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Claire Curates Morocco

Posted by Claire Distenfeld on



Let's think for a second, in a world in which we try to juggle four million things at once, we better be freaking mindful or else our eyes will literally budge out of our heads like Tiny Tune adventure characters (if you get that reference, God bless you).

Meanwhile in Morocco

So, I’ve always been really into exoticism…I love history, storytelling (lots of meaning in our Fivestory name FYI) and the way that real heritage can weave its way into design and culture and stay there forever and always be relevant. This is something I have always look for in what I wear: timeless elegance that tells a story, but “Missy Ellioting"-it by "putting one thing down, flip it and reverse it". So, I go to Marrakesh and I'm on a mission. Just imagine me: Mission face - check. Perfect "flowy" skirt that won’t stick to you when it's hot as Haiti out there -check. With this and this and - check, check, checkity check.

Ok now back to my mission: Let's go find some freaking awesome old-school authentic Moroccan caftans. I went to the Medina and started to explore. I mean there must have been 100 different stores, but I stumbled upon one that was a bit off the beaten path and had a kind looking older gentleman standing outside of it. This gentleman was named Zarib, and little did I know at the time that we would become very close friends. Zarib had everything I wanted, he was straight out of a different era, he had old, soul eyes and I felt like he had lots of stories to tell. What I loved about my "time-machine friend" was how open and exited he was about a young, blonde chick coming into his store, where he had worked for 40 years, wanting to modernize the caftan and bring it to New York. 



Zarib and I picked a few styles and skyped for weeks about the design, fit and material. The coolest part about the whole experience was how much you had to trust a complete stranger. I had to trust that Zarib was going to make me a product I was proud of and I also had to wire Zarib a ton of money without seeing a single finished item. There was this human exchange of faith that I don't think we ever see in business transactions these days.

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