3/24/2020

A City Story from Marrakesh

What pushes one of the world’s most unique fashion designers?

As the Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E team hit the streets of the world, we went out with Neel and André to meet those who, like us, are driven by a hunger for more.

Between the market stalls of the Marrakesh’s Medina we met with fashion designer Amine Bendriouich to learn about his passions, loves and an unquenchable thirst for creativity. Discovering what drives his need to create something new every day.

This is Amine’s story.

There is no such thing as defeat…there’s not only one way to get where you want.

If there was ever a sentence that summed up one man’s sole purpose in life, it’s this. And that man is Amine Bendriouich – fashion designer to Will Smith and Alicia Keys, tailor, installation artist, DJ, musician, visionary and one of Vogue’s 100 Most Revolutionary Creatives. But Amine doesn’t like labels, he prefers to view himself as a uniform creator for the nonconformist or a dreamer who doesn’t dream but has visions.

Clearly Amine doesn’t know when enough is enough. Which becomes apparent from the moment you sit down with him, and we use the word sit in the loosest of terms because Amine is like a kid in a sweet shop, he never stays still for very long.

He is a man who can never stop or rest on his laurels, much like the planet he lives on, he must keep moving forward at all costs. It’s a never give in attitude that’s the bedrock of his entire being.

And it’s pretty much been his way since he was young. Being flat broke and unable to take girls on dates, Amine found an inspired solution to that aged old problem. Girls like fashion, so Amine of course started designing clothes and showing off his sketches to impress them. And to his friend’s surprise, it worked.

Problem. Solution.

What followed was a glittered snowball of perseverance.

In 2009 Amine won the Createurope Prize and soon after began his first foray into the fashion world by starting a label with friends. Naming the brand Hmar ou Bikhir (Dumb and Fine), the t-shirt line gained notoriety for powerful and committed messaging.

Already causing a stir in the Moroccan fashion world and disrupting the classic aesthetics Amine was just getting started. No matter the challenges or the reaction Amine carried on his own upward trajectory to stardom. Next came his own tongue in cheek manifesto-like fashion label Couture & Bulls**t, a unisex and urban clothing line that’s less of a brand but more an attitude of fabrics.

To create an a-sexual clothing line in a very traditional country was nothing short of shocking, and that was Amine’s point. Rock the boat. Do something new. Change the world. Inspire by example.

Amine’s attitude is nothing but infectious. He’s driven by his desires to create. To not know where he’s going but having complete faith in the journey. Or as he puts it, fate. And with this brings a unique yet singular way of looking at life and his career,

First choice – do it well. Second choice – do it very well. There is no plan b.

That’s certainly taken him on a journey full of swagger from design after design, item of clothing after item of clothing, event after event, track after track, show after show, collaboration after collaboration until the launch of his latest fashion line Djellabas and Tricks. A collection inspired by a fusion of pop authenticity, urban aesthetics and Moroccan cultural heritage. With a twinkle in his eye, and a raise of his curled moustache Amine knows this is just a stop on his endless journey to be better and do more than he did yesterday.

Amine’s curiosity knows no limits, he is the student and the professor rolled up into one larger than life character. A deep thinker with the performance of a magician and as we found, he’s willing to bring us all along for the ride.

What does Staying Hungry mean to you?

Amine: Staying hungry is staying alive. It’s my everyday state – hungry for life! Hungry for new stories, hungry for meeting new people, hungry for new ideas…

And what is your inner drive?

Amine: Keep inspired and keep inspiring. To make my time here in life matter. To do as much as I can with it and make the world a better place, I guess.

What from the outside motivates you?

Amine: People. Life, you know. People are my greatest inspiration. Like really in every sense possible. And by people, I mean what they do, what they say, what they think, what they feel, what they create. Whether it be music, film, clothes, dance, drawings… Really, it’s people.

So why are you doing this? What’s your dream plan, your idea?

Amine: My dream is to have wings! But as it’s not possible yet for human beings to have wings, I think my vision is to be able to show to the world that coming from where I come from, it is still possible to realize your visions and to show to the other kids out there who come from the same place, same situation, same place, like not a privileged place, that it’s possible to inspire, to create things that matter. I do something that will contribute to changing the narrative, the narratives that are already established.

How do you reach your goals?

Amine: Working. Work, work, work, work.

What have you learnt from your history?

Amine: I’m still writing my history. We are responsible for writing our own history. We cannot let people or anybody else write it for us and decide who we are or what we do and what we have to do. So like every day we’ve got to let inspiration come in and then let you know what you have to do and keep doing it and writing it, you know? It’s very important to write your own history.

What have you learnt from mistakes or the mistakes of others?

Amine: To keep doing what we do. Because I really believe that you should make your mistakes your friends, not your enemies. If you have a conflict with your mistakes, it will put you down. They will become failures. But if they are your enemies, they will become your teachers.

Do you have any role models?

Amine: So, when you have a role model, does it mean you have to do things like they have done it? I don’t know, I just try to get inspired by as many people as I can. And I always describe myself by saying “I am king of nothing and student of everything,” you know? So every moment, every person, every situation is there to teach you something. To show you something. And I try to keep aware, to keep my awareness on being able to take that every time it’s there for me. So I get what I have to get from it and then go.

Why create clothes that could cause controversy?

Amine: It’s not the clothes that create a controversy, I think it’s the ideas that create controversy. Clothes are just clothes, it’s just fabrics. But ideas have always created controversy, whether it be in music, or fashion, in movies, in books. I want the people to think. I want the people to use their minds. I want the people consider new ways of seeing the world. And the way they experience life. That’s why it’s important, otherwise who needs clothes?

To see more of Amine’s story follow our City Stories on @tagheuerporschefe

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