Fashion and Miami go hand-in-hand. But that doesn’t mean the Miami fashion scene can’t be infused with some new looks. So with that in kind, Casablanca native Asmaa Benkirane, has set out to transform fashion in Miami – city she has called home since 2011.
With one-of-a-kind kaftans and jewelry curated from the top couture designers in her home country, Benkirane has opened “Le Beau Maroc” (Beautiful Morocco), to transform fashionable women to an exotic country through her luxury boutique.
Le Beau Maroc (www.LeBeauMaroc.com) is now open at 9507 Harding Avenue, just one block south of Bal Harbour Shops in the oceanside neighborhood of Surfside.
This new venture was ignited long ago as a child, when Benkirane watched as her mother prepared to attend parties, galas, and frequent social events that were a part of Moroccan society life.
“My mother would spend hours carefully styling her clothing, shoes, accessories, makeup and hair before an evening out with my father,” said Benkirane, 28. “She took great care with every detail and the result would be exquisite. To this day, she is a style icon and has one of the most fantastic shoe collections I have ever seen.”
As a child, Benkirane accompanied her mother to fashion and runway shows from top Moroccan designers. The experience shaped the young beauty’s personal sense of style, which she says is a mix of classic, bohemian, chic, sporty and elegant and entirely dependent upon her mood.
“Some days, I wake up to see the exquisite Miami sun and wear a beach dress to run errands. Other days, I am inspired to be a femme fatale, another day I’m sporty, and yet another day classic,” she said. “I love to mix it up depending on my mood, but almost always you’ll see me in high heels, as I believe shoes capture one’s own style and personality; I love haute couture and am drawn to such fashion houses as Yves St. Laurent, Christian Lacroix and Chanel, yet I have cultivated my own style to be different than what you see on the street. For me, it’s not the brand, but how you wear it.’’
Benkirane added that Casablanca weddings, parties and high society are where women vie for the honor of wearing the most stunning caftans by the country’s top designers.
“Especially at weddings, which are three-day affairs, you see the most spectacular kaftans,” she said. “It’s like being catapulted into a fairy tale with all the colors, jewelry and accessories; one creation is more beautiful than the next and sometimes it simply takes your breath away.
“Families have diadems and jeweled headbands they pass down through generations that brides wear at their weddings. You might think it is a modern take on a classic design, but in actuality, it is part of the Moroccan culture worn by royalty.”
Benkirane graduated from the prestigious Les Roches Marbella (Spain) hospitality school with a Swiss Hotel Association diploma in 2009, then in 2011 received a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality from Kendall College in Chicago. In 2011, she was recruited by a Miami luxury hotel, helped it earn its Five Star rating. She now is applying the same principles to her boutique by creating an elevated experience through service, quality and luxury.
“I come from a luxury background,” Benkirane said. “Much of my work has been with luxury hotels and brands, and it was the tremendous feedback I received from clients that provided the catalyst to open my own boutique.’’
Benkirane is proud of her country of birth with its rich heritage, vibrant culture, tradition of hospitality and thousands of years of beauty, now culminating with a new generation introducing exotic and regal fashion to the U.S. for the first time.
“You see art and design everywhere; the Moroccan homes are beautifully done with tiles, woodwork, details; some accents take a year to craft because of all the fine points and artistic details,’’ she said.
Inspired by the hand-crafted work by some of the world’s most skilled artisans, Asmaa Benkirane is bringing forth couture creations with designs, cuts and styles that Miami – with all its exoticism and global influence – has never seen.
“People ask me to define my vision is for Le Beau Maroc,” Benkirane said. “It’s very simple: to spark a fashion revolution.”