Comprising looks that are loungey, a little sporty, and always relaxed in a colourful, retro-glamorous style, Casablanca was started by French-Moroccan designer Charaf Tajer only in 2018 – but the brand’s achievements and self-assuredness certainly belie its young age.
Taking its stylistic cues from the notion of apres-sport as well as Tajer’s French and Moroccan heritage, Casablanca has become a favourite with celebrities such as Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner (despite its founder ostensibly not spending a cent on influencer marketing).
Charaf Tajer of Casablanca
The young brand, whose founder was one of eight LVMH Prize finalists in 2020, has also had a successful series of collaborations with New Balance. Now, as the latest designer in Bulgari’s ongoing collaborative series, Serpenti Through the Eyes Of, Tajer puts his brand’s “Gen Z jetset” twist on a capsule collection of Bulgari’s leather goods.
The seven-piece collection will be divided into two launches: Apres Tennis and Mosaic, inspired by Casablanca’s sportive-lifestyle aesthetic and Bulgari’s Roman heritage, respectively.
The lawn tennis influence of the Apres Tennis line is evident in the green and white colourways of its bags.
Launching in Bulgari stores on Apr 20 (but available for pre-order from Bulgari’s website on Mar 31), Apres Tennis comprises four styles influenced by the sport: The Serpenti Forever bag, which can be carried by hand with a detachable wood handle or cross-body with its removable leather strap; the angular Jewellery Box; the roomy Tote bag with its large Bulgari logo; and the mini Serpenti Crossbody bag.
Each of these styles are distinguished by contrasting white and green finishes, and a mix of materials such as white perforated leather, gold-plated hardware and wood handles. They are all, of course, topped with Bulgari’s iconic enamelled snake head.
Exuberant mosaic prints are not unlike Casablanca’s own signature printed silk shirts.
Launching in store on May 20, and available for pre-order online at the Bulgari website from May 5, the Mosaic Story pieces are a playful take on traditional Roman mosaics. A vibrant and contemporary print with a mosaic-like finish is printed in a raised texture on calf leather on a trio of bag styles: The Serpenti Forever bag with detachable wood handle and leather strap; the Tote bag with a colourful Bulgari logo; and a Serpenti Crossbody Bag.
“With Bulgari we share the same love and respect for timeless codes and the ambition to interpret them in new ways: This is the prism we have played with on this collaboration. The collection is both modern and classic at the same time. Serpenti has a thousand-year-old iconography behind it and we wanted to bring it back once more but in a modern way, playing with its aesthetic features,” says Tajer. This doubles pairing certainly looks like a winning one.