Amazigh storytelling traditions inspired the Moroccan designer behind Vogue Arabia’s latest cover.
Rabat – Moroccan designer Karim Adduchi and model Tilila Oulhaj teamed up to take on the January 2020 cover of Vogue Arabia, paying tribute to the vibrant traditions and culture of Morocco’s Imazighen (Berber people).
The Moroccan designer told Vogue that he drew inspiration from the storytelling traditions of Amazigh (Berber) women—including those of his own mother and grandmothers—for his collection in 2015, which is featured on the January 2020 cover.
“I consider that it is relevant to show the hidden beauty of Moroccan culture and to eradicate misconceptions of the Arab diasporas,” he explained to Vogue. “As a fashion designer and artist, I feel a certain responsibility to document our society through a design lens and to create a sense of community.”
Creating the Vogue Arabia January 2020 cover, the designer incorporated traditional Moroccan materials and techniques in his looks and commissioned Syrian refugee tailors, embroiderers, and woodcarvers to create pieces for the collection.
“Being on the Vogue Arabia cover was something unimaginable when I was selecting the materials and making them in my small village of Imzouren, with my grandfather choosing the colors and patterns with me,” the designer remarked during the Vogue interview, reflecting on his humble beginnings.
Elizaveta Porodina shot the cover story at Kasbah Bab Ourika, a luxury hotel in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains south of Marrakech. The colorful spread stars 22-year-old Oulhuj from the small town of Azilal in central Morocco.
“Being Moroccan, fashion and color runs in our blood,” the young model said in an interview with Vogue. “I look back at old photographs of my family and realize that they were trendsetters, too.”
“There is unlimited creative potential [in Morocco] and we’re in an environment that’s open to new interpretations of clothing and fashion.”
Vogue Arabia’s December 2019 cover also paid homage to Moroccan culture and beauty.
European-born Moroccan models Nora Attal and Malika El Maslouhi featured on the cover alongside three other models under the banner “Arab Girls Rock.” Each model proudly represented their heritage while breaking free from misconceptions about Muslim and Arab women, according to the magazine.
Vogue Arabia, established in March 2017, is the 22nd spinoff of the American fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue. Vogue has branches around the world, from Brazil and Mexico to Italy and Russia.
Vogue Arabia is based in Dubai and distributes its material throughout Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Lebanon.