Zainab Sumu

Primitive Modern


Primitive Modern: a lifestyle brand comprising apparel and accessories inspired by indigenous cultures and traditions. Each year we choose a country of inspiration and a theme from which we create our original artwork and designs. Our goal is to create items that are versatile, timeless and functional.

About Zainab


Zainab Sumu launched Primitive Modern in the Fall of 2015 with the aim of conveying indigenous tales from her native African background through textile designs. Originally hailing from Sierra Leone,  Zainab studied in the UK, France and the US.

She 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 her namesake store on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood.  She attended Massachusetts College Of Art and Design and currently resides in Boston.

Inspired by a longstanding appreciation of art, architecture and cultural awareness, her multi-disciplinary approach to running a lifestyle brand is a testament to her business skills; with a capsule collection of scarves being the first to debut for Primitive Modern, followed by jewelry and apparel next season and the opening of a production facility in Mali where she hopes to give back to the community through employing artisanal experts within select regions of Northern and Western Africa.