Thursday July 18th, 2024
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Moroccan RTW Label Mina Binebine Upcycles Furniture into RTW Pieces

he founder’s designs are a fusion of her diverse cultural background. Moroccan roots serve as the foundation and soul of the brand, with a touch of French and American influence.

Mai El Mokadem

Moroccan RTW Label Mina Binebine Upcycles Furniture into RTW Pieces

“Mina Binebine is where culture meets couture, empowering women through timeless elegance and sustainable craftsmanship.”

Mina Binebine ushers in a new era of Moroccan fashion. The ready-to-wear contemporary label boldly fuses Morocco’s rich heritage with cutting-edge designs, resulting in collections that are both timeless and fiercely modern. The founder and creative director of the eponymous brand, Mina Binebine, was working in Los Angeles as a creative director for a luxury brand when she decided to take a different path. “I didn’t want to work for anyone else but myself,” she tells Scene Styled. “I didn’t want to give away my creativity. I wanted to take full advantage of it.”

With a bachelor’s degree in art and fashion from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) and an MBA from Marymount California University, the Moroccan designer is well-prepared. Binebine declares, "The Moroccan touch is simply... essential." Her designs incorporate this heritage through innovative uses of traditional fabrics. A distinctive feature of her brand is upcycling materials from home furniture, giving discarded sofas and upholstery fabrics a new lease on life.

Mlifa and Moroccan brocade, often found adorning curtains and sofas in Moroccan homes, are transformed into statement corsets and boleros. "Embroidery is another cornerstone of my work," she explains. Subtle, mostly hand-stitched details crafted using techniques passed down for generations adorn her garments, such as in one of her best-sellers, the Eclosion Corset in White. "I love these aspects of tradition and culture," Binebine concludes. "By incorporating them into my designs, I hope to keep them alive forever."

With a visionary eye, the designer imbues her brand's DNA with edgy modernity. The result? Designs that honour Moroccan heritage while embodying contemporary fashion culture. “I mix so many different cultures in one brand. I have my Moroccan culture, which is the base and the essence of Mina Binebine; but I’m also French, which adds elegance and sophistication to the brand. Then I’m also American, which brings the prêt-à-porter aspect.”

"My designs are for everyone. No matter your shape, background, or culture, I want my clothes to empower you, make you feel strong, confident, and ready to conquer anything. I like to support women—and anyone—in any way I can,” Binebine explains passionately. Beyond her womenswear, Binebine’s design prowess extends to menswear. Notably, one of her most prominent pieces is the debut look from the Ramadan collection: a rich, baby blue ensemble with cascading drapes and an exquisite silhouette.

"Moroccan heritage is a huge influence on my work. You could say it colours my entire vision," she explains. "Every city in Morocco has its own unique palette. Marrakech, where I come from, is known as the Red City—the walls are all this rich, reddish hue." Her voice brightens as she continues, "Fez is renowned for its yellow tones, while Casablanca shimmers in white. And of course, we can't forget the Blue City, Chefchaouen."

“This vibrancy extends to the landscapes, the architecture, the art—everything. I try to blend all these elements together to create a sense of authentic Moroccan identity in my designs." To her, this richness, vibrancy, and colorfulness represent not just aesthetics, but the very soul of Morocco.

Binebine fosters a vibrant, inclusive space at her atelier, where women’s empowerment takes centre stage. Her team reflects this philosophy, with the majority being women who bring their skills to the table. “The artisans I collaborate with carry a legacy of embroidery and beadwork, a tradition passed down from grandmothers to mothers to daughters for generations. Through subtle modern adaptations and a focus on wearability, I tweak them a little differently so everyone can wear them.”

Sustainability and ethical sourcing are at the core of her brand. “We begin by partnering with suppliers who prioritise fair labour practices and environmental responsibility. Everything is produced in my Marrakech atelier, ensuring transparency throughout the process.” The brand also minimises its environmental footprint by using low-impact materials like hemp, organic cotton, and recycled fabrics, and reduces waste. “We meticulously utilise every scrap of fabric during the cutting process.” These leftover pieces are transformed into beautiful flowers or motifs that adorn the garments, like the satin dress with embroidered flowers from her Patchwork collection. “We believe in complete transparency—customers are welcome to visit our atelier and witness firsthand our commitment to ethical treatment of all involved.”

Mina Binebine is expanding into bridal wear, but first, a Parisian detour. “From June 25th to July 3rd, I’ll be selling my designs at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. I’ve also been moving into bridal fashion and have started creating gowns for clients. It’s somehow a new passion.” Binebine loves the excitement of it and how everyone has a different approach to what they want. Besides these ventures, she will also be hosting a fashion show in Los Angeles in October of this year.