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A Designer's Guide to Marrakech


The Lei

Born and raised in Marrakech, Salima is the designer and maker of our Point Toe Flat and a few of our Summer Sandals. A young designer and law student, she sells leather bags, shoes and accessories in the souk. Over omelets and mint tea, she tells us about her favorite places in and outside of Marrakech. 

The Lei Marrakech

How did you become a designer?
I always wanted to be a businesswoman. Always. I just wanted to do something, you know? I didn't know what, but just anything. I studied law because my father thought it would be good for me, and now I'm finishing my Master's. A few years ago, I was bored and had nothing to do, so I started drawing. I designed clothes for myself, then bags and shoes. And two years ago, I rented a shop in the souk.

There don't seem to be many women working in the souks.
Yes, that's right. The souks are for men. When I first started a few years ago, there were no women. Just a few. But it's not so different for me, you know? Mostly, it's my customers that are surprised. They come in and say: "Wow, you're the first woman I've seen working here in the souks!" And they cannot believe it. It's very funny.

The Lei

Describe your style in three words.
Simple. Unique. Artisanal.

The Lei Marrakech

What is the best time to visit Marrakech?
Mid-September or October is my favorite time of the year. It's not too hot, the weather is the best during that time. And for me, business is always good.

The Lei Marrakech

What is your favorite neighborhood?
The medina. There is nothing in Marrakech outside the medina, except for Gueliz (the "new city") and surrounding areas where people live, and they are mostly the same. Everything that is interesting about the city happens in the souks— the eating, shopping, the history.

The Lei Marrakech

What do you like to do during your time off?
I'm always working so usually I only meet my cousin or friends once a week for a few hours at night. We jump on our motorcycles and drive around the city. I like to feel like I'm on a tour. Maybe go for a coffee. Usually, we just go to each other's homes to sit and talk, like we are doing now. I'll go to the hammam once a week. It's so relaxing.

The Lei Marrakech

Where do you go for a good cup of coffee?
Shtatto has one of the most beautiful terraces. I also like Kafé Merstan and Terrasse des Epices.

Where would you take me, if I only had one weekend in Marrakech?
Well, first we would leave Marrakech. We'll go to Essaouira. Then Ourika. They have mountains, lakes and it's very green. It's so relaxing. In Marrakech, we'd go to the medina, shop in the souks. Madrassa Ben Youssef, Marrakech Museum and El Bahia Palace. Sidi Youssef is also nice. They have a fountain, like the Menara Garden.
 

The Lei Marrakech

When you want to escape the city, where do you go?
I'm a slow person, so I like to go to where the nature is. Ourika, Essaouira and Taghzout.


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