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 meet the makers

At Zwina Habibi, we pride ourselves in providing work and opportunities for Marrakchi craftsmen. These brief introductions to our suppliers aim to give you some insight into the people behind our pieces.

 

 

Fifteen years on and he now has a workshop where he employs five other highly skilled leather workers: Mohammed, his brother and right-hand man; Brahim, who has been with him since the beginning; Rashid; Abdel, an amazing chef who cooks tagine for the whole team every lunchtime, and Younes, the youngest of Mounir’s brothers. They eat, work and play like one big family - it's great to feel part of the team.

 

It is very much part of Mounir’s principles to treat those who work for him with respect and encouragement. He pays everyone equally, which also happens to be much more money than the average wage in the souk. “In my life, I don’t see only dreams and fantasies, I see the true, I see it in my life and I see it in others around me…you need people to help you. You help the people and the people help you.”

Mounir Askri

 

Meet Mounir, aged ten, he began working with his mother and father who made Moroccan babouches, but a surge in factory made slippers, brought in from outside of Marrakech, drove prices down and put the family out of business. 

 

This did not deter Mounir who has great ambition and determination - “just look what you need, look what you love, make it and start studying and all will come”.  He left the shoe business and transferred his skills to designing and making bags and clothes for himself. It took time, but he found that this was a much better creative outlet for him. “Before I was a bad boy, but now what I want is a life easy and simple.” Although he wishes for a wife and children in the future, right now he is concentrating on his work to accomplish his dreams.

 
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Imad Amasmoud

 

Not only does Bo Cuir boast the most glamorous interior on the Semmarine in Marrakech, it is also run by Imad a smiley and welcoming Marrakchi who is passionate about leather shoes. 

Imad has been in the business for only a few years but his sophisticated sensibility and charming manner have guaranteed him quick success.

Imad's father trades in furniture and carpets - "I had big motivation from my family, especially my dad and I always wanted to start my own commerce". He began by simply trying out unusual leather and fabric combinations, channeling designs he had seen in Paris and Amsterdam. It took no time for Bo Cuir to become a famous brand name in the souk.

"I was always an addict of shoes and I had the idea to create models that were different from other's" - his designs are indeed more modern and less ethnic than the other shoe sellers in Marrakech, which is why we are so excited to be working with him. His speciality is suede loafers in a rainbow of exotic colours for both men and women. 

"I love Morocco so much - the cultures and traditions - I hope I will do something special like creations to represent all that is Morocco"

 

 
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ahmed alaoui

Ahmed makes Zwina Hababi's raffia shoes. He has owned his shop for over 40 years, which he proudly boasts is one of the longest running shops in the area. His parents were shoe makers before him and his three children and wife now make up the current team. 

The beauty of his work is the pride he takes in stitching each pair. Each colour combination and pattern is carefully though out and his collection is now outstanding. His love of the simple life is clear in the way the shop is thought out and run, very clean and meticulously tidy it clearly is still the same size it was when he bought it in his twenties. He wishes to continue as he always has which is why we are so keen to support him - it is not about expanding but preserving that which he appreciates in his life now!