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How the Gucci Loafer Became a Modern Icon
As its 70 years of illustrious history prove, the style makes a lasting impression.
Marrakech is more than just a winter escape for sunny weather—it’s a design hotspot filled with street art, ancient architecture, and geometric patterns. A small enclave in western Morocco, expect to saunter through 18th-century palaces, breathtaking gardens and a densely packed medieval village called the Medina, which dates back to the Berber Empire. In Marrakech, it's best to just toss out the map and get lost in the labyrinth-like alleys of the souks.
Fit for a king and queen, this 12th-century palace-turned-hotel is a classic example of Arabic-Andalusian design. Ripe with a colorful palette, modern Moroccan additions give this landmark an updated vibe. As lore has it, La Mamounia has been a hotel since 1923, though its magnificent gardens were a gift to Prince Al Mamoun in the 18th century. A hotspot of the rich and famous, everyone from Winston Churchill to Hollywood royalty has stayed here. It’s worth stopping by for dinner at the two-Michelin-star restaurant, Le Français. mamounia.com
Fadila El Gadi
This Moroccan fashion designer, with boutiques in Brussels, Paris, and Rabat, has a must-visit store in Marrakech, set in the Gueliz district of the city. For light, breezy silk overthrows to wear on top of swimsuits, this is the ultimate spot. All pieces here are handmade by local artists. Check out the silk tunics and handmade embroidered dresses. fadilaelgadi.com
This stunning hotel, run by Richard Branson’s sister Vanessa Branson and her husband, was initially found in ruins in 2002 and renovated into its current glory. It now boasts 28 individually styled rooms and a sprawling roof terrace with hideaway nooks, and is a five-minute walk from the renowned Jemaa el-Fnaa Square. Also, don’t miss the on-site art boutique, as Branson—the founder of the Marrakech Biennial of Contemporary Art—sells limited-edition art pieces and design items at the hotel’s namesake boutique. el-fenn.com
If you’re searching for cutting-edge style, look no further. This fashion house is founded by Israeli-Moroccan designer Artsi Ifrach, who creates menswear for his boutique, set in the heart of the Medina. From patchy streetwear to couture and vintage fabrics, it’s all incredibly unique. Ifrach loves to quote Napoleon, who once said: “There is a fine line between the ridiculous and the sublime.” According to this designer, he searches for this line in every piece. art-c-fashion.com
Musee De La Palmeraie
This private museum, which was founded by Moroccan entrepreneur Abderrazzak Benchaabane—a garden designer and perfumer—has a diverse collection of Moroccan contemporary art on view, which can’t be seen anywhere else. From terra cotta vases to photography, all the works here are inspired by nature. musee-palmeraie.com
This jewelry boutique is named after an American designer who goes by the name "Jewels" and is known for making North African-inspired modern necklaces and rings from metal, steel, glass, and silver. Jewels, who divides her time between Santa Fe and Marrakech, hires young Moroccan women on her design team and calls her boutique “a small bohemian enterprise.” jewelsarts.com
Hassan Hajjaj, Morocco’s foremost pop artist—a photographer famed for shooting all-women bike gangs in patterned burqas—has turned his childhood home into a hybrid tearoom, art gallery, and boutique selling the artist’s work, designs, and other local treasures. riadyima.com
Co-founded by two American expats, Caitlin and Samuel Dowe-Sandes, this shop honors the Moroccan tradition of cement tiles. Rather than replicating the traditional, geometric styles that are hallmarks of Islamic design, their abstract patterns—all made by local artisans—are updated to reflect a changing city. There are striped, hexagonal, and circular patterns in their small factory, which makes tiles for fireplaces, kitchens, and floors worldwide. pophamdesign.com
Yves Saint Laurent Museum
This new museum, which opened in October, honors the late French fashion designer and all his best creations. To Yves–who once called Marrakech his second home–the colorful city was the prime inspiration for his exotic creations. Now, the street this new museum sits on is also named after the designer, Rue Yves Saint Laurent. The museum sheds light on the designer’s 50-year career in fashion, from humble beginnings to world-class catwalks. The brick building emblazoned with Saint Laurent’s recognizable logo cannot be missed. museeyslmarrakech.com
Set directly beside the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, this garden was founded in the early 20th century by French landscape painter Jacques Majorelle, who spent years renovating it into the well-cultivated garden it is today. Known for its blue-painted buildings, this public space is a magical stroll that reveals endless palms, cacti, and waterways. Don’t miss the on-site museum showing the costume designs of ancient Berber culture, not to mention its gift shop, which has leather items from the Moroccan city of Fez. jardinmajorelle.com