KARIM ADDUCHI

The goal of fashion should be to tell a story and to transform pieces of fabric into magic that transcends all bounds – and that’s what Karim Adduchi’s designs are all about. He is an Arab illustrator and fashion designer who grew up in the mountains in Imzouren, Morocco and moved to Spain at a young age with his family in the hopes of a more prosperous future.

When he arrived in Barcelona, he was mute for two years because he was a child lost in translation and confusion. He immersed himself into art and browsing fashion magazines and that helped him find his voice. He started speaking and communicating again due to the healing process of art and fashion. After completing art education at the University of Barcelona, he moved to Amsterdam to further his education.  

Once again, he found himself far away from his family, his hometown, and his culture and he had the urging need to express his thoughts using Fashion. Unable to speak neither English nor Dutch, he had to escape the silence and communicate with fashion and drawings. The distance away who he was as a Moroccan and as an Arab gave him the advantage of approaching fashion in a uniquely personal way. He decided to showcase his personal story and his heritage in a transparent way – showing who he was instead of who he wanted to be and the design process was cathartic.  

What followed was beyond his wildest imagination – he showed his first collection to much acclaim. For months, an article was published every day and the press still had interest in it. His story had become an example of self-expression and globalisation. A year later he was asked to open Amsterdam Fashion Week and the audience related. The dream of a Moroccan child from this little village was coming to life. They saw themselves not just in the clothing but also in his story.

Following the success of that show, he decided to have another show in tribute to the Syrian refugees and to give some of them the same opportunity to express themselves using fashion. That same year Forbes Europe and Forbes Middle East included him in their 30 Under 30 lists of one of the most influential designers to watch and he was honoured with the Amsterdam Culture Business Award. People were speaking of the impact of a Moroccan designer in Europe showcasing the bridges between Arab and Western cultures and of how his fashion brought a new approach that had never been seen before. 

That success trickled into him being asked to join the official program of Paris Fashion Week AW2019-2020 with his first ever Ready-To-Wear collection. The collection, aptly titled “Maktub” or “مَكْتُوب”, tells the story of destiny using Moroccan fabrics, embroideries, prints, and designs. The story behind Karim and behind his designs are not just his anymore – it belongs to everyone searching for a way of drowning out the silence of languages and cultures that do not understand them and this is the direction that we are headed towards as a society. This is that moment.