their roots and ancestry.
“Just recently, there’s been a shift towards embracing the uniqueness of cultural backgrounds, and if in any way, my designs help women to do this – regardless of the color of their skin – that’s a mission accomplished for me,” she added.
Whereas a typical custom order should be made three weeks prior to an event, prom orders should be made as early as possible to accommodate fittings and personalized requests.
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