Founded in 2006 as a non-profit to provide day care for disabled women, Al Kawtar is a women’s center that includes an embroidery workshop, where young disabled women can learn a craft. Many of their products are sold in a little shop in the souk. You will find house wares such as napkins, place mats and sheets as well as baby and children clothes and women’s shirts and kaftans. All of the products are made of 100 percent natural cotton and linen and embroidered by hand, so custom orders are welcomed. Proceeds go to benefit the center and you may even spot women in the back of the shop working on new pieces.
Al Matjar – Closed Temporarily
Carpet sellers abound in the medina but come to this shop for everything from Berber rugs to intricate woven antiques (it was opened by the son of the owner of the clothing shop Au Fil d’Or). Chabi Mohamed will explain the differences in quality and technique but has learned from his father that it is better to give Western buyers a fair price from the start than to inflate like crazy and play the negotiating game. He ships anywhere in the world and is easy to work with.
Amina – Closed Temporarily
Atelier Nihal – Closed Temporarily
On one of the main shopping streets in Gueliz, or the new town, is a non-descript looking shoe store called Atika. But do not pass it by. Inside, you will find leather and suede shoes for men, women and children. Some are exact copies of Tod’s driving shoes; others attractive derivations of other classic shoe designs, but all are very well made and fabulously priced. The Tod’s like moccasins come in dozens of colors and skins. Look for suede tasseled loafers with wooden soles, tall black suede boots with a stacked heel and hugely popular suede and leather simple slip-ons. There is a small selection of children’s shoes by the cash register, but at the beginning of the same street, the sister store Tesoruccio, sells many more. Closed Sundays.
Au Fil d’Or
This small shop in the souk has a cult following among repeat visitors to Marrakech. The owner makes kaftans, shirts and jackets with traditional elements but a flair that appeals to a Western customer. You will need to descend to the lower floor to see samples. Among the most popular are the velvet and Moroccan cashmere jackets with embroidered trim, which come in blazer and three-quarter lengths, and the suede babouche slippers. If you do not see exactly what you like, Mohammed will have it made within a few days and ships FedEx to the U.S. regularly. Closed Friday
Popular with Marrakech socialites and the likes of Paloma Picasso, this chic little den offers lush velvet coats, hemstitched caftans and loose linen shirts. Considered the haute couturier of Marrakech, the wizard behind Beldi sells kaftans that are all made of the finest silks and crèpe de chine with detailed embroidery. Many expats come to view the vintage fabrics that he imports and order custom pieces.
Ben Rahal Carpets
Rug buyers who want a more civilized experience than hunting through the souk can go to this shop on Rue de la Liberté and look through a more edited selection. It’s the favorite stop of one of our most stylish Marrakech shoppers.
Boutique Bel Hadj – Closed Temporarily
In one of the foundouks (former coach house kind of dwellings) not far from the main square, you will find a master beadsmith. Mohamed Bari is truly the necklace guru of Marrakech. You have to climb up to the second floor of the foundouk to find him, and in the complex, where he has three storefronts. In two, he displays his finished products, which range from antique extravaganzas to decorative strands of amber and silver. Across the courtyard, where he is usually found, is more of a workroom, where you can select the beads and work with him to design something. Closed Fridays.
Boutique Fadila el Gadi – Closed Temporarily
This lovely boutique houses a curated selection of Moroccan designs. Favorite finds include home goods, olive wood kitchen utensils, woven carpets and bath products.
El Abidi Nasser Eddine
One of the better sources for interesting jewelry in Marrakech is right across the street from Au Fil d’Or. The window displays of stunning Berber-style necklaces and ropes of semi-precious stones give an indication of the range of pieces you will find here. Amber and coral as well as decorative beads are used along with stones and gold and silver beads. Its owners tell customers that if they tire of their purchases and return them with a receipt, they can swap the original piece for an alternate one of equal value.
Gold & Coffee
This jewelry shop merges Western jewelry know-how with Moroccan motifs and heritage. The founder Liviani has each piece made by hand and focuses on symbols like the hand of Fatima (encrusted with diamonds) and a gold pendant of the babouche slipper. Lanterns, palm trees and flowers also appear on rings, pendants, earrings and necklaces.
Jardin Majorelle Boutique
Not your average tourist site gift shop, the Boutique at the Jardin Majorelle carries some of the best Moroccan crafts and fashions. Shoppers get to wend their way through the glorious gardens to arrive at this boutique. The prices are not cheap but the selection is well curated by Bernard Sanz, who worked with Yves Saint Laurent for years, and many of the top local designers have created exclusive lines for him. Products range from vintage photos and prints to colorful leather accessories, silk embroidered pillows and unusual ceramics and jewelry.
