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BYT Street Style Roundup: Morocco Edition
April 10, 2012 | 10:40AM

All words and photos: Jeff Jetton

As BYT expands to New York and the world beyond, we’re attempting to focus our sartorial lens a bit further afield. The district’s fashion sense is fantastic and all, but sometimes it’s interesting to see how the other half shop. We figured that our Steet Style Roundup column could translate to just about anywhere, so we sent a correspondent to the stylish souks and streets of Morocco to check out what’s hot this Arab Spring…

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Well before Brooklynites were donning scarves to accentuate their outfits, fashionistas from Fes were using them for everything from burkas to belts. The scarf trend carries on today and even kids are wearing them. We caught this little dude striking a pose deep in the Medina and couldn’t resist snapping a couple of pics…

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Prêt à Porter au Port de Tanger. That means ‘ready to wear at the port of Tanger’ for those of you who can’t speak French or aren’t fashion aficionados, which, if you’re reading this column, is unlikely.

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The port is a hotbed of ready-to-wear fashion. The men are stylish and svelt and the women are… well, there are no women around. We’re not really sure where they are all day, but the point is, the men are stylish.

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We didn’t catch this fella’s name, he was in a rush to get that stingray home for dinner. But we must say that the combination of the brown, knee-length coat and the patterned sweater really caught our eye. His work-a-day shoes with the square toe scream 2005, however, so we suggested that he take the ray-skin to a zapateria to get some fitted boots made. Can you imagine a pair of kicks made from genuine stingray skin?

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And speaking of boots, what isn’t there to love about these standard-issue fisherman galoshes?

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And we’re just going all gaga over the overalls! Toss in a sunny yellow sweater for good measure and you’ve got the highlight of the Spring season. We did an impromptu fashion shoot with these two merrymakers, but they were so stoned on hashish that they couldn’t stand up straight and ended up crashing to the ground in a pile of laughter.

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Models are a bitch to work with.

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The knitted wool cap: it goes with just about anything and can be worn in most temperatures, which makes it an ideal choice of headgear for the variety of climates found across Morocco. We found that about 40-50% of Tangerine men were rocking the knit cap in an abundance of style and fit…

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Essaouira is a coastal town, known for it’s walled medina; high winds; and breezy, laid-back attitude. Which is why we were surprised to find a gang of angry women taken to the streets to demand more fitted dresses; higher fashion; and exclusive custom-tailored clothing. Or at least that’s what we understood from our limited knowledge of french and/or arabic. We’re not guaranteeing the accuracy of our translation…

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Lady in red: (shouting) What do we want?

Veiled crowd: (shouting) Haute couture!!!

Lady in red: (shouting) When do we want it?

Veiled crowd: (shouting) Now!

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Not really understanding what all the fuss was about, we grabbed a board and went out to the beach for surf lessons. Amine, our instructor, was born to wear a wetsuit and he chooses Rip Curl for no other reason than they give them to him for free. It all makes sense.

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Kamal took us fishing on the jetty right outside the port of Essaouira. He’s a shopkeeper by day, master fisherman by night. We were loving the simple sweatshirt with bands of blue across the collar, chest and wrists. Asked about his allegiance to the University of Michigan, he just gave us a blank stare and blew several smoke rings as he baited a hook.

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You’d be surprised how functional a headlamp can be on a dark and starless night. Popularized most recently by Animal Collective noisemaker [and BYT friend] Geologist, the headlamp has gained universal appeal amongst today’s fashion-conscious trend mongers. A far cry from the limited demand seen in years past by such groups as old-timey doctors and mid-18th century gold miners, the dual purpose headlamp acts as both a flashlight AND a hipster headband.

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And speaking of accessories, there is no better place to accessorize than Morocco.

A fashion accessory is an item which is used to contribute, in a secondary manner, to the wearer’s outfit. The term came into use in the 19th century. Accessories are often used to complete an outfit and are chosen to specifically complement the wearer’s look.

Fashion accessories are categorized into two areas: those that are carried and those that are worn. Carried accessories include canes, hand fans, swords, handbags, parasols and umbrellas. Accessories that are worn may include boots and shoes, cravats, ties, hats, gloves, muffs, jewellery, watches, shawls, scarves, socks, bonnets and stockings.

Even if you can’t afford the five thousand dollar Lamborghini cell phones for sale at MoroccoMall in Casablanca

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…the souks and markets in Rabat offer a plethora of inexpensive opportunities to gear up on accessories. Of course there are the normal Prada and Dolce Gabana knock-off purses and fake Ray Ban sunglasses, but if you put a little bit of extra energy into accessorizing, we’re certain you can accentuate your outfit in a whole new way…

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…we spent less than 10 euors and came away with a pair of knockoff Carrera sunglasses, a fake Glock pistol and a live baby turtle. Who needs a Min Pin when you can travel with a baby turtle?

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Boys on bikes: ladies love them, and there’s nothing that says ‘check out what I’m wearing’ like whisking past a crowd on two wheels.

This cool cat parked his Korean scooter up against a wall and proceeded to just cold kick it. We couldn’t get enough of the vintage 90′s era rugby shirt layered under a James Dean-esque leather motorcycle jacket.

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There are those moments that you’re just plain lucky to catch. A man (we’ll call him the Moroccan Johnny Cash, due to his penchant for wearing all black) rides his bike down the alley, most likely on his way to catch a quick prayer at the local Mosque. Out of nowhere, a little girl stops him in his tracks like a student blocking a tank in Tiananman Square.

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Sadly, we were too far away to hear the conversation, but it’s safe to say the discussion involved the Johnny Cash cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt.

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Abrahim is a Suzuki man. He wore a Suzuki jacket to match his Suzuki moped which he’d customized himself. Real grease monkey, this guy. Notice the subtle application of Nike stickers on the fork of the moto for effect. The attention to detail is relentless.

And don’t forget the kids. Popped collars might be on their way out for the preps, but they’re on their way back in for the shaggy-haired, denim-loving hipster types. Fantastic layering here. Somebody sign this kid to a runway contract…

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Denim jackets. Yes, again yes. So hot right now. Also loving the fade haircut kid is rocking. He’s light years ahead of everyone else in this classroom, just running fashion circles around them.

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The oversized-jacket thing was huge in the eighties. Cherry-poppin’ Daddies tried to bring it back in the nineties to little fanfare. This kid’s doing an utterly bang-up job of looking good and wearing it well. Especially after 2 hours on a dirt futbol pitch scoring goal after goal after goal. How do you say ‘bring it!’ in Berber?

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Stripes, solids, patterns. What the fuck ever. When you are two years old and dancing like the world’s ending, you can wear whatever the hell you want…

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Spring can be quite cool in certain parts of Morocco, especially in the Atlas Mountain region and cities such as Marrakesh. Mountain chic is the preferred style of dress, as modeled here by Omar…

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However, a  warm sweater can accommodate and is recommended for most nights. With a heavy supply of cheap, fake Burberry sweaters produced in-country, one can be fashionable without breaking the bank.

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A selection of our favorite sweatered-men…

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Down past the mountains and cooler climates you reach the desert. The real desert. There are basically two choices of fashion when you travel deep into Saharan Africa: Local Berber-Nomad or Crazy European Enduro-Biker.

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Both are equally functional in the inhospitable desert. Sandstorms and variable temperatures call for convertible clothes that are rugged and durable.

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Crazy European Enduro motorcyclists, like their Berber nomad counterparts, are known to spend long durations in the arid terrains with little shelter from the dry heat and the very cold nights…

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…covering the face is highly important, as the sand and sun can cause burns to both the eyes and skin…

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…and these desert fashionistas are rarely seen without their chosen beasts of burdens…

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Stay tuned for our next Street Style Roundup where we head to Spain for the Santa Semana in Seville…

We’ll have the scoop on what’s ‘In’ and who is ‘Out’ in the Catholic Church right now. Until then, we’re going to hang out with our turtle, Ishmail…

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  • cale Cale says:

    Who is running this site these days? This is feature-worthy material if I’ve ever seen it.

  • yassyp says:

    Jeff, I’m speechless. Funny, but soooo wrong I could smack you.

  • Jeff Martin says:

    TYPICAL. I’m so sick of seeing the same people over and over again in these street style round ups

  • Steve says:

    Wish these had been presented as is instead of trying to make them funny. Forced.

  • Shauna Shauna says:

    Ridiculous is the only word that comes to mind after reading this.

  • jer says:

    insane. come back to dc, brother.

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    TURTLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!