“When you have that fire inside you and the motivation to succeed, no one can stop you,” Lahlou told Morocco World News.
Rabat – Casablanca-born hat designer, Youssef Lahlou, is still fresh on the fashion scene, only having launched his namesake brand in January 2017, making his list of accomplishments just two years into his fashion career especially noteworthy.
Within three days of launching his brand of unique, high-fashion hats, Vogue Arabia dubbed it the “breakout brand to watch.” Since then, Lahlou’s creations have been sported by the likes of Nicki Minaj, Usher, Cristiano Ronaldo, and most recently, supermodel Gigi Hadid.
Ever ambitious, Lahlou told Morocco World News he hopes to see his designs on American superstars Pharrell Williams and Beyonce. However, his hats are not only made for A-list celebrities. He added that he “seriously thinks anyone can rock a hat” with the right amount of confidence.
He describes his pieces as unique, as they are “made by hand, therefore, my clientele appreciates real craftsmanship. They want something that is a little out of what you find in the hat market at the moment, original pieces that make you stand out.”
All of Lahlou’s hats are painstakingly handcrafted, and every single one is unique, with some of them taking up to to 12 months to complete. Prices for Lahlou’s one-of-a-kind pieces start at $350.
Lahlou’s dramatic rise in the fashion world is showing no signs of slowing down, and he has plans to potentially expand into shoes, bags, and even furniture in the future. “I would love to do it all. I like to think that I’m an artist who can express himself through different platforms; I don’t like to limit myself,” Lahlou explained.
Lahlou has always pursued multiple creative mediums, having initially moved to New York from Casablanca just after finishing high school to pursue filmmaking. His 2014 short film, “The Tablecloth,” featured at prestigious international film festivals such as Cannes and Sunscreen before he found his calling for design in New York.
The film may not be his last, as he considers himself “a filmmaker before a designer.” He added that filmmaking is still something he wants to pursue.
When asked where he finds his creative inspiration for his multiple pursuits, Lahlou said he finds it all around him. “A little girl eating ice cream while it’s dripping all over her hand can sparkle a hat idea,” he told Morocco World News.
He also cites his country as an influence for his designs, saying Morocco’s “beautiful architecture and vivid colors also inspire my pieces.” Lahlou’s “24k boa hats were partially inspired by Marrakech snake charmers.”
The past two years have been a whirlwind for the young designer. He says he is extremely lucky to have a supportive family back home in Casablanca, even though “they don’t always understand how things can be tricky in the fashion and celebrity world.”
“It’s not an easy field especially if you are starting from scratch but if you have a vision and you are determined to make it work, then you will.”
He describes his fast ascent in the fashion world as “exciting yet scary. I’m still a young designer trying to make a place in the fashion world, saying that it’s not challenging would be a lie.” However, he added that even though the process is long, it is a rewarding one.
“When you have that fire inside you and the motivation to succeed, no one can stop you,” he told Morocco World News.