Presented digitally at Paris Fashion Week, Casablanca’s Autumn/Winter 2021 collection is inspired by Monaco’s grandeur. Having taken the fashion industry by storm through its bold prints and luxurious leisurewear, this season sees the brand expand into womenswear for the first time. Charaf Tajer, Creative Director and Founder of the brand, tells PAUSE about the inspiration behind the latest collection, the move into womenswear and the brands use of premium materials. See the full interview below along with the Casablanca’s Autumn/Winter 2021 collection.
Interview by: Rhys Marcus Jay
AW21 takes inspiration from Monaco, which represents opulence we understand, how do you anticipate that consumers will interpret this reference?
We are lucky enough to have very devoted fans of the brand. Opulence and beauty is central to my work and I’m happy to say that they really understand what we’re trying to do. This is because whenever we create a new collection I always have in mind that it must be wearable. We create a fantasy world that people can be a part of, it is within reach.
Notably, for this season we learn that Womenswear is making its’ debut, may we gain an insight as to how this expansion took place?
Womenswear has always been on my radar, I grew up around strong women and I am moved by inspirational women like Jackie Onassis and Gabrielle Chanel. Ever since we launched, women have been wearing Casablanca – Kendall Jenner, Hailey Beiber, Gigi Hadid and so many others. It seemed like the appetite was already there and when we did a womenswear capsule with Net-A-Porter in the summer of 2020, it was very successful. After that, it just seemed like a very natural step for us.
That duality – Menswear paired with Womenswear is something that some may not have been expecting. Can we forecast you all to continue debuting collections within Men’s Fashion week or do you see yourselves showing amongst other Womenswear brands during their Fashion week?
For now, it’s super cool to do it together, as we like the aspect of the couple. It’s hard to say right now about showing separately, but I think it’s more dynamic having it together.
How will this growth affect the brand in the long run?
We have been growing rapidly since we launched two years ago and it is something we have had to learn how to adapt very quickly. We went from hosting buyers appointments in my mother’s apartment in Paris to having over 200 wholesale partners and New Balance collaborations that sell out in seconds. Ultimately, my dream is for Casablanca to become a household name and with the launch of womenswear, we are a step closer to that.
Were there any new challenges that when executing the debut of Womenswear for AW21?
The process has been different of course, with many of my team in the UK in lockdown because of COVID, but we are adaptable and we made it work. The result is that we’re strong than ever and this is the collection I am most proud of.
Incorporated this season is faux fur, wool, silk, painted as well as quilted leather. Can you explain the intention behind the use of such premium materials?
Premium materials are always front and centre for Casablanca. We are the antithesis of fast, disposable fashion, we want to create treasured pieces that you care for. It is my dream that in twenty years you can walk into a vintage shop and buy Casablanca.
What differed between the process of constructing Menswear to Womenswear?
It was a new challenge for us as a women’s body shape is different. But from the beginning, I have had a very clear idea of who the Casablanca woman is and we have worked very hard on getting the details exactly right.
Describe the creative mode that you’re in at the moment?
I am in between anxiety due to Covid and its impact and the excitement of thinking about the infinite possibilities in the world.
To conclude, what inspires you to remain or get into “that zone”?
I read and research a lot, learning from things I see and being curious. I think the appetite for learning makes me excited, I am like a kid in that sense.
Check out the full Casablanca Fall/Winter 2021 collection which showcased at Paris Fashion Week below: