Nabil Slaoui and Mohamed Benzakour, creators of the Barok brand, are investing in a mission: to bring credibility back to slippers while promoting craftsmanship and artisans. This challenge, which started during the lockdown, had been carefully considered by the two cousins. “I have 14 years of experience in an international communication agency. I have supported international brands to expand into the Moroccan, Maghrebian and African market, and I wanted to do the same for a Moroccan product… ”, explains Nabil Slaoui.
It took a video of an empty and deserted medina, of closed stalls shown by Mohamed Benzakour to his cousin to trigger this desire to take action and restore craftsmanship to its former splendor. “As a consultant, I had free time. We, therefore, decided to work on this project and on the best way to restore work to artisans, to push the tanneries to reopen… ”
Once the idea of the babouche (slipper) was validated by the two partners, it was necessary to find craftsmen capable of executing their prototypes to perfection. To do this, Nabil Slaoui and Mohamed Benzakour decided on which tanneries to open in order to acquire high-quality goat leather, and selected 18 artisans to test their abilities to make art slippers. 3 craftsmen were thus selected. The two entrepreneurs once again entrusted them with the mission of producing prototypes in accordance with their remarks and visions.
Determined to make the best slippers on the market, Nabil Slaoui and Mohamed Benzakour also called upon the services of Lhaj Lhoucine, a fine connoisseur of leather, its quality and its specificities. “We are the first to work with goat leather. Usually, lambskin is used, with a synthetic sole. Meanwhile, we have invested in a natural vegetable organic leather, untreated as our signature ”, specifies Nabil Slaoui. The slippers produced are of very high quality and perfectly identical.
The first babouche was born at the end of May. The photo, published on social networks, quickly sparked the interest of Internet users, influencers but also a renowned designer, namely Hicham Lahlou. Seduced by the idea of promoting Moroccan craftsmanship and sharing the same values as the two founders of the luxury leather goods brand Barok, Hicham Lahlou signs the exclusive “Alflila” collection. “Both visually and to the touch, Alflila engraves spirits and takes you on a journey through time. Both marvelous and urban, racy yet modern, it daringly merges styles ”, recall the founders of Barok.
The making is entirely handmade and in accordance with the rules of the art, black goat leather on the upper part, Cobalt Blue reverse goat leather for the inside and a calfskin sole with edges painted in cobalt blue and its Barok branding, all connected by fine stitching in blue Sabra silk thread. The slipper has the Hicham Lahlou signature on the right side. A certificate of authenticity is given with each acquisition, the ultimate guarantee of distinguished luxury.
This exclusive slipper is produced to order and sold exclusively on the brand’s social networks. 1000 copies of this Thousand and One Nights slipper will be made. “We hope to find buyers of these slippers by Valentine’s Day in order to be able to launch other collections, and also revalue other craft products”, hopes Nabil Slaoui. The brand, which has received the support of several personalities from the city of Fez, wishes to see these promises come true through firm orders …