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Meet Zainab Sumu of Zainab Sumu Primitive Modern in SoWa Art and Design District

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zainab Sumu.

Zainab, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in Sierra Leone. I studied in the UK, France and the US. I worked as an account manager for Comme des Garcons USA and was a buyer and general manager for H/Lorenzo stores in Los Angeles before launching my own store on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Later I attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design and currently reside in Boston where I have my Atelier and headquarters.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Absolutely not. I have had to work extremely hard and continue to do so each and every day. I read extensively and each day is a learning process.
There are challenges are rewards; and one of the hardest things is wearing several hats; as it takes time away from the creative process but it is also has to be done.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Zainab Sumu Primitive Modern story. Tell us more about the business.
Primitive Modern is a lifestyle brand inspired by indigenous cultures and traditions.
Each year I choose a country of inspiration and a theme from which I create original artwork and designs.  All designs evolve from hand rendered drawings. I strive to create items that are unique, versatile, timeless using bold colors simple lines and luxurious fabrics.
My goal is  to showcase the beauty, and dynamism of North and West Africa through story telling that I convey in my designs.


Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I guess if you call hard work, dedication and perseverance good luck, then I’ve been extremely lucky!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ralph Mercer, Boston Austin, Shawn Patrick Rice.

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