“I love what I do, and I am who I am because of what I do. That’s what keeps me going and what keeps me fighting to make fashion. It makes me proud to feel that I am making something from nothing. It may sound like a cliché, but fashion is my passion and I like to share it with people. I very much see fashion as an art. I like to create universes and atmospheres, music, décor, events – all linked to what I see and how I feel. And I want others who are like-minded, especially emerging young artists, to have the platform and role models to do the same.”
I ask him how he continues to thrive in Marrakech, despite an infrastructure that does not go out of its way to support creativity.
“Marrakech today offers a fresh perspective on culture and ways of life. Whilst the world is becoming so homogenous, Marrakech provides a sense of authenticity. You might have to rummage around a little to find it, but there is inspiration lying there, literally everywhere, in plain sight; as it has done for thousands of years. And here in Marrakech, creativity is embedded deep into the very fabric of the local culture and society. So while our culture may seem exotic and traditional to many, it actually fits right into all that is contemporary. And I believe that for years to come, Marrakech will continue to shine because it does not just tell a story of today, but one that culminates the very best lessons of the past, in order to inform the future.”
During my stay, I have observed that the people here don’t come across as stressed, unlike in other cities. The rhythm of life is very different here and the state of mind much more relaxed and open than that of the rest of the Arab world. In Marrakech, there is room to breathe, to take time to do things. I guess that’s what makes it a great environment to get those creative juices flowing.
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“I don’t often get time to myself – I’m learning that creating me-time is also quite an art – but when I do, I enjoy walking around the Medina and ducking into its hidden gems. Chaotic as it is, it clears my head. I love nature and beautiful places and I’m so fortunate to have so much around me. I easily fall in love with places I see and absorb their energy. But it’s not just the physical that I love about Marrakech, there’s so much more. I love the music scene, from the traditional to the international; and Moroccan food – well, I may be biased – but I think it is one of the best in the world, if not the most healthy. And of course, disappearing into a hammam and enjoying the purifying rituals of our forefathers cleanses the spirit and soul. And now, I’m proud to say that there’s an emerging creative arts scene.”
Karim is also keen to discover new places and bring his perspective of Marrakech to the wider world. I learn that he loves travelling and has a deep desire to bring the Tassi portfolio of brands to the world’s most beautiful destinations.
“I love to discover new places. I often bring what I find out there back through my work to help others see what I have seen. And it’s a two-way thing. The ‘Caravan Tassi’ is on its way! I’m in the process of organising pop-up stores in fab, global destinations.”
A customer walks in and it seems she’s someone rather important. So, in wrapping up, I ask him to tell me a little about his hopes and dreams.
“Every day, I hope and pray for a better world, but sometimes it’s hard to imagine, especially in this day and age. I have no time or care for closed-minded people. In fact, I think narrow-mindedness is something we should all be very afraid of. Narrow-mindedness has never done the world any good. So, that said, with an open mind, I shall continue to grow, to love, to travel, to learn and to discover. There are so many possibilities. We have a saying in Morocco, that only the sands of time will tell.”
At OutThere, we believe in boundless travel. But we understand that some destinations can pose challenges to travellers that complicate visiting them. We advise all visitors to inform themselves about local legislation and customs, and to work with a trusted travel provider in order to ensure a safe and pleasant holiday.