The latest neighborhood to capture the imagination of savvy shoppers surrounds Jardin Majorelle. Once owned by Yves Saint Laurent, these bamboo-and-palm-filled gardens now host the Musée Berbère (fondation-pb-ysl.net), which displays a small but exceptional array of Berber artifacts and jewelry.
Some very smart shops have popped up across from the gardens’ entrance on Rue Yves Saint Laurent, including what bills itself as
the city’s first concept store, 33 Rue Majorelle (No. 33; 212-524/314-195). Created by Monica Bresson, another French expat who made her name selecting items for the boutique at Marrakech’s palatial Amanjena resort, this two-story industrial space showcases the work of dozens of Morocco-based artists and designers. Among the most popular items are T-shirts printed with satirical graphic art by Hassan Hajjaj, Sarah’s Bag sequined clutches, and ART/C’s one-of-a-kind, hand-embroidered evening dresses.
Stop for a refreshment at the adjacent juice bar, Kaowa, before stepping next door to Hadaya (No. 8; 212-524/292-884)—the name means “gift” in Arabic. Standout items here include satchels emblazoned with the hand of Fatima, baby babouches (slippers) in butter-soft leather, and striking wool blankets. Lastly, there’s Anitan (Shop L13, crn. Ave. Yacoub el Mansour; 212-524/332-342), a retro-chic carpet shop with a tightly edited selection of vintage rugs alongside a line of naturally dyed rugs produced by village cooperatives in the Middle Atlas Mountains. Head upstairs for folk pottery and elegant linens, collected by the store’s Casablancan owner with the goal of supporting the artisan traditions of northern Morocco.
Round out a day of shopping at Marrakech’s hottest new venue, Djellabar. An ornately tiled 1940s wedding hall reimagined by co-owner Claude Challe of Buddha-Bar fame, the club, lounge, and restaurant invites patrons to recharge with dishes like foie gras in fig-plum chutney or sausage tagine before grooving to Challe’s handpicked tunes on the dance floor.
Originally appeared in the February/March 2012 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Goods on Gueliz”)