FAB L’Style

FAB L’Style is the global voice of established & emerging luxury. An international, fashion, art, beauty and lifestyle magazine in English based in Vienna, Austria. Ever mindful of equality, we embrace the diversity of inclusive beauty, and having a sustainable mindset.

Rosella Soravia’s Passionate Pursuit of Moroccan Craftsmanship and Slow Fashion

A portrait of Rosell Soravia in an interview with FAB L'Style Magazine on Slow Fashion and Moroccan Craftmanship
Images, Credit: Alejandro Restrepo // Courtesy: Rosella Soravia

In a captivating conversation with Rosella Soravia, the founder of Lalam, we delve into her profound connection with Moroccan culture, her commitment to slow fashion, and the deep values that drive her brand. Rosella’s story is one of genuine appreciation for artisanal craftsmanship, sustainable practices, and the