Artsi Ifrach is a Moroccan designer, established in Marrakech, known for breaking the rules of fashion with his unique sensibility that blends Moroccan heritage and contemporary art. Israeli born and an autodidact, his fashion brand Maison ARTC takes on a fresh, modern expression of humor, parody, magic and lightness.
Artsi always knew his family had Moroccan roots yet never had the opportunity to visit the country. Artsi worked as a dancer with the Israeli Ballet which took him across the globe to Amsterdam, Paris, and London, which he found exciting, as they were so different from where I grew up in Israel, he recalls.
In 2009, he finally came to Marrakech from Jerusalem visit his parent’s historic home in the Jewish quarter. “It was very emotional to realize that I somehow belonged in this city, too,” he says. He decided to stay and to launch his project Maison ARTC. Determined to reach the hearts of others through his unique line of clothing made from antique fabrics, repurposed vintage garments and textiles, ARTC became a household name in for those interested in Moroccan fashion in Marrakech.
“I don’t know how to work with my head, I work with my heart,” says Ifrach. “If you want to touch people with clothes, you have to pique their memories,” he adds. Without formal training in fashion, Ifrach lives, works, and designs in Marrakech using his creativity and freedom to expressing each hand curated piece. His goal is to to take the hard work and time that people put into making textiles and bring them to the forefront by creating designs that value the human being. “You can’t replace imagination and skills with machines,” affirms Ifrach Today, fashion is all what’s new, yet his goal is to continue to focus on fashion forward ideas that take old designs and make them new allowing for the spirit of the original pieces and his creations to endure.
It was a natural move for the ARTC to find himself in fashion after the industry of dance, with its extravagant costumes and appreciation of the bodily form. “My pieces are very big, voluminous and colorful, and they have a lot to do with movement,” he says, illustrating the link that led to the pursuit of a life-long passion, in which he gets to flex his creative muscle every day. “It’s like going to the gym,” “You have to do it with determination and daily consistency.”
Ifrach’s fashion pieces have been exhibited globally, primarily at the Paris Fashion Week alongside other renowned names in fashion. “I did not choose fashion; it was quite the opposite. fashion designing chose me; it was somehow very natural and organic.”
Morocco has truly inspired this ARTC, the colors, the scenery of the Moroccan landscapes and locals captivate him. “Morocco is my biggest inspiration, the landscape, the culture, the tradition, the people,” claims Artsie. Every fashion designer works hard to stand out from the crowd by bringing something new and unique to the fashion industry. Therefore, to become a successful designer, one needs to find and develop their own style that will make them shine! “My personal fashion style is very particular and very individual, one of the biggest obstacles and challenges is to create a very strong signature as your own creative style,” he says. Artsi has reached the stage now where he creates one-of-a-kind pieces, he am proud of.
The Moroccan fashion designer lives a spiritual journey when designing each of his garments putting his heart, soul, and sweat into each one of them. His creative process consists of taking a walk in the Marrakech Medina, observing people, and from there, ideas begin to appear. After, he arrives at his atelier to creates magic.
Designer or not, Artsie says, everyone can take this journey. The journey of becoming is more important than arriving at the destination. To aspiring designers, Irfach’s message is, “First of all, and most importantly, do not try to be somebody else. Be very dedicated and very passionate.” The Moroccan fashion designer is convinced that passion and authenticity are the keys to a successful career. He lauds valuing creativity and giving enough time to make it happen for oneself. Fashion is related to education and educating yourself to become a fashion designer is essential.
Artsi’s Moroccan heritage is the main ingredient in his artistic self-expression. All of his pieces are made by Moroccans in Morocco. Moroccan seamstresses, tailors, embroidery designers and models are a part of his creative process that enables him to bring his designs from Morocco to the world.