The Story of Kif Kif
I first visited Marrakech in 2009. I walked, talked, and shopped for 10 days – heaven found. I tend to wear all black, but I found myself drawn to the colorful necklaces, flaming embroidered pillows and bright leather clutches of one shop in particular, Kif Kif.
Jump ahead to 2011. I am trying to find a ‘fixer’ in Marrakech, a person who can facilitate meeting all the needs of A Curated World. A woman named Stef was recommended several times. She “owns a shop called Kif Kif.” I put two and two together and knew I had found our ‘fixer’.
Stef was born in 1972 in France and she has lived in Marrakech for the past eight years. Her husband, Philippe, oversees their classic courtyard hotel known as a riad, Riad Magellan. Guidebooks consistently site Riad Magellan for its “relaxed swagger” and peaceful ethnic-elegant surroundings.
It was Stef’s decorating ventures, and then seeing how much the hotel guests delighted in her use of unusual materials and bright colors, that set the Kif Kif collection in motion!
Stef opened her first boutique in the Medina of Marrakech at Bab Laksour, my most favorite district within the old walled city. Stef embraced the cultural exchange that came with creating the line of jewelry, handbags, vintage finds and home accessories.
Stef developed her ‘voice’ behind the brand and formed bonds and reliance on the local artisans. She acquired a better understanding of Moroccan crafts and she brought to the artisans an awareness of aesthetics and Western demands, her own heritage. This is a collaboration and partnership we explored through interviews with many designers.
Stef has an ability to create whimsical designs while avoiding a clique or kitsch style. This is not an easy line to walk. The collection sold through A Curated World highlights Stef’s immense talent.
Both Stef and Philippe walk the cobblestone and dirt alleyways of the medina quickly and with expert navigation, nodding a quiet hello, a glance back and a wave, a handshake and quick catch-up. For expats, they seem in harmonious step with their adopted city.