She is the new It-girl in Morocco. Sofia El Arabi from Bakchic. She is a fashion designer, blogger, e-entrepreneur and stylist! Sofia El Arabi’s blogs are characterized by traditional North-African folklore items mixed with more modern ‘Western’ pieces, making El Arabi’s sense of style one of the most beautiful and fascinating ones we have seen at al.arte.magazine. Unfortunately for us, she is not that well-known in Europe. Time to change that and to introduce you to this major talented It-girl Sofia El Arabi.
In Belgium and Holland we are not familiar with you and your work. Could you introduce yourself?
I was born in Casablanca in Morocco. I am 30 and I live in Casablanca. After my undergraduate degree at the Lycée Lyautey, I went to study at Nice in a Business School specialized in Luxury marketing, before going to a great ride on the side of the capital, Paris. So I wavered between la dolce vita and the frenzy of the city and learned to juggle these different lifestyles. The family is central to our culture, and cousins easily mingle with brothers and sisters, naturally. What is in the closet of one day can be found in that of the other and vice versa, is an education and love sharing.
You are a major blogger in Casablanca. What do you blog about and why did you start this blog?
Fashion Bakchic is the blog which crystallises all my inspirations, my fashion design, my daily thoughts, my moods through my clothing combinations, my outfits … this is a great diary made public. Dar and Beida , this is my sketch for the perfect home in which I collect oriental decorative inspirations, which always blow on the wind from the West.
How did you came up with the name fashion bakchic?
By total coincidence…destiny hidden behind coincidence :)
You are very busy with several things, your personal blog, the lifestyle and interior design blog, then a blog about the Moroccans’ hippest closet which you have founded with your partner Joseph Ouechen who is a photographer, fashion blogger and a stylist. And last but not least your online webshop where you sell your personal designed ethnic clothing- line and alongside jewelry designs. How do you explain this interest and this creativity?
I wanted to introduce another vision of Morocco, a more modern way featuring fashion people in order to erase the clichés like couscous, Marrakech, camels and mint tea. That is how initially bakchic started. I think it is a real treasure for designers seeking renewal. Arab and African cultures are exceptionally rich and give food for inspiration. I think my fashion design surprised, in all cases … But it was enough for a large part of the Moroccan youth to identify with it, because we’re all a bit in search of that perfect definition our culture, between modernity and conservatism.
What is your main message to your readers? What is important for you that you want them to know?
Bakchic is handmade clothes and every single piece is made with love, in an ethic way. I do not want to be involved in mass production even if I had many opportunities. My creations are for those who maintain a love of detail and beautiful pieces, but most who dream of being unique … the women are all invited. It may be a kind of duty somehow…to really appropriate your culture.
Could you tell us about your bakchic clothing line? How did it evolve?
I’m very happy to see that people are proud to see new emergent designers in Morocco. My brand has been very well received, so that gives me more energy to develop new lines of combination between modern and traditional clothes.
Where do you find your inspiration?
In Morocco, mostly in Casablanca. I like walking in the old markets and the medina, just watching the energy of the people, and I do a lot of research about Moroccan communities like Berbers.
What is your eventual goal? Do you want your own “bakchic” shop to be all over the world?
I wanted to be represented in great concept stores with other young designers all over the world. And to be showing another image of Moroccan fashion & the Arab world.
And then some small questions for our readers to get to know you better.
Who is your favourite designer?
Jacquemus, Stella Mc Cartney, Rochas.
What is your beauty secret?
Natural ones. Before breakfast I drink one lemon in hot water with a spoon of honey.
What your vision on this world?
Helping each others and being aware of what our earth needs.
Photos: © Sofia El Arabi
This post is also available in: Dutch