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.
New fashions come and go through the red city of Marrakech, yet there is one piece of clothing with has stayed for centuries, this is the traditional Moroccan Djellaba. Worn by both men and women, you can expect to see Djellabas worn on a day to day to basis in the streets of the red city and also at religious ceremonies, parties and weddings.
The Djellaba has a history that traces back to Berber traditions of clothing, and is worn in different styles and variations across the Maghreb region of North Africa. As well as being ceremonial, the long, loose fitting robe has a practical design which protects the wearer from strong desert winds as well as the icy climes of the mountain regions across Morocco and Algeria.
In Morocco, the exact style and design of the Djelleba differs from city to city. In Fes for example, the robe takes on the iconic design of a flowing white garment, whereas in Marrakech the Aboallouia style of Djelleba is preferred, which favours broader shoulders and a shorter hood.
The female design of the Djelleba perhaps sees the greatest range of stylistic variation, where alterations between the colours, patterns and sleeve length are vast.
From the local culinary delicacies to the world of fashion, Marrakech is a corner of the globe with a rich and vivid cultural identity. Explore the magic of the red city for yourself through the luxury and comfort of a Hotel Riad in the heart of the Marrakech Medina.about he Moroccan people.