“If you obey the rules, you miss all the fun”, says 23-year-old Meknes-raised designer Youssef Drissi.
Think of Moroccan fashion, and streetwear or opulent djellebas probably come to mind. But Drissi’s subversive brand Late for Work offers a refreshingly new take on the clothing Morocco is stereotypically known for.
Having graduated with a degree in fashion design from Casa Moda Academy in Morocco, Drissi has carefully honed his aesthetic, which he describes as “offbeat, undisciplined, unstructured, and informal”.
Each piece seems like it’s been cut-and-pasted together, but that’s because the young designer wants to subvert the clichéd staples of workwear. “’Late for Work’ was actually the name of my graduation collection. It was initially intended to mark the paradox between the two environments: the office, where everything is formal, and another universe where everything is allowed”, Drissi explains.
Describing his aesthetic as “Classic and modern, subtle and bold, masculine and feminine”, Drissi is carving out a niche for himself with his one-of-a-kind clothing that challenges and contradicts the traditional gender binary.
The result? A very unique approach to craft and construction made to satisfy the non-conforming rebel.
And as he adopts sustainable techniques, such as upcycling and hand stitching, he finds himself constantly pushing the limits of his creativity. “A hands-on approach gives me the opportunity to continuously test and change my ideas immediately after realizing them”, he says.
With a quirky kind of youthfulness and a touch of humour, Drissi is cultivating his own world in the Moroccan scene, fearlessly refuting all the boring old notions of fashion.
Late for Work might come out as risqué, but its unusualness is striking. In a society that imposes a deadly sense of conformity, the brand is a breath of fresh air – perfect for those ready to unapologetically live a life without limits.