Moroccan fashion:The evolution

by - 7:15 PM

The Moroccan costume is so various because of the multiple ethnic groups and history influences  but until the 50's  the word fashion doesn't exist most of costumes were made by women generally ,for the family ,sewing and making  embroideries were a part of the education of each girl .


In the the 60s, 70s Moroccan garment design and consumption have experienced a big changement ,influenced by the popularity of Western clothing. with the new Independence of Morocco, the bourgeois kept the values and the fashion of the colonizers !

The film Casablanca put the country on the map of  style and modern life,in reality Moroccan fashion changes all the time. Even during the 80's, after the of Yves saint Laurent and other artists in morocco! thus The king been known as a role model of style  !"Style is man," he liked to repeat, The king  Hassan II was a man in love with perfection. Obsessed, even, by it!
personally i liked his fashion taste !

The first generation is more of few elite women ,as a part of a respectful young girl’s education in morocco they learned how to sew, despite they had no formal training in fashion design,they had a modern vision and had grown up accustomed to an active life and travel.They changed the caftan dress by introducing European haute couture fabrics ,the difference between them and artisans they were the first to sign  their garment with their name and opened luxurious boutiques or dressed celebrities. like Zina Guessous,tamy tazi,naima bennis..
The second generation appeared in the 90’s  and is no longer necessarily members of the Moroccan elites , due to the opening of a new fashion schools that encouraged students to take courses ,and to new feminine magazines featuring fashion trends and styles and influenced a lot of people,however the market were  not ready to consume local contemporary fashion,most  of the laureates  worked in textile sector for the export or opened there own atelier of traditional clothes, both tailored and high couture were limited to an elite because of the high prices of handmade products, they participated to international events and dressing celebrities  like  the designers  Zhor rais ,Albert oiknine,Nourdine amir,fadila lgadi ,Simohamed lakhdar....

The 3d generation to which i belong is a generation that  did not fit in the existing fashion sphere ! it’s the first contemporary generation focusing on bringing design to the street, and promoting the made in Morocco by expressing their ideas ,identity and lifestyle,such as amine bendriouich, Said mahrouf , Sofia arabi...
formed in 2000-2006 after the first contemporary fashion event Festimod  which become later on a fashionweek,encouraging emerging and established local/international designers to take a part of the runway.

however it lasts only for 8 years ! also after many underground music and art events creating a new young platform, especially the artistic residency“Naida”(means in moroccan to move, to dance or trouble  sometimes ) a project that  i've participated in 2007 ,organized by BIJ ,the project connected 70 multidisciplinary international artists  in morocco and due to some problems as usual we didn’t have any support  from the local ministry and the project moved  to Belgium, it was the first auto motivation to take action and move without support, my generation of artists suffered and still suffer from many severe political, social and cultural censorship,ultimately  the struggle influenced fashion designers to express their idea through style .
Until 2012 the market was still not ready to celebrate local or contemporary fashion designs however many luxurious spot opened especially in casablanca,such as morocco mall hosting many international label influencing young generation of the fast fashion,in addition the designers needed to highlight the importance of local design,pointed this subject in many events and interviews!
later on many concepts opened in Marakech and Casablanca! the hard work of designer brought  Morocco on the map of the african and arab style! social media and especially the use of instagram helped also  to highlight some careers and create a community by being influencer designers but still most of us are confronted with the consequences of both local developments and suffering from globalization consumption , and especially to commercialization ,most of us are designers without commercial training, there is no platform in the country offering such a program, we still learn by experience on the spot,  and on the production ground our  budget for mini collection doesn’t fit in the system of fabricants most of  them asks a big quantity of production, working with artisans can be a solution however  a hard way to progress many  problems can be faced : the artisans don’t understand design or technical  drawing they need prototype all the time and the designer need to keep following each step of production, and when it comes to selling phase, it's complicated to distribute, until now  i didn’t come a cross someone who buy a stock most of them sell with a high commission and it take time to get payed,in addition  most of artisans and fabric sellers can’t give invoices for small collections ! hence it  take a lot of time and effort  and patience to have a successful business plan with an average budget!
under those circumstances most of the designers try more to find  alternative to survive in morocco and global fashion industry !
There is a few research about fashion in morocco, but for further information there is a book research of Angela Jansen, honestly i didn't read it yet but known Angela while she was researching about the subject,it seems This book presents the first detailed ethnographic study of Moroccan fashion.
there is also Victoria and Albert Museum that collect the work of contemporary Moroccan fashion designers, with the aim of establishing a representative timeline of postcolonial Moroccan fashion, and the changes it is undergoing today.

Hopefully the upcoming generation will do better by  learning  more from our progress.  



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