The hot designer brand everyone is buzzing about

When it comes to exquisitely crafted silhouettes, citrus shades paired with cool blue tones met with sugar-plum pink, Charaf Tajer’s Casablanca creates the perfect extravagant sartorial affair. The designer breaks the boundaries by evolving the new masculinity of our era, blurring gender lines and reflecting how young people want to dress today. Charaf talks exclusively to VMagazine on earliest memories, his creativity and explains the inspiration behind the brand and his latest Spring/Summer 2022 collection. 

A personal ode to intimate journeys and exploration, Charaf emphasizes the important values of friendship “this is a celebration to Masao”. The latest collection named ‘Masao San’ is dedicated to a close friend of the designer, who was the person to introduce him to the futuristic side of Japan, namely ping pong, salarymen and Sony’s ’90s workforce. In Tajer’s words, “Japan is a foundation for me in terms of iconography in general, and the way [the Japanese people] think, and the way they are dedicated to what they do.”

A huge influence on this collection was the Memphis movement which arose in Milan around the 1980s – lauded by Karl Lagerfeld. The mesmerizing film shot by acclaimed videographer Natalie Canguilhem simply transports you back to the ‘90s with a spellbinding feel. We see models such as Alton Mason leading the way through a dim-lit setting showcasing chic frill suits, coordinated track jacket and relaxed pants, shell-shaped halter top and miniskirts, to the après sport range which features the iconic Casablanca’s red diamond motif. What does the “new norm” look like? For Casablanca, it’s searingly bright. 


VMagazine: What was the inspiration behind building the brand? Was Morocco the source of naming it  “Casablanca”?

Charaf Tajer: It is true that the name came from the Moroccan city of Casablanca, where my parents first met, and I have a lot of memories visiting there from Paris. But, for me, Casablanca is and always will be about the romanticism and nostalgia of visiting different places. The memories they contain for me are infused within our collections and designs. In essence, Casablanca represents the invitation to travel.

V: You have a natural flair when it comes to exotic colors, how would you describe this aesthetic?

CT: It may sound simplistic, but 50% of design is colour, the other 50% can be put down to proportion, with this anything can be designed. So there is so much importance to the colours we choose. But with colour you have so much freedom, anyone you choose has many different ways to evoke an emotion. I always look at the location or setting of the story I want to tell, tapping into memories and inspirations to understand what variation of colours are needed to bring out these emotions.

V: If you could choose a celebrity to collaborate with, who would it be and why?

CT: One would be Aristotle Onassis; his style was always one of my favourites. He was so effortless; his style was always so assertive and confident but also relaxed and refined. He has always played a big part in inspiring our collections, and I think his style always will. He will forever be Casablanca’s eternal muse.

Another person would be Jorge Ben. His music is one of my biggest inspirations for the brand. He is a Brazilian musician, most famous in his native country.  I would love nothing more to introduce his music to the younger generation who look to Casablanca for inspiration. To me he is one of the greatest.

V: As an emerging brand, loved by influencers from around the world, to what do you attribute that success?

CT: I think, or at least I hope, that people are looking at Casablanca and seeing a celebration of the world and its beauty. I want Casablanca to be the lens through which people see positivity, to bring some light into the darkness that the world faces right now. I think this is why people connect with the brand. Sometimes it is important to stop and reflect that the world has this beauty.

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