Chandler’s fashion industry may still be fledgling, but there are talented designers making their mark locally and in the Valley. Two of these designers are Jummy Salami and Joy Li. They have different vibes, but share common goals to make comfortable, durable clothing bursting with style and versatility.
Jummy is the mastermind behind SiSi Aduke (SiSiAduke.com), a Chandler-based clothing brand that launched in 2018. She’s the owner, designer, and a mother of two. Her clothing lines are for women and children, offering everything from casual styles to cocktail dresses.
The name? SiSi Aduke means “treasured lady” in the Yoruba language of Nigeria, where Jummy was born.
Jummy describes her line as an Afrocentric female clothing brand that creates culturally appreciative, yet globally appealing designs suited for any ethnic group. Her clothing blends African prints with a variety of fabric to create vibrant and modern styles.
“One of the things that make our designs unique is the versatility they provide. The prints can be paired with a variety of colors, and the designs are suitable for day to night, casual to fancy looks,” Jummy says.
Comfort and durability are factored into each of Jummy’s designs.
“Even the ones that are pretty flamboyant still maintain their wearability,” she says.
Jummy was interested in clothing design even as a child. She’d alter her own attire and appreciated clothes that fit well and were unique. Her hobby turned into something bigger when she was first introduced to the professional world of fashion design through Phoenix Fashion Week’s Emerging Designers Bootcamp in 2008.
“I'll say that SiSi Aduke is as much a style journey for me as well as my clients. I still have to push myself to wear color sometimes, but when I do, I feel the boldness that comes from wearing something so vibrant and well-fitting. I get a renewed vigor to share that with other women,” she explains.
Jummy offers practical advice to staying fashionable.
“Truthfully, I'll say don't follow the trends. They are ever-changing for sure. The most inspiring in fashion are those who dress for themselves, be it personal style or comfort.”
Joy is the designer, founder and owner of her company and clothing brand, Joy Li (JoyLi.net). Her designs reflect a modern, sophisticated street style that can be easily accessorized for personal flair. Her inspiration came from her passion to create a flattering wardrobe that would accommodate her busy lifestyle.
“My styles are everyday looks that project confidence in who I am, rather than who I wear,” she says.
To fulfill her desire for simplicity, Joy created a line of clothing to suit her daily needs from work to play to evening wear. She wanted effortless pairings that projected a sporty casual, strong girl image. Comfort, quality and versatility were important, as were pieces that could be layered and easily dressed up or down, and which would create convenient options to mix and match.
Joy attended design school at Carnegie Mellon University and got her start in the fashion industry when she was hired as a fit model for Liz Claiborne.
“I listened, observed and learned from any task that I could take on. I was in fact preparing myself to build my own line/company and create opportunities for women to work together in a safe, fair and fun environment,” she says.
When she was a child, she was bullied at school and didn’t feel like she fit in. As an adult, she saw a lot of wrong in the fashion industry and wanted to do it right.
“I decided to make it a mission to use my external fashion design voice to help others feel strong and project their internal beautiful,” she says. “When you look good, you feel good and project your best.”
Joy’s design process is mindful of the lifecycle fashion takes from beginning to end. Her lines are responsibly resourced and produced in Arizona or Los Angeles. She only works with people and companies she trusts and that operate ethically.
“My goal is to use my design aesthetic to create fashion that make you look your best and feel awesome about who you are,” she says.