With his own unique sense of style, Simo Lagnawi is no stranger to the colours of Moroccan fashion. A chance encounter on the streets of London found Lagnawi cross paths with the making of a fashion photo shoot. An almost immediate connection was generated by the art of Simo Lagnawi's guembri(traditional Moroccan instrument) and that of internationally acclaimed artist and fashion designer Hassan Hajjaj aka 'the Andy Warhol of Marrakech'. With both sharing Moroccan roots and the mastery of their crafts, it was only natural that Lagnawi’s music sparked a kind of party full of dancing and laughter.
To view the energy of the events described and hear the festive Simo Lagnawi 'Dounia' off the album 'The Gnawa Berber' please see the video below.
The similarities between Lagnawi and Hajjaj go on as both of their arts stretch deep into their traditions. Simo’s main instrument, the guembri, is a three-stringed plucked lute from Morocco. The body of the instrument is carved from hollowed wood and then covered with taut camel-skin and goat gut strings. A seasoned busker, Simo allures his crowds with his technicolor clothes, elastic acrobatic displays and brand of hip-shaking gnawa fusion music.
Hassan Hajjaj is an accomplished and renouned contemporary artist. The winner of the 2011 Sovereign Middle East and African Art Prize has had his works displayed in Brooklyn Museam, the British Museum (New York) the Los Angeles Museam of Contemporary Art, Institut des Cultures d’Islam (Paris) and many more. The project of 'Mr Amine Bendriouch' is a collaboration with the fashion designer Amine Bendriouich who is currently a finalist for the Fashion Prize 2015. The prize being synonymous with the title of best stylist in the Middle East. With Bendriouch's garments and Hajjaj's artistic direction, the new collection of 'Mr Amine Bendriouch' will be one to look out for.