It’s been a wild ride for Charaf Tajer since he launched Casablanca at his parents’ Paris apartment in 2019. “I’m still in shock,” says Tajer, of the ensuing success that now includes a capsule with Net-a-Porter, an LVMH Prize nomination, and a sneaker collaboration with New Balance that sold out in twenty-seven seconds. To add to this momentum, tomorrow he debuts his first full womenswear collection, inspired by the glamorous scene surrounding the Monaco Grand Prix in its heyday. In true 2021 form, it is premiering on YouTube.
The designer’s ability to channel the old school glamour of resort destinations while creating modern, wearable clothing led to many a stylish woman snapping up Casablanca’s hand-painted silk shirts. The blouses, which have the attention to detail and artistic merit of an Hermes scarf, are the work of Gard Diop and Quentin Bidaud, both longtime friends of Tajer’s. Originally designed for men, the decision to expand is a natural progression for the brand.
Tajer’s mood board for the new collection includes everyone from perennial Casablanca muse (and onetime owner of the Casino de Monte-Carlo) Aristotle Onassis to female Belgian race car driver Vanina Ickx. In advance of tomorrow’s show, Tajer gave ELLE.com an exclusive look into his sketchbook.
Among the standouts are a black and white crepe evening dress with a club-shaped bodice, ideal for living out your Bond girl fantasies over a game of baccarat, and a harlequin faux fur swing coat worthy of a contemporary Ingrid Bergman. Perhaps the most technically challenging number is the satin jacket and mini skirt ensemble featuring a scene of a Formula 1 car zooming through the winding roads of Monte Carlo, for which each detail was pieced and quilted together. And that’s just the beginning.
Tune in tomorrow at 12:30PM EST for the big, cinematic reveal.
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