Morocco meets Switzerland - How to unite the Moroccan with the Swiss Alp Style. - Interview with Carla from KE’CH CRÉATION
Carla Walser, Fashion Designer from Churwalden in the Swiss Mountains. Her home is already over one year in Marrakech, where she created her Label KE’CH CRÉATION - Swiss Design Made With Love By Talented Artisans In Marrakech. You can find her fantastic creations in her online shop or on your next trip to Marrakech, where you can meet her personally in her shop.
Enjoy the following interview with Carla, questioned by Hedi.
Hi Carla, how are you today? How is your live looking like during this crazy corona-time?
Thank you, I am wonderful so far. Since 4 days I am solidaric fasting at the moment with my Moroccan Family. That`s already the second time for me. A big challenge, but I like the spirit of holding together during ramadan. Otherwise I am since six weeks at home. Here in Morocco the lockdown is pretty strict and it is controlled by police and Military. I set up my little atelier in our Riad (Moroccan house) and work on various new concepts, cooperations and products. It is a big privilege to have these time to try new ways. It`s been a few weeks I completed also my online shop and took many new Pictures. My sister-in-law was my model. She looks fantastic! But I am also worried about how it will go on. My shop in the medina of Marrakech is closed and without an opening of the borders, there is no tourists coming. Me and a big part of Marrakech lives from the Tourist industry. We all don`t have clients anymore. I can survive it somehow. But I am especially thinking of all the shop-owners in the Souk (market), which do not have the opportunity to create an online-shop or work with retailers outside of Morocco.
To get to know you better - tell us, how you came from the Swiss Mountains to Morocco.
I`m coming since many years to Marrakech. My best friend Nicole Billie from Riad BE Marrakech infected me with the love to Marrakech. Exactly 6 years ago I was here to help her with the renovations and the interior design of the Riad. In this intense time I got so fascinated and inspired by the people and the colors here. In the following years I came for different projects and for holidays. I met so many amazing artisans, which handcrafts excited me. As studied fashion designer I started in spring 2018 my slow fashion label, where I mix tradtion with modern Elements. An important part of KE’CH CRÉATION is the Women’s Association Al Kawtar, a physio- and ergotherapy-center for physical handicaped women, which supported me from the beginning. So one year ago I quit my job in a PR- and Event-Agency in Zurich to dare the step.
You combine in your collections Morocco and Switzerland - tell us more about it.
The atelier of the Women`s Association sews all my designs and also adds beautiful embroidery. Sometimes also inspired from my home canton Grisons in Switzerland - like for example one of my cushions, which got embroided by a Moroccan woman with a very old and traditional design from my homeland. I get my inspiration often from traditional folk costumes, which I transform in a very simple and modern way. With my lavel I try to make the bridge between countries and traditions. Already when I came first time here to Morocco I was unbelievably fascinated by the handcrafts. I found here the old techniques and artisans, which are needed to build a slow fashion label. Behind every piece is a human and a story.
Topic Beni Ourain... 2019 I decorated your guesthouse "The Soul", which is rented by Riad BE Marrakech, with Beni Ourain rugs. What do you like especially about these rugs?
Apart from that their simple graphics are wonderful, I admire the patience of the women, which knot by hand in the Atlas Mountains. Depending on the size, it can take weeks until one rug is complete. And every rug has its own story depending on the Amazigh-women (=Berber women) which brings her own emotions during the knotting into her design. For me these rugs are artworks and not only objects of utility.
Which tips do you still have for our readers... How can you combine the Swiss Alp Chic with the oriental Moroccan design?
Everybody has to go with his own feeling when it comes to that. But the best is to stick with one color family or you decide to go for example with complementary colours. Then the base is given to mix and combine different style and nevertheless it will not look overloaded. Or you choose base colors like white, grey or beige and emphasize it with oriental colors, so you can create little accents for example with berry tones. Berry tones also look amazing in wooden Chalets. I grew up in Churwalden in a traditional Swiss house with old beams made out of Wood. My parents, especially my father, travelled in Africa several times and brought many African and oriental discovered objects to our home. This got combined with antiques from Grisons. Our living room was like a Museum. These intercultural influences always complemented wonderfully.
Thank you Carla for the interview, it was a pleasure! Keep your spirit high!