From vibrant cities to colorful embroidery and leatherwork, Morocco is rich with history and culture. Morocco has been for centuries a melting pot for Arabic, African and European traditions. Among the numerous fascinating crafts that emerged from this cultural blend were their famed slippers or ‘babouches’. These exceptional shoes inspired us to create our own design and to build our brand, you can read all about it here.
Bustling markets and sandstone cities, some of Morocco's marvels.
Moroccan slippers are flat shoes, open back (as would modern day mules be) and do not feature any heel. They are made with pliable leathers, usually goat, cow, camel or sheep hides. These shoes owe their name from the Arabic “babush” and the Persian “papush”, hinting to the blend of influences typical of this exceptional country. The babouches’ production process starts from the cleaning, drying and dying of the leathers. The tanning methods have been refined over hundreds of years and employ organic materials and plant-based colors, thus being certainly more sustainable than industrial processes. You’ll find most Moroccan tanneries in Marrakech and Fez, where this craftsmanship has traditionally been located. The tanned leathers are then assembled by hand by skilled artisans. The slippers are constructed by stitching together the soles with the uppers and inner linings. Some models feature various embellishments, from embroideries to sequins, tassels or jewels to deliver a more precious effect on the slip-on loafer.
From the left, a traditional Moroccan tannery and the colorful traditional leather slippers.
The Moroccan babouche has fascinated designers around the world, inspiring them to add their creative touch to the slipper. The most famous version must be Phoebe Philo’s as part of the Celine Resort collection in 2016. Philo’s exceptional result pushed Vogue to deem the babouche the ‘it’ shoe of the year, driving many other brands to have their take. Among these fashion variants we like that of Le Monde Beryl, you can read more about why we love this brand in our previous article.
From the left, Le Monde Beryl velvet moroccan slippers and Phoebe Philo's leather babouche for Celine.
At babú, we love the Moroccan slipper because we feel it embodies our values and lifestyle. Babouches are characterized by a comfortable and effortless wear, which does not sacrifice style and elegance. Similarly, we believe in having a laid-back and optimistic approach to life combined with energetic creativity. We want to be able to enjoy the little things in life, but also make a lasting positive impact on the people around us.