Socks and sex appeal don’t usually go hand-in-hand, unless you’re a foot fetishist with a thing for accessories, but there’s nothing usual about Pum Pum Socks, the colorful brainchild of co-founders Gemma Shane and Savannah Baker. Not only is “pum pum” Caribbean slang for a woman’s lady parts, in case you don’t listen to a lot of dancehall, their socks seem made to be rocked with your highest pair of platforms or stilettos. Or your favorite sneakers, for that matter.
Back in 2009, stylist Baker was making the cheeky, ruffled socks for herself and friends and working them into photo shoots. Now they come in a full range of hues, including the very Jamaica-inspired Lioness and the flirty-pastel Candy Ragga, and you can pick them up in boutiques like Opening Ceremony (in-store only, as of yet). I got to ask Gemma a few questions about the new line – and what’s to come next:
Who would be your dream girl—or should I say gyal?—to spot wearing a pair of Pum Pum Socks?
Our dream gyals have to be the queens of dancehall like Queen Carlene and anyone with individuality! Rihanna has also repped us, and she will always be the ultimate!
What’s your own fantasy outfit to wear with a pair of Pum Pum Socks?
A net top with a sparkly bra underneath, pleated skirt, baby-pink long robe with fluffy feather trim and, of course, our Pum Pum Socks with some fierce heels to dress it up or trainers to dress it down.
Any suggestions for styling the socks in the very un-Jamaican climate of say, New York City? Or anywhere it gets painfully cold?
We have a variety of styles for all the gyally fashion tribes out there. The idea of the socks is to add an extra detail to a look, whether it consists of an LDB or jeans. New Yorkers, I would have to say, prefer darker clothing and our Vybez socks are the perfect fit; they are classic black with dark blue lace trim. I have a great pair of boots I wear them with, and the lace trim peaks over the top to jazz my boots up. I also wear my socks with a classic dark heel for some warmth and style in colder, wintry weather!
Your brand is clearly all about fun, positivity, and expressing your own personal style, or perhaps even better yet, channeling another style entirely. Do you think there’s not enough of that light-hearted attitude in the fashion world? Are there other designers who you feel spearhead the same spirit?
We are all about bringing the island spirit to everyone in a lighthearted and positive way. I think there definitely could be more creativity, self-expression, and individuality in fashion (as in, not following trends). Meadham Kirchhoff closing was a great loss, and the fast pace of fashion at the moment seems tough for creatives, as we have seen with designers such as Raf Simmons, Alex Wang, and Alber Elbaz leaving big fashion houses. I think with brands needing to hit budgets, they are often looking to what will sell rather than innovation, fun, and art. To name a couple other designers we feel are holding true to being lighthearted and fun: Ryan Lo and Sophia Webster.
I've heard Pum Pum Roxx is next on the horizon: Anything you can say about what you have in store for your jewelry line?
Pum Pum Roxx will launch in the New Year. We are collaborating with a man who lives in the jungle in Jamaica. He recycles found materials and creates one-of-a-kind unique jewelry pieces. Each limited-edition piece will have Swarovski gems in keeping with our kitschy vibes. We will leave the rest to your imagination—and are so excited to show the world!