When Casablanca launched just over 18 months ago, its founder, Charaf Tajer, wanted it to embody the glamour of travel.
In practice, the brand’s cool and clever mix of streetwear and old-school luxury make it jump off the hangers at you.
Tajer’s bright, watercolour printed designs are instantly recognizable, treading the fine line between outrageous and wearable. It’s sportswear that looks and feels far more glamorous than sportswear has any business being.
Casablanca’s shirts in particular conjour up images of an impossibly decadent bygone era and have caught the eye of Lil Nas and DJ Khaled. Although don’t ask Tajer about his resemblance to the former GQ Middle East cover star. As it says in his Instagram bio: (I’m not DJ Khaled).
The brand also caught the eye of the LVMH prize judging panel. Launched in 2012 with a view to nurturing talent, the annual prize is awarded to a designer under 40-years -old who has produced at least two collections. The prize- 300k Euros and a year of mentoring from LVMH alumni, has helped Simon Porte Jacquemus of Jacquemus and Grace Wales Bonner establish themselves.
Casablanca had made it to the last eight of the competition when the coronavirus struck. After some deliberation, the prize was eventually split between all eight finalists.
From there, the brand has expanded into collaborations, with a wildly successful footwear partnership with New Balance which sold out in 37 seconds.
From his office in London Fields, Charaf discusses the New Balance hype, what’s next for Casablanca and how it feels to be an LVMH prize winner.
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