GQ ME: Charaf, tell us about the inspiration behind the collection:
Charaf Tajer: The collection is called ‘After the Rain Comes the Rainbow’ and I took inspiration from two main sources. The first, I was lucky enough to have been in Hawaii when lockdown started to be introduced and designed the collection under the pink skies of the rainbow state. I love to introduce aspects of nature and beautiful landscapes into the Casablanca collections - it was a very inspiring environment. The second is that we hope to bring some light into the darkness that the world faces right now. I wanted to give people something beautiful to reflect on.
When we spoke last we talked about a party after covid, is this what the collection is for?
100%. Now we need to look after each other and try to focus on the good times.
There’s more tailoring here and more formal structure than before- what was the thinking behind going for more suits?
The collections are evolving each season, it was always the plan to go in this direction. We started out with casual pieces but now we’re growing as our customer's tastes become more refined.
The new balance sneakers feature in the video presentation, will there be another run anytime soon for those who couldn’t find a pair? (Cough, cough)
It’s no secret that we have a new colourway dropping this summer, two monochrome versions of the original that launched back in April. The new monogram style you saw in the film is coming later...stay tuned...
In what appears to be an approaching global recession, where does a brand like Casablanca, so rooted in leisure, luxury and hedonism fit in?
When I was designed this collection that is exactly what I wanted to do – stop dwelling on the darkness and focus on the light, on beauty. I hope that since the pandemic people are more considerate in what they buy, investing in beautiful things, rather than just buying lots of badly made cheap stuff all the time. Since we launched the brand and even through this lockdown I am happy to that the Casablanca customer is very loyal to us and our vision. We launched the New Balance shoes in April at the height of all this and they sold out in twenty seven seconds because the love for the product was there. It’s about buying well, rather than not buying at all.
Tennis is still a big theme in your collections. Which tennis player would you most like to dress and for which grand slam?
For me, it has to be the original and best, Monsieur René Lacoste. He birthed the timeless elegance associated with tennis off the court as well as on. More recently it would be Björn Borg, he combined the opulent style of the 1970s with sportswear in a very sophisticated way.