The Travel Stylists

“What you wear today reflects how you present yourself to the world. Fashion is a language”.

These words from Miuccia Prada ring perfectly true. A means of expression, a statement of identity, fashion is a language without borders. For Paris Fashion Week's fall-winter men's season, Moroccan designer Charaf Tajer and Hed Mayner, of Israeli origin, carry this message loud and clear. Much more similar than you might think, these two designers from the Mediterranean basin both have the ambition to break dress codes by presenting exotic, unisex models inspired by the tailoring of their native environment. This year, Maison Casablanca returns to light up the catwalk with the For the Peace show, while Hed Mayner continues to revisit costume codes with ingenuity.

Charaf Tajer, at the intersection of several worlds

Charaf Tajer, winner of the LVMH 2020 prize, founded Casablanca in 2018. This collection is directly inspired by the Moroccan city where his parents met. Warm colors, pastel tones, oriental motifs... Morocco comes to life through the designer's models. At the intersection of several worlds - his native country, Belleville where he grew up, the United States where he travels... - the Moroccan designer reflects multiculturalism in his creations. “I come from different backgrounds, just like Casa. Its name is Spanish, its country is Muslim, its continent is African, and it is also a former French colony”.

Charaf Tajer dans le studio  Casablanca. Credits : Le Monde Credits : charaftajer, instagram

The city as identity — Casablanca runs through Charaf Tajer's veins. It's reminiscent of the eminent photographer Erwin Blumenfeld, who wrote in his memoirs — “in America, I'm not an American, I'm a New Yorker; in Germany, I'm not a German, I'm a Berliner”. The Harper's Bazaar photographer also lived in Morocco. Coincidence ? Great minds think alike, even a century apart.

Le Levant inspire Hed Mayner et Dany Atrache

Exoticism is still in the spotlight when Hed Mayner's models hit the runway. Already at his Spring-Summer 2020 show, sandblasted tunics and jellabas re-visited as shirts brought the atmosphere and warmth of the Middle East back to Paris. Originally from Amuka in northern Israel, the man who received the Karl Lagerfield Prize in 2019 remains faithful to his origins. With collections that draw on the world of traditional Orthodox Jewish tailoring, the Israeli stylist recalls the fundamental principles of tsniut. Elegance is of the utmost importance in Judaism. Synonymous with dignity and respect for others, this religious principle applies to both wardrobe and behavior. 

Collection Hed Mayner, Fashion Week automne-hiver 2023.  
Credits: Vogue Runway

Playing with the codes of tsniut, Hed Mayner dresses his silhouettes in exaggeratedly voluminous satin tuxedos. In this way, he materializes the spirituality of a long biblical tradition that continues to envelop him, like a thick coat. Not far away, Dany Atrache's signature is costume and the meeting of East and West. Although absent from this 2023 edition, this great Lebanese couturier remains a fashion icon. He dresses the Arab world's princesses and celebrities, drawing inspiration from the tapestries of his Lebanese culture.  
Across the miles that separate Paris from Casablanca, Tel Aviv and Beirut, the travel designers bring back with them the landscapes, people and customs of the Mediterranean region.

Sources: mode-3488600-"Erwin-Blumenfeld-au-delà-de-la-mode" pour-homme,1477205.html