Savannah Baker and Gemma Shane are the founders of Pum Pum Socks, a brand heightening the flyness of footwear. Using standout defining elements like eye candy colors, ruffles, and Jamaican influences, their socks have been spotted on stars like Rihanna, Rita Ora, Azealia Banks, and Lana Del Rey. They have already collaborated with Adidas and say other big team-ups are coming, but for now they have to keep them secret.
Aside from Pum Pum Socks, Baker works as a stylist, photographer, and creative director who grew up between Jamaica, London, and New York. Shane has a similarly transatlantic history, living in Bermuda, New York, and London. With a background in the fashion business, she’s now an entrepreneur and managing director working in the development of companies.
Over email, the pair collectively unraveled the threads behind their brand.
What inspired you start Pum Pum Socks?
Savannah was on a job in Japan and during her free time in Harajuku she began searching for statement socks for her styling gear. She noticed they were all very Lolita, not quite the fashion accessory she was hunting for. Inspired by her life in Jamaica and time in Japan, she found some simple socks, the perfect lace, and began making what would later become Pum Pum Socks.
For those who don’t know, explain the meaning of “pum pum” and how it ties into your company?
Pum pum means a female’s lady parts. The name is quite tongue and cheek. If you know, you know! It is used frequently in dancehall music and on the “road” in Jamaica, mainly by men speaking in a sometimes rather disrespectful manner. We wanted to address this for the gyals and take the word back. We also are moving into starting a conversation in the country to support and respect woman. Conservative Jamaica may shy away from the name at first, but when the initial shock passes, its nothing but positivity.
Where does the inspiration behind the look of the socks come from?
It’s completely a team effort for sure. We both sat and thought through ideas for the first first styles, Gemma then sourced the trimming options. We have many samples never put into production that we use for shoots and creative projects. Each sock is supposed catch any individual’s eye depending on the vibe or fashion tribe they personally portray. If you are a fun, kitsch, cute gyal who is into light-hearted fashion, the Candy Raga is for you. If you want to portray some island flavor no matter the weather, Lioness is the one. If you are a more classic, chic kind of gyal, Vybz is most appropriate. The idea has always been about the key statement piece. If you are someone not so adventurous, why not add a statement sock, rather than a necklace, to your simple black dress or jeans? At the same time, if you are into mixing things up and are naturally fashion forward, the socks add to it all and tie a whole look together.
Other than creating the Pum Pum Socks, what other projects are you working on?
Pum Pum Rox is a collaboration with an artist/jeweler in the Jamaican bush called Ninja Star who Savannah came across in 10 years ago. He has no phone and is a true artist. Ninja Star works with found materials, so it’s all recycled and incredible. All the jewelry is one of a kind. Then we have Pum Pum Gyals collaborations, starting with Kiong G. She is part of the family and another incredible artist. This collaboration will be one of a kind, painted wearable pieces. There are many more things in the pipeline and more collabs straight from Jamaica in the works. We also are beginning to start working on a support system in Jamaica, speaking to the youth and getting people to really think what is being said about females. The music runs the country and we want to be a positive influence.