Morocco has been home to expats for centuries, and the mystery of what awaits across the Atlantic continues to draw people there today. The magic of this colorful place, where spies, criminals, and writers once took refuge, appeals to a thirst for adventure and escape. We dream of visiting to feel immersed in a world that no longer exists - to see what Paul Bowles saw and wrote about. The brave ones stay and live and produce masterpieces. The rest of us await our turn.
In Arabic, Morocco means "far west" or "where the sun sets." and the imagery of the fiery setting sun reminds us that this westward country is a land of entrancing color where groups of buildings, and even whole cities, are painted in jewel-like tones, Marrakech is the red city. Chefchaouen, blue. And Fez is a magnificent green. The hues that resonate from the Atlas Mountains, the mighty Sahara, and the titanic coast line add to the rainbow that is colorful Morocco.
In the 1960's, The Rolling Stones went on holiday to Morocco in search of musical inspiration and found the music of berber men, a fusion of African and Arabic, to be just the remedy. Morocco was to the Rolling Stones what India was to the Beatles. The trip originally began as an escape from the confines of England's Press (and coincidentally some drug charges) but eventually stirred up some major changes for the band. When Brian Jones, the band's original frontman and founder, became aware of bandmate Keith Richard's secret relationship with his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg, a downward spiral began. Jones fell into a mania, accompanied by a serious drug problem, and he eventually went back to London and was replaced in the band by Mick Taylor. What happened to the rest of the group after their dramatic and inspirational time in Morocco? They spread their unique sound across the globe and created legendary albums like Exile on Main Street, and Sticky Fingers.
Morocco has been a point of inspiration for legends in the design world as well. Jacques Grange was an interior designer to Francis Ford Coppola, Valentino, and Francis Pinault, to name a few. One of his longest working relationships was with Yves Saint Laurent, which continued for more than 30 years. It was Laurent's final home in Tangier that Grange considered to be a revelation. The simplicity within the interiors was unlike any other Laurent home - the place was not full of antique collectibles, renaissance bronzes, or walls of paintings. Grange stated, "For the first time in his life, Yves wanted a restful, open, happy environment - not a treasure palace." Grange carried influences from Morocco into many of the interiors he worked on, inspiring other designers to follow suit.
Grange was blazing a trail back in the 80's but Moroccan rugs have become something of a trend these days. Many companies offer rug reproductions inspired by the different Moroccan tribes. Design elements such as the lozenge, chevron, cross hatching, and x-shapes are all characteristic of traditional Berber motifs. Modern day replicas are catching to the eye, but there is nothing like the material and quality of vintage Moroccan rugs.
Today, many new Moroccan rugs are made in a more mass produced way for the market. They use machine spun wool that is processed as opposed to pure wool combed from the weavers own sheep. Berber men and women would weave these rugs for themselves with materials from their backyards, and because of the high altitude, the wool is much fluffier. This personal touch is another reason why Vintage Moroccans are far more superior. Along with the quality you feel from a vintage Moroccan rug is the warmth and wonder it gives to a room. The sumptuous shaggy texture compliments contemporary and modern interiors as well as traditional ones.
Each unique piece reminds us that these rugs, like our homes, have a personality - a story. The Berber people did not have a written language, and stories were passed down through motifs in textiles. Our Creative Director, Joseph Carini, is a collector of Moroccan rugs and has been acquiring special pieces for over a decade. This collection is finally available for purchase and can be viewed on our website. All of our Moroccan rugs are housed in our New York showroom, where our sales team can help you with questions about pricing and shipping - find your Moroccan inspiration here!