Arts & Culture The Arab Art Issue

7 Moroccans making retro fashion cool again

They transport us decades back in time.

.??????? ???????? ?????? ???

By Afaf Bouagada

At a time when the world of fashion is constantly evolving to create new trends every season, we witness the emergence of an opposing movement that glorifies the classic style and the distinctive aesthetics that distinguish it from the latest trends. This is how artists and designers who have recently sprouted in Morocco have used their creativity and artistic touch to take us back to our childhoods, and that of our parents, through a collection of photos that blend fashion trends from the 1970s and 1980s and beyond together, in addition to the vision of the youth today, who use nostalgia as a source of inspiration. Each of them has their own style, yet they have all powerfully succeeded in taking us back in time through their Instagram accounts.

1. Chater Karim

Chater uses his account to promote Moroccan pop culture through photos that attest to his unlimited creative and artistic sense. From the heart of a neighborhood in Casablanca, Chater arranges photoshoots along with some friends using only his phone, and by choosing the right angles and techniques skillfully.

In his photos and videos, Chater focuses on clothes from the 1970s and 1980s, and arranges them in a creative way. Chater’s talent has landed him attention from notable international magazines such as GQ and brands like Paco Rabanne.

2. Mohcine Harisse

Mohcine is a blogger, photographer, director, and designer who takes his inspiration from the city of Casablanca. His style is a combination of the old and the classic, and the contemporary and youth that is embodied in street fashion. Sometimes he wears sneakers and a robe with long sleeves and wide legs, and other times he matches a sleeveless vest with a cotton shirt bearing the word “Amazigh,” taking pride in his origins and culture.

Browsing through Mohcine’s account, you will feel his love and interest in Moroccan fashion, and its development over the past decades. His creativity and visualization of fashion has enabled him to attract offers to work on projects with international fashion retailers like H&M.

View this post on Instagram

Grandpa ???? ???? : @nejmeddiine .

A post shared by Mohcine Aoki ???? (@mohcineharisse) on

3. Mariam Al-Suleimani

This is a colorful account of shots capturing a beautiful a mother-daughter relationship. Mariam’s mother- the manager of the account- is tasked with sharing her daughter’s creative ideas and fashion style. The duo takes us on a journey to the world of street fashion with its unique colors, and designs that are embellished with classic accessories. Mariam’s mother’s age does not prevent her from wearing comfortable, sporty and colorful clothes that are aesthetically pleasing, topped with a matching hijab.

Mariam is the one who produces the artistic photos and coordinates the setting by matching her clothes with her mother’s classics to create an artistic scene that inspires their fans.

4. Mohamed Souidid

From the neighborhoods of Oulad Teima City, Mohamed uses his account to portray the daily life of a young Moroccan man who is trying to establish an identity between the past and the present. His creative shots depend on backgrounds and elements that reflect the surrounding environment without any reality-bending alterations.

Mohamed’s photos showcase a diversity of accessories and clothes, from reflective sunglasses, to motorcycle helmets, to animals, to traditional local dresses. Though the correlation between them may not always seem clear, this is where the artist’s touch is manifested.

5. Hajar Labhioui

Hajar uses a combination of photos, videos, and singing to create content that is coated with memories of the past. Her account takes you on a Moroccan journey back to the 1950s and 1960s along with its costumes, music, and activities. Each photo conveys a different tale from a period that we haven’t lived in but heard a lot about from our grandparents. Whether it’s her traditional Moroccan Caftan in its old form, the Amazigh tattoo that decorates her faces, or her more modern dresses that are coupled with black gloves and film-camera filters, Hajar will make you wander into the magic of old Morocco.

6. Elmostafa Irgui

The photos on this account offer a glimpse into the daily life of a young Moroccan man. With the use of loose clothes that resemble 1970s and 1980s fashion, each photo reflects Elmostafa’s outlook on life and his connection to an era of styles and fashion trends that remain appealing to a segment of the youth today. Armed with his camera and his creative sense, this young director and photographer takes us into his own world, in which unique ideas and unpredictable elements solder into a single frame.

7. Fatima Al-Zahra Ajnan

In her short bio on Instagram, Fatima uses a play on words in Arabic to break down the word “rebel” into statements that advocate feminism. Fatima is a feminist and an artist who shares photos that reflect all aspects of authenticity and originality. Her writings, poetic thoughts, and traditional Moroccan Caftans distinguish her posts. Her fans consider her account a ‘museum’ through which her words gently touch their souls.

Afaf Bouagada is a Moroccan writer interested in culture, arts and advancing women’s issues. She is a contributor to a number of Arabic digital platforms.

The views of the authors and writers who contribute to Sekka, and the views of the interviewees who are featured in Sekka, do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sekka, its parent company, its owners, employees and affiliates.

This article has been translated from Arabic.