Why Morocco is the perfect place to find creative inspiration for your daily life

Charlie is a womenswear designer from London whose companies is one of the first examples of an independent fashion brand who strategically used online marketing to fuel an e-commerce website. She’s also someone we know personally here at Black Tomato. Inspired by her jet-set lifestyle and the constant travel wanderlust on her social feeds we asked her to share about a milestone birthday that she celebrated with our very own Creative Director, Lou, in Morocco earlier this year. 

You recently traveled to Morocco to celebrate your 30th birthday with Aman. What a special moment!

It was an incredible experience! I was trying to think what special trip or event I could do for my 30th when I received an email from the Aman. They were turning 30 this year too and looking to partner with influencers turning 30 who could celebrate all together at one of the hotels! I got to take my pick of which hotel we went to and the Amanjena had always been on my wishlist.

That’s amazing and such a special moment. What is it like stepping foot into Amanjena for the first time?

The design of the hotel is just magnificent! Every corner has been carefully considered. They gave us the most insanely chic private villa with courtyard and pool. It was a totally magical experience through and through!

It’s surrounded by archways and as you walk around there are further ponds through the archways that go on literally as far as your eye can see.

It really does make you feel like you’ve entered into old Marrakech with the soft earth tones and the shady courtyards. If you could pick your favorite part about the hotel, what would it be?

I think the main pool is a super dream, it’s surrounded by archways and as you walk around there are further ponds through the archways that go on literally as far as your eye can see. Breakfast is served here too so there’s plenty to see with your morning coffee!

What was the route that you took through Morocco?

This was my first trip to Morocco so I wanted to see many sides of the city. We started the trip at the luxurious Aman, then on the flip, after 3 days we headed to the Agafay desert to spend a night under the stars, camel riding and eating delicious Moroccan tagines, then the final leg of the trip we were in the heart of the centre of Marrakech in a traditional Riad. The Raid has 8 rooms but luckily, we were the only guests staying there so we had the run of the place.

What was it like staying in a desert camp?

We stayed at the Agafay desert camp where we had fresh mint tea of arrival, swiftly followed by a sunset camel ride, which was a first for me! Not as easy as horse riding but equally as fun! Then we returned to have fireside cocktails at the camp, which is just beautiful at dusk. Dinner was served inside a tent under the stars and we were serenaded by traditional Moroccan music. That night we let in a traditional desert tent and left after breakfast the following morning. It was such a wonderful experience to feel so removed from the hustle and bustle of city life and get back to nomadic nature.

It’s true, you can travel right outside of the city and feel like you’re worlds away. After staying in the desert for a few nights, you then came straight back to Marrakech and stayed at another one of our favorite hotels: Riad Mena.

Riad Mena was beautiful; each room had its own charm. We were lucky enough that we had the entire Riad to ourselves during our stay, which was unusual. It got so hot in the day it was a dream to dive into the ice plunge pool that stayed in the shade throughout the day. Staying in the heart of the Medina was great; you can’t get a taxi inside because the narrow high walled streets are too tight to fit anything other than a bike. We got lost on a few occasions but always found something new and interesting. There are so many incredibly delicious restaurants nearby too, our favourites were Nomad, and Naranj. Both have beautiful roof terraces overlooking the Medina.

Getting lost in the Medina is definitely a part of the experience! Tell us a little more about the insta-famous Nomad.

Nomad was definitely our favourite and we had this on our last day in Marrakech so it felt like the perfect send off. The food was Lebanese and the salads were next level inspired.

The color transforms your thinking and you start imagine what else is possible outside of your traditional mindset.

There are so many great sources of inspiration in Morocco and throughout the world. Where do you typically find that source of spark when designing a new line?

I find travel to be the biggest source of inspiration. I love being in another world, it gives you a fresh perspective from everything to colour inspiration to silhouette. I mix these influences with modern fabric and silhouettes for my unisex collections. I love natural fibres for cloth, which is directly inspired by the textures in nature.

Going to the Yves Saint Laurent museum in Marrakech was incredible but more because of the architecture. It was inspired by the design of a jacket, the textured weave on the bricks outside and then the glossy glass interior that represented the lining. Morocco was a huge inspiration for Yves Saint Laurent because of the vibrant colours of the city; it transforms your thinking and you start imagine what else is possible outside of your traditional mindset.

What countries are on your 2019 bucket list?

Norway, north Japan (I’m always in Tokyo but there’s so, so much more to see!),  USA – Utah + Joshua Tree

Three words that describe Morocco’s vibe:

Bustling, Heat, Charm

What’s the number one thing that you never leave out of your carry on?

My toothbrush.

The most inspiring country that you’ve traveled to (thus far)?

Iceland.

Where can we shop your designs?

On charlie-may.co.uk 🙂