By Nii B. Andrews.
Since 2014, slowly but purposefully and surely, a veritable temple to masculine elegance has taken shape in the vibrant Marrakech neighborhood of Gueliz.
Now comprising over 300 sq m of well appointed – naah, a truly posh space, it has become the largest elegance salon in Africa.
Named SIDI TAILORING, this pioneering institution is the brainchild of CHAKIR BELHALOUMI – actor, radio and TV presenter who learnt his haute couture skills, exquisite sense of detail and eclecticism from working in the artistic centers of labels such as Kenzo and Thierry Mugler.
Chakir has declared, “Aesthetics reside in this diversity that we find everywhere around us, not only in fashion…..Our suits are perfectly fitted and of high quality.
We take care to choose our partners on the basis of qualitative criteria and we particularly count on the assistance of the customer during the manufacturing process because we take care to combine his preferences and suggestions with our know-how”.
The zeitgeist at Sidi Tailoring is to reveal and highlight masculine elegance – “Sidi ” is Arabic for “Sir”.
At the outset, suits and tuxedos were restricted to the classic idiom but Sidi has since moved on to incorporate more offbeat creations especially with respect to cut and colors – new materials such as brocade and silks are now utilized.
Traditional materials are also reinterpreted and given a new twist.
“We take Moroccan sfifa, the silk we use to adorn the edges of clothes, and mix it with velvet or brocade. There is also hrir, this silk with shiny reflections, which is mixed with cashmere and very fluid wool”, says Chakir.
In this manner new juxtapositions occur thus expanding the aesthetic canon and stretching it to – feathers, badges, flies and Berber jewellery sewn directly into the fabric.
When all this is accomplished while still maintaining superlative handwork and craftsmanship – such as Milanese buttonholes, waist suppression and roped shoulders; the result is exciting bespoke or made to measure or ready to wear clothing which enables each man to find his “thing”/ “mojo”, explore other facets of his personality, express himself and perhaps even rein in his demons.
There has been sustained praise for Sidi Tailoring from important international publications such as Le Figaro, Celebrity Mag, Jeune Afrique and Forbes.
The client list is fully international including statesmen and celebrities such as Jason Statham and Sean Penn, the French actors Kev Adams and Ramzy Bedia.
What is heartwarming is that 70% of the clients are Moroccan; in addition a significant number come from other African countries -including West Africa and South Africa, the Middle East, Europe and America.
Sidi Tailoring also offers male grooming services: hairdressing, beard care, manicure, pedicure and facials.
Chakir sums it up simply, “Well, with fashion, it’s the same: there’s a story behind each material, each association. And every detail counts.”