Meet Youssef Osfouri, the wizzard behind our fabulous sunglass straps
and our belts made from sabra and metallic thread. It took us weeks to search for the best braiding masters in Fez until we eventually found Youssef and his family. Their work convinced us immediately and so Youssef has been an HIITU artist from the very beginning! We are very happy to have him on our side. The sunglass straps are one of the most beautiful examples in our collection for how traditional craft and contemporary design can be merged to create something one of a kind. We are very happy Youssef agreed to answer some questions for us in order for you guys to get to know him a little better. Enjoy the interview!
For years now you’ve been making all sorts of braided decorations for traditional Moroccan caftan dresses here in Fes, how did you first get started with your line of work?
My father was the one who first introduced me to this artisanal craftmanship and I have helped him out ever since I was a young kid.
What do you like most about your job?
I love all aspects of my work, but the process of creating belts in all forms and patterns has a special place in my heart.
In Morocco the tradition of artisanal work is still very strong. According to you, why?
Historically, artisanal work has always been a part of our culture and so over the centuries we’ve really been able to perfect our work. Nowadays traditions are becoming less and less important, but because artisanal work has proven itself as a very stable and profitable part of our economy it’s a traditional part of our culture that is worth continuing to pursue.
With the creation of our indie style sunglass straps we have mixed traditional artisanal craft with modern fashion, did you have fun?
Yes! I loved collaborating with you, especially because of this mixture of old and new is an
example of what supports the constant revival of our traditional artisanal industry.
What’s creativity to you?
To make something which stays with my clients and leaves an emotional mark.
6. Which HIITU goodie would you pick for your wife?
It would be a very tough decision, but I think I would choose the Oaxaca scarf
! It has a beautiful colour that I know she’ll love it and it looks so comfortable!
Youssef with his brothers and nephew