Randall Bachner, Marrakshi Life, Marrakech
Images: Peter Stanglmayr
What is your connection to April and Oroboro, tell us the story of how you met...
Long story short: April and I had been familiar with each other since the late 90s. Our worlds were very parallel, me as a photographer and she a stylist. I even worked with her husband on an advertising job yet never met or worked with April. Then I was introduced to Oroboro Store, and it became clear Oroboro was the perfect place to retail ML in New York. I was determined to meet April and need I say more, our dynamic and chemistry was that of old friends from the start.
How did you shift from photographer to designer, what prompted you to start Marrakshi Life?
When I arrived to Marrakech in 2013 my idea really was to weave stripe fabrics in color combinations that were appealing to my sensibility and not at all ethnic or Moroccan by nature. With these first woven fabrics we began to make garments and from these first wonky samples began Marrakshi Life.
The ML Atelier is based in Marrakech, how did your encounter with the physical/social environment inspire you to make the move from New York?
You have described the ML atelier as a community rather than a factory, how does the dynamic of working with local textile artisans influence your creative process?
The weavers are our masters! They have all the skills and the answers when we are presented with a new weaving assignment which requires us to develop new techniques and succeed in achieving exactly what the client had hoped for.
“There exists a creative energy in Marrakech I haven’t experienced anywhere. Clearly this is what grabbed hold of me and is what has kept me there creating for the past six years now.”
What is your sensory experience of where you live/work? Can you share a touch, taste, smell, look and sound...
I am very sensitive to smells and conscious of this since arriving in Morocco. I began to curate the scents that provide me comfort and sense of calm, as well as inspiration in my world. This is something Oroboro and I have in common. Oroboro has also introduced me to many new scents from oils to smudge sticks, as well as all natural lotions and potions. Incausa and OLO specifically. One’s library of scents is like a history of your life and your experiences and each scent reminds you of a moment.
A favorite meal you like to cook for your loved ones?
I do not cook that much but if you are close to me I will make you my famous tuna melt, chicken parmagiana or skillet grilled corn muffins are a favourite for the kids.
“I am very sensitive to smells and conscious of this since arriving in Morocco. I began to curate the scents that provide me comfort and sense of calm, as well as inspiration in my world.”
A daily ritual and/or bedtime routine - what keeps you grounded?
Anything that smells natural and fragrant/applying oils to my face and always lighting candles at home chills me out.
Any books you are currently reading/music you are listening to?
Currently, I am really into Mashrou Leila, a group from Beirut. Also anything from the DJ Christian Loffler.
“Currently, I am really into Mashrou Leila, a group from Beirut”
My creative process involves drawing with markers and watercolour paints, as well as working out my ideas through taking endless pics.
A sentimental piece of clothing?
My favourite flannel shirt from my BFF Lauren. Every year she gifts me a shirt at Christmas, without question each shirt I have received from her becomes my favourite. Other than ML I only buy Save Khaki t-shirts and sweatshirts and ACNE sneakers.
“My creative process involves drawing with markers and watercolour paints, as well as working out my ideas through taking endless pics.”
A prized possession from your travels? A ceramic, talisman, beauty product, textile, object, artwork...
Since I have moved abroad I really live minimally. I do not really shop and collect things anymore since my whole life has been put in storage for the past six years and makes me conscious of not needing anything.
A recent traveling experience/place/next destination...
Every February I go to Jose Ignacio in Uruguay. It is really a place I love for its simplicity and calm vibe. Also the Cape Cod National Seashore amazes me, every year when I visit I am always blown away by its natural and majestic beauty. A sunset there is like a trip on acid.
“Every February I go to Jose Ignacio in Uruguay. It is really a place I love for its simplicity and calm vibe.”
Wise words/words to live by, can you share a favorite quote?
I realise that all cliches are valid/take time to smell the roses.
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