About Zainab

Zainab Sumu was born in the West African country of Sierra Leone. After finishing school in London and Paris, she moved to New York City and entered the fashion industry, first working in sales at Comme Des Garçons, then eventually to buying for brands in Los Angeles. She had long wanted to break out on her own and create pieces that reflected a more cosmopolitan mindset, one that reflected her West African heritage and global upbringing.

In 2015, Primitive Modern was born.

Zainab Sumu Primitive Modern combines the indigenous and avant-garde to show the diverse wealth of Western Africa.

Each year, Primitive Modern features one country in North or West Africa and creates a design theme based on the country’s unique culture. Inspired by a love of textiles, art, architecture, music, dance, African tradition and lifestyle, Primitive Modern believe in an aesthetic where modernity and elegant imperfections unite.

Zainab strives to design items that are versatile, timeless and functional. I seek to create emotional and aesthetic resonance between each piece and its wearer, so that customers can connect to the culture behind each design.