It seems like the Arab Spring was just yesterday but a lot has happened since and now at Fashion Week Tunis 11th Edition, we have seen some dope changes, both socially and fashion conscious.

The children of the Arab Spring are starting to grow up and looking at the future today. Many of them make up the models backstage and the young designers like student collections from the L’Institut Supérieur des Métiers de la Mode de Monastir exploring binary kicking off the first night. You can feel the youthful vibe as they are searching for something and adapting it to the locals while thinking globally.

One of the key aspects that they explored this Edition thinking forward was the hot topic (especially when the world heats up and expanding dessert) recycling, sustainable development, ecology and eco-responsibility by reconstituting the ancient Carthage Amphitheatre with recyclable cartons, inspired of Japanese culture in sustainable development. Fashion themes related to recycling, including plastic, or upcycling, are a priority in Tunisia, this expanded to the architectural construction at The Village of Creators which was also the host to the weeks’ fashion parties where we got to listen to local DJs and see how the cool kids like to club.

Additionally, this season we also saw more outwear from beachwear at Sumi, denim, to casual chic sportswear as seen at Soltana. This shows a shift from thinking of fashion as only two groups: commercial and couture. Trend-wise, there was definitely a millennial feel, looking back at your year 2000! From low slung trousers to cropped tops. We forget that Fashion Week is a place to express yourself, which many of the people can’t do in certain areas outside the posh La Marsa neighbourhood.

One of the creatives mind pushing local talent is Seyf Dean behind five different labels this season including his own signature and Fashion Editor at FF Designer Magazine, one of the only independent fashion magazines produced in the country. Dean definitely has the vision to move the design forward while his commercial lines demonstrate the quality of factories and machinists in the country that is the backbone to apparel manufacturing the world. Especially now that bigger fast fashion brands are abandoning China for production closer to home.

Stylish Palm Beach Palace in Tozeur

Before wrapping up the week, we took a wild roadtrip to the hidden gem of Tozeur, an oasis city in the south west of Tunisia.

As we made our way south, more and more French was being replaced by Arabic and we got to see the diverse changes from the cosmopolitan city of Tunis. The surrounding areas have been popular with Hollywood having shot parts of Star Wars there, The English Patient, Raiders of the Lost Ark and is the centre of “desert tourism”.

We checked into the Palm Beach Palace where Collection National also did a runway show to wrap up the Fashion Week. In between visiting the medina, palace, and soaking up the rays around the pool, we escaped to the desert and visited an isolated watering hole and saw herds of dromedary on the way. Quite the way to wrap up the week!

@Louaifatimi in Blue Island x Seyf Dean and Pawaka sunglasses in the region Tozeur-Nefta with support of l’Office National de Tourisme and Fashion Week Tunis 2019
Fucking Young Magazine Editor in Chief Adriano Batista

Here’s some tunes from Tunisian rappers to add to your desert road trip: