Situated to the north of the world famous Marrakech Souks in Souk Cherifa – a small selection of high-class boutiques – Baboucheshop is a small shop that specialises in hand-made leather fashion items including bags, purses, a range of sandals and, of course, babouche. The project of Carine and Patrick, two French natives who have lived in Marrakech for over 10 years, the Baboucheshop found in Souk Cherifa is the flagship store of the popular online store that sells traditional Moroccan items and Moroccan inspired goods around the world. Indeed, like the majority of shops found in Souk Cherifa, the items for sale are stylish, modern and quirky interpretations of classic Marrakech items; noticeably different from the other items for sale across the Souks.
Our favourite items we found whilst looking around the small boutique – that is, excluding the wonderfully vibrant floor made from a variety of discordant patterned tiles – were a series of light tan sandals and the leather Choukara bags. Both items demonstrate the true versatility of the local leatherwork industries and the tanneries in Marrakech, a versatility that is not always displayed in the goods on sale in the Souks
The sandals are made from 100% cow leather that has been tanned in a beautiful light tanned colour. The colour is the product of a unique process that uses half industrial tanning techniques and half using the traditional artisanal technique. As the artisanal method of tanning leather uses a lot of acid, this 50/50 method is better for your skin and, in our opinion, produces a beautiful product. The sandals on sale range from a gladiator-style piece to the classic 2-strap sandal. At 350 Dirham a pair, they are definitely not cheap, but if you are a fashion conscious traveler who wants something unique, then this is the place for you.
The Choukara is a small Moroccan purse-like bag, traditionally used by shepherds and workers to carry their lunch during the working day. In this way, the leather Choukara is traditionally a bag for men; however, due the embroidery design and purse-like nature of the bag, the bag has found a renewed popularity with the female gender in the last few years. The Choukara has an interesting history and it is difficult to find a Choukara for sale in the Souks, especially one to the same high quality as those sold at Baboucheshop.
Baboucheshop sits in the center of our ‘Leather and Tanning’ Medina walk available on our free Marrakech Riad app and is a great place to stop if your looking for a unique souvenir or if you are interested in items that push the boundaries of the local leather industry. If you would like to find out more about the free MarrakechRiad app, the ‘Leather and Tanning’ walk or any of our other Medina walks then our Riad staff would be happy to help.
Situated to the north of the world famous Marrakech Souks, under the Terraces des Epices restaurant and very close to Riad Star and Riad Cinnamon is Souk Cherifa, a small collection of high end boutiques selling stylish, modern and quirky interpretations of classic Marrakech items. From beautiful handmade tan sandals to traditional Moroccan inspired clothes with a modern twist and from unique screen-printed tote bag and posters to handmade Jewellery stores, Souk Cherifa has a lot to offer.
Our favourite thing about Souk Cherifa is that the boutiques perfectly mix the local, traditional design with a western design ethic. This cultural-crossover is quite unlike anything we have seen in Marrakech, both in the Medina and in Gueliz. Indeed, most of the items sold are often unique, handmadeand noticeably different from the other items for sale across the Souks. In this way, Souk Cherifa is perhaps not dissimilar from independent stores on London’s Brick lane or in Berlin, Amsterdam or Paris. In terms of local comparisons, this hidden gem feels like a modern version of the Ensemble Artisanal, selling quality, unique items at fixed prices (so no haggling!) Souk Cherifa is a definite must-visit for the fashionable, design-obsessed traveller. If you have Dirhams left to spend then this is the destination for you.