Fashion Statement

Fashion Statement

ML Collection08 Image credit:

Marrakshi Life wants shoppers to take a risk - focus on the craft and quality of items, and support brands that are changing the fashion industry and borders of gender.

This fashion-forward label was created in 2013 by New York fashion photographer, Randall Bachner, who visited Marrakech, and was so taken with the magic of the place, he never wanted to leave. In 2019 he was joined by partner in life and business - now Head of Brand, Nicholas Minucciani.

We caught up with Nicholas to find out more of the dreamy story behind the label, and how the journey continues...

Marrakshi Life launched eight years ago, which can be a lifetime for a fashion label. Tell us a little about how it all started, and the journey you’re on.

“Well it has been a wonderful journey, and it all began with us wanting to start a new chapter, and redefine fashion as we’d known it - which had been through the lens of photography. Marrakech is such an inspiring place - when we visited we were intoxicated with the vibrant colours and stylish yet relaxed way of life.

Marrakshi Life came into being within this context. The label is all about comfort and craftsmanship. It takes key style elements from the traditional Moroccan wardrobe, and an in-house team of local artisans helps create original, contemporary, and wearable design pieces.

The brand works exclusively with fabrics that are hand-woven in the atelier, never bringing in outside fabrics. With no cotton production in the country, the team sources the raw cotton material from Turkey + Egypt, then dyed to the Marrakshi Life color palette locally in Morocco. From there, the dyed yarns are spun in the atelier and woven on warp/weft flatbed looms. All of the fabrics and garments are then cut and sewn in the Marrakech atelier.”

And tell us about the atelier. I hear visitors are encouraged to come and experience the family feel whilst viewing the whole process from textile creation to finished design.

“Yes! Randall is very committed to supporting responsible manufacturing via sustainable, low impact production methods. He describes his atelier in Marrakech as a community rather than a factory.

The desirable working conditions and community feel of the workshop encourages free thinking and collaboration within the community atelier. The production process has a low environmental impact, and all of Marrakshi Life’s wood looms are powered by just two men, yielding ten meters per day.

The brand is vertically-integrated and adheres to a zero waste policy, a program that takes the remnant cuttings from produced garments to then be used in future development and production – including patchwork pieces, rag weave, home goods and accessories.”

Artisan weaves for Marrakshi Life on warp/weft flatbed loom.

Artisan weaves for Marrakshi Life on warp/weft flatbed loom.

We love your latest collection. The gender neutral theme comes through powerfully. Is this a thing of the moment or a lean into Moroccan culture?

“Thank you.

Actually, it has been a pillar of who we are and what we do since day one. There is an attraction to people dressing as they see fit or how they identify. For me, there was attraction in women and men wearing silhouettes that typically were not made for them (in a traditional sense). We want the wearer to be comfortable with colour and the fantasy of life.”

Direct-to-consumer business means we know our customer well these days. Who is buying the label? Anything here that has surprised you?

“Prior to COVID, our D2C business was purely driven by tourism/travellers coming to Marrakech to see our showroom and atelier. The cultured human. The respecter of craftsmanship and supporting something unique. Since COVID struck, we have had to transition to 100% D2C online. We built our e-commerce shop and focused more on delivering content that would not only capture the previous buyer but also the new buyer. An artistic, passionate individual that usually has a love for the arts and crafts; many of them being artists themselves. Our demographic has broadened in age range to cover millennials through to those in their 60's.

Gender breakdown is split 50/50 but many times the men are buying the women’s pieces and vice versa.

Our global footprint has also expanded from a heavy USA presence to now USA, Middle East, Asia and parts of Europe.”

We’re crazy about the dance videos you've recently posted on Instagram. Tell us a little about them.

“We are SUPER in love with those also!! It is with a fantastic dance crew and company, Joy Isabella + Mike Tyus. We were attracted to their non-gender nature and passion for movement. We will be rolling out a few campaigns with them for every new collection, with one coming this month (May 2021).”

What is your message to your customers and our audience about choosing to buy slow, sustainable fashion?

“Focus on the craft and quality. The world is hungry not only for shopping sustainable brands but also ethical and unique brands. Focusing on made to order, hand-woven is a great way for us to remain niche and unique but also stay true to our zero waste policy and family atmosphere of weavers and tailors. Consumers, take a risk! Support brands that are changing the fashion industry and borders of gender.”

What other labels or brands with a similar ethos are you personally loving and supporting right now?

We always love Loewe as they have the craftsman like quality, as well as BODE.”

Thanks Nicholas!

Browse the site and shop here. See the last runway show Spring Summer 2020 below.

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