Back when KINGDOM. first started, I noticed a particular Instagram follower who was super active on our profile. I thought, "You are super nice, and in return, I shall stalk your profile (because that's a reward somehow?)." I did just that, and lo and behold, I stumbled upon one of the greatest discoveries I have ever made. I have not stopped Insta-stalking since.
Everyone, meet Ghitta Laskrouif - fashion designer extraordinaire behind the brand, Ghitta laskrouif, hailing all the way from Morocco. Ghitta, everyone; everyone, Ghitta.
Coming from a background in fine arts and fashion design, as well as coming from a traditional family that was particularly skilled in crafts, Ghitta was always set to create something unique and full of character. After graduating from fashion design in 2007, Ghitta ventured into freelance work, collaborating with other designers, as well as studying and researching textiles and other designers. It was in 2014 that she took the leap and launched a brand of her very own.
In Ghitta laskrouif's first year, Ghitta designed two collections, which included enough items to fill up your entire wardrobe. From jewellery, shoes, and accessories to dresses, trousers, and outwear, Ghitta laskrouif covers it all. Inspired by daily life and her Afro/Arab/Berber heritage, Ghitta creates an aesthetic that represents an active, avant-garde, modest woman through loose-fitting, slightly androgynous clothes with minimal cuts. Amongst Ghitta's favourites is her collection of berrad (teapot) scarves and shawls (they're some of our favourites too!).
It doesn't just stop there either! Ghitta is also a country ambassador for the unbelievable movement, Fashion Revolution! Ghitta explains, "Fashion Revolution is a global coalition of designers, academics, writers, and business leaders calling for systemic reform of the fashion supply chain, and trying to awaken people's conscience about fashion and especially fast fashion system." After following the campaign in 2014, Fashion Revolution approached Ghitta about becoming the country co-ordinator for Morocco, which was AOK with Ghitta, "Every time I have the chance, I try to explain what ethical fashion to people, how it's important to know the true cost of our clothes and the companies that we support , who made it, where it's made - we need to know the story of our clothes. There are a lot people involved the the whole process of creating clothing! At the moment of purchase, most of us are unaware of the processes and impacts involved in the creation of a garment." For example, Ghitta states, "According to the Danish Fashion Institute (2013), fashion is the world's 2nd most polluting industry."
For Morocco in particular, "the textiles and clothing sector plays a major role in the country’s economy. It is the top industrial employer, providing about 200,000 jobs to 42% percent of the labour force working in the industry." However, Ghitta points out an other impact that the global fashion industry is having on her home country,"An unfortunate side effect of the current model is the loss of crafts, culture and skills because people are purchasing foreign labels more than local ones!" When you see the pieces that Ghitta and other artisans create, you'll understand exactly how much of a shame this is!
Therefore, being such an active advocate for ethical fashion, are Ghitta's own creations ethical? You'll be pleased to know that they are! The most incredible characteristic that you will notice in any Ghitta laskrouif piece is that it is slowly and carefully handmade. Each piece represents a journey of coming into being. Moreover, they're not ethical because she's following the current trend; they're ethical because it's embedded into her lifestyle, "I've grown up in countryside and the lifestyle is so different! We enjoy, take time and pleasure in everything. I learned to make everything in slow mode but when i moved to Casablanca city, it was the total opposite! Everyone is either in a hurry, or already out of time! This transition influenced my choice to make an ethical brand. I wanted to create something slow, made with pleasure and contrasting the city lifestyle - so [my label] is ethical because everything is handmade. I make all of the accessories and clothes samples by myself, and when sourcing materials and textiles such as embroideries, crochet, knit, weave, and prints, I collaborate with local artisans."
So what does the future hold for Ghitta laskrouif? Well, as keen as we are here in Melbourne to purchase and support her work, we need to calm down because Ghitta only just launched her most recent collection! The next few months will see Ghitta focusing on reproducing items for buyers and looking for more opportunities to sell her designs. If you live outside of Casablanca, but you're still keen to purchase Ghitta's designs, you may have to wait a little while. However, there is a small collection of Ghitta laskrouif accessories available on Japanese online boutique, ChatRubis.
Congratulations, Ghitta, on all of your success and everything you have already accomplished! We love what you do, and we want to support you in whatever way we can. We admire your passion for championing positive causes, and love your determination and heart to see an industry revolutionised for the benefit of the world and all who inhabit it. We hope to take KINGDOM. to Morocco one day to visit you in person, so get ready because I have a feeling when Ghitta laskrouif and KINGDOM. combine forces, there will be a lot of noise!