Moroccan fashion designer and artist Karim Adduchi was born to tailor parents in Imzouren, and launched his eponymous womenswear label in 2015 after graduating from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. He debuted his first collection, She Knows Why The Caged Bird Sings, as a homage to his Berber roots, by using traditional Berber rugs and carpets. “The pieces were a process of translating the symbolism and perception of Berber women to give them a voice,” he says to Vogue Arabia. “There is a strong duality in them being both fragile and strong – hiding their beauty because it is a treasure.” He is currently wrapping up his third collection, for Fall 2017. A continuation of his first two, She Has 99 Names was dreamed up with the help of Syrian refugees.
“It’s my tribute to the image of the Arab woman, where ‘She’ is a person who possesses many virtues and complex personalities. Her willingness to develop herself makes her modern and independent from the male figure,” he muses.
For the collection, which will be presented in October in Amsterdam, Adduchi teamed up with school children in Amsterdam and refugees from Aleppo. He worked with woodworkers and metalworkers to create the handcrafted designs, using rich fabrics and materials sourced from Morocco.
The feeling of longing is one that resonates with the 28-year-old designer. “I feel connected to people who might have that same sense of hanging on to their stories and identity in a way of yearning. This is why I decided to collect stories of refugees during my research for the next collection,” he says.
After moving to Barcelona at an early age to reunite with his father, Adduchi developed feelings of nostalgia and a keen desire to fully understand and embrace his background. “My goal with my collections has always been to reconstruct the ‘forgotten history’ of Morocco,” he admits.
“I’m not interested in being a political artist or fashion designer,” he adds. “What I can lay out to the audience, both near and far, is that what brings us together is far greater than what sets us apart. With the current crisis leaving so many people without a homeland to return to, I want to add what I can to the lives of people who have lost everything and need to start over.”