Born in the US to Ghanaian parents, Jamela spent the majority of her life overseas in the Middle East. It is this international experience that Jamela cites as the reason she is so passionate about diversity and inclusion. Jamela founded Kahmune, a luxury women's footwear line designed in 10 skin tone hues in order to provide all women with a true nude option, after growing frustrated with the lack of options for her dark complexion. She has since set out to ensure that it is an issue women of colour no longer have to face when searching for true skin-toned footwear. With a background in Accounting and having recently obtained a Masters Degree in Finance in 2016, Jamela is a great example of how passion can trump experience. A self-proclaimed fashion lover, she has no formal background in shoe design, but claims it is the desire to fill a much needed gap in the market as her driving force. She hopes that Kahmune will help drive some much needed change in the fashion industry.
What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?
This year it has been all about Black HERstory. This is the first year, i’ve been conscious of how i’m spending my dollars and the impact they have on our community. As one of the few Black-owned luxury brands, particularly offering footwear, the recent outrage with the products released by brands such as Gucci and Prada has made me really start to think about the importance of investing in brands that not only care about diversity; but are proud to have a diverse clientele. It’s shocking to think about how much Black consumers spend in the fashion industry yet how little attention is paid to our needs and concerns. Black history month to me this year is about making a commitment to support other Black owned female brands not only this month but for years to come!
Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?
I’m in the middle of redoing some of my branding, so inspiration is everything to me at the moment. When I first started the brand and didn’t have product, I found it nearly impossible to find other images on the internet that would give my growing fan base an idea of what I wanted to do. What I’ve realized throughout this whole process is that I have the opportunity to create something really amazing. Through my brand, I have the opportunity to create images and other projects our community has never been exposed to in the fashion world. I try not to look to much at other brands as it distracts me from my vision, but I do love simple, classic, chic, and even monochromatic moments. Of course, i’m a HUGE fan of images that include a variety of skin tone, since that’s at the root of my brand!