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For This Moroccan Designer, A Paris Fashion Week Debut Is Just The Beginning

Karim Adduchi photographed by Ruben de Wilde.

When Karim Adduchi moved to Barcelona at age five to join his father, he couldn’t speak a word of Spanish. Instead, the Moroccan designer expressed himself by drawing – and proved to be so talented at it, that he studied fine arts before obtaining a fashion degree at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. His graduation collection drew on his Moroccan heritage; inspiration he continued to mine for his FW19 showcase, which he presented at Paris Fashion Week. “Morocco is an eclectic land that stimulates with its contradictions,” he says. “Its poetry of life, its history and heritage, and the joy of its people make it a place for me to feel part of this earth; to feel like I belong.”

Originally printed in the March 2019 issue of Vogue Arabia.

Adduchi’s pieces incorporate intricate arts and crafts from his homeland and he often works with Syrian refugees in an effort to showcase their skills and elevate their stories. “Fashion has a loud voice in our society and if I can use that voice to bring positivism and hope, that means everything to me,” he shares. His family still lives in the small village of Imzouren in northern Morocco and he continues to honor not only them, but also the previous generations who made the decision to leave home in search of a better future – one he is now embodying. For his FW19 collection – an exuberant showing called Maktub, Arabic for “destiny” or “it is written” – he collaborated with Pyrates smart fabrics, using its award-winning natural-fiber material.

Inspired by the sound of sewing machines surrounding him while growing up in a family of tailors, Adduchi has a singular, organic design process: he starts not by sketching, but by having a “conversation” with the fabric he intends to use. “I treat the dress almost like a plant: I need to water the idea and build its strength or fragility step by step. It’s all about duality and balance. I don’t force the nature of the textile to become something it isn’t. I follow the melody of its construction until I get the right rhythm of it.”

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