That’s what everyone traditionally knows about him, however after having completed the interview I got introduced to a whole other hidden portion of the one and only M. Artsi Ifrach.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this enlightening interview as much as I did.
Going back in time, tell us when did you spark your initial interest in fashion?
Fashion has always been at the forefront of my mind, accompanying me from journey to journey. From that little kid benefiting from his dad’s work in local museums, enjoying every stroll around, daydreaming of magical combinations to the ballet dancer who got introduced to the value of prestige and freedom of expression.
Honestly, it all falls down to my memory lane being my expanding universe of inspiration and my anchor to constant innovation.
After experiencing the joys of living in Three beautiful cities Tel Aviv, Paris and Amsterdam. How did you decide to move to Marrakech and make the leap to strike out on your own as a fashion designer?
Both of my parents are from Morocco, so moving back there was mainly a journey of discovery and searching for my roots.
It is also where I got to discover my artistic DNA is 100% morrocain because carefully looking at my designs and looking back at the city, all I perceived was a very humble representation of a glorious powerful city full of an enchanting spiritual connection that resides within the kind hearts of its residents.
Launching a business is challenging in itself add to that a global pandemic and a strict commitment to sustainability. So can you tell us more about your business plan? What do you think sets your brand apart from everything else happening in fashion right now?
I passionately love fashion, but I don’t belong to the business of the fashion world.
For me, sustainability is slow fashion. It is using lesser and lesser material (tools, human resources, etc.) and for that, it can not be commercial and be achieved using big machines and grand quantities which is why you often find me breaking vintage pieces in order to reuse them.
And it is all done in the name of responsibility for the future of the next generation.
However, business wise, in my work, relies mainly on me accurately knowing my clients and properly respecting their needs along with having the right creative vision that will intrigue them to go on a shopping streak in my store.
Could you provide us with an insight of your design process?
It’s more of a lifetime journey than a process. For me, designing starts from the streets, piece by piece you find yourself being inspired by the beggars just like the elites, from colours that defy the extremes to lights that signal out common peace.
Today's fashion is more focused on being Fast and inviting more clients. However, my approach has always been the opposite, as my goal is to craft key pieces that sell out at any time of the year. So for me being unique is not related to thinking about who is going to buy it as much as it has to do with putting my heart and soul into the creation process, which in the long run will help me efficiently deliver my creative voice onto the fashion industry leaving my distinctive signature as a fashion contributor.
Since we’ve been following you and your work for quite some time now we carefully picked up the fact that your clothes are based entirely on creative imagination yet you somehow make them out to be relatable so my question to you here is What is the source of your relatability?
The secret behind my relatability is that I will never design something I will not wear. And from there I always find myself stepping into worlds of ongoing connections with my designs which allows them to have special background stories that could be changed with each client. Hence, giving my pieces the chance to live longer and shine brighter through different owners and dare to say through different generations because in the end that’s the goal of relatability...It’s making special clothes that you can give out to your sons and daughters and them to theirs after. It’s the generational heritage of that beautiful piece of clothing passed down the family.
Unlike many artists, you’re not looking to set new social media trends, In fact you are drawing a path towards a new evolved vision that you hope can be shared in connection to every piece of your work. What is the secret behind that connection?
There’s a saying that I always use in answering such questions:
“If you want to be someone else, someone else is already you.”
Which highlights the idea behind the connection you just mentioned, that is born solemnly out of staying relevant and staying away from trends that naturally tend to vanish after a while.
So my secret here, lies in the uniqueness of each piece and making sure it meets the high standards of my evolving creativity.
You have expressed multiple times that sketching is not it for you Because it limits your freedom. How is that?
Personally, I don’t like to decide from the beginning what the design is going to look like. So for me the moment I start sketching, I will build up a blocking wall of the messy creativity that could have resulted in phenomenal masterpieces. Therefore, that is why I developed my magic language with my clothes and fabrics that allows me to vent out my thoughts into the process of designing them.
You have claimed on multiple occasions that you’re dreaming of a better future both for Marrakech and the fashion industry. Can you tell us more about this vision of this better future?
My forever dream has always been having joining forces between the designer and the client. Ringing in that wake up call of stirring from being fashion victims by stopping the phenomenon of wearing the brand and not the garment that often persuades people to buy expensive clothes just to fit in and what’s worse is that they turn to buying copycats if they can’t afford the real ones which have destroyed the authenticity of the fashion industry.
So here my vision of a more decent future consists of the client breaking that cycle of fitting in and striving towards standing out through picking and choosing original pieces to wear no matter the label.
What serve as the Crucial lessons you have learned during your career?
The lessons are many but if I had to choose some they would be:
Are there any mistakes that you would have preferred not to make?
I don’t think I regret any mistake I ever made because in the end mistakes by definition have a lot of value in the process of bettering one’s self. So for me, every mistake has had a role in building the person I am today and to each and every single one I’m grateful.
Credit: Maison ARTC, "Imagigration" Collection
What other plans do you have on the horizon for the future of Maison ARTC?
Hopefully, the epidemic will finish, and I will get the chance to show a different side of the creative direction of Maison ARTC by making out new revolutionary, maybe even emotional and relatable pieces that hold out different stories experienced during these hard times.
Last one; if you were to have only one muse, Who would she be?
I think if I had to choose one muse, it would be God. Just because he was the one that provided me with everything I have and he is the one who allowed me the undying faith in myself to achieve my ambitious crazy creative dreams.