The huge, brilliant boutique is a boho heaven, with sequined and embroidered caftans, linen dresses and stylishly cut jackets, hooded djellabas, sparkly slippers and top-quality knock-off designer handbags. They can alter things overnight and also make things from scratch. Everything is wearable, and all prices are negotiable. This is the shop that crafts many of the cover-ups and blouses that were sold at Calypso in the States, but here they can be customized and bought at slightly lower prices.
A sliver of a boutique selling perfumes and candles based on the regions scents.
Khalid Art Gallery
This gallery is among the most esteemed in the city, and the owners claim that the King of Morocco shops here. Certainly, many international interior designers do. There are many rooms of treasures on multiple floors, which are jam-packed with antiques, including impressive inlaid chests of drawers, alabaster urns, oil paintings, carved wooden Berber doors, enormous ceramic jars, exquisite textiles and the odd French antique. As one of our favorite shopper says, “Don’t buy something because of what you are told about the age or provenance. There is no way to know how old or authentic a piece is, so buy it, only because you like the look and the price.” Some negotiating may be done, and the gallery will ship.
La Porte d’Or
A favorite of international interior designers, this gigantic shop in the thick of the souk is filled with kilims and textiles, antique doors (which make great tables) and chunky ethnic jewelry.
Le Jardin Restaurant Pop Up
Located above chill-out bar and lounge, Le Jardin, Pop Up Shop specializes in clothing and accessories and is a must visit for those fascinated by Moroccan and African fashion. Designer, Norya Ayron, who is passionate about her work and fabrics, crafts each piece individually and never uses any particular material to excess, ensuring a collection that is constantly evolving.
Pop up Shop opened its doors to the public in 2013 yet the small store has already attracted some high profile clients as well as a feature on an episode of E-network’s upcoming series “Party On”. The location above Le Jardin may have something to do with this, as the popular lounge-bar provides a lush green oasis away from the hot sun of the Medina. Hang around for a drink and see if you can spot the resident tortoise roaming around. Open from 12 to 4.
It’s a bit tricky to find this small shop in a not often frequented part of the medina but if you manage to make it, you’ll be happy you did. Owned by one of Marrakech’s premier talents, Ludovic Petit, this underground space is filled with pretty interiors items of Ludovic’s own design, including embroidered cushions, ceramic tableware, and crocheted Arabian-style lanterns. There is also a small clothing line, as well as charming bags. Ludovic speaks rapid-fire French and can often be found exclaiming Oh-la-la (literally), as he frantically holds staff meetings and works the phones in an effort to keep up with his many hotel and restaurant projects. Take a peek in his atelier in the back to see his craftspeople meticulously making everything by hand.
Maison de la Photographie
La Maison de la Photographie is a small independently run gallery tucked away in the winding streets of Marrakech’s Medina (about 200 meters behind Koranic school Ali Ben Youssef Madrasa). The gallery has over 5,000 original prints and 3,000 glass plates in its collection depicting the culture and diversity in Morocco from the late nineteenth century through to the middle of the twentieth century.
Unfortunately most of the collection isn’t on display due to size restraints but the collection that is, is wonderful. A highlight is the first ever documentary of Berber life, shot by Daniel Chicault, a year after Moroccan Independence (1956), and in color. After leisurely browsing through the gallery’s three-floor collection, visit the shop. Also relax and refresh yourself with a cold drink or lunch on the terrace, from where you can look out across the vast expanse of rooftops that comprise the Medina, as well as spot some of the more famous landmarks of Marrakech.
Michèle Baconnier Boutique – Closed Temporarily
On a tiny street off of Rue de la Liberté, just down from Moor, French expat Michèle Baconnier has a charming boutique that is piled high with all sorts of colorful treasures, from whimsical leather slippers with polka dot embroidery and extravagantly embellished kaftans to silver Berber jewelry and Suzani-esque boots. Baconnier herself is often in the shop to help customers navigate the huge selection and find sizes. In addition to all of the clothing, Baconnier sells fantastic suzanis, linens and ceramics. Do not miss Michèle’s gorgeous necklaces, which she makes by sewing semi-precious stones on to fabric. Closed Sundays.
Ministero del Gusto
When Vogue sent editor Italian Alessandro Lippini to Marrakech in the early 1990s, she fell so in love with the city and its beauty that she decided to buy a house and move. In the process of fixing it up, she met many master craftsmen and began designing her own furniture. Now, she and her partner Fabrizio Barrini run a showroom/gallery out of their house and work on private interior design projects. There’s no better place to see traditional and modern Moroccan made furniture in place than at the Ministero del Gusto, or Ministry of Taste. By appointment only.
Moor – Closed Temporarily
In an all white space that is illuminated by dozens of white lanterns, Moor mixes house wares in a neutral palette like white leather poufs with metallic stitching and grey linen napkins with sophisticated fashion. Think of the kaftan or djellaba fetish as having grown up and you get the idea. A wool or velvet jacket in black or gray may have an embroidered edge but would not stand out as ethnic in New York or Paris. Owned by the same chic duo behind Akbar Delights. Closed Sundays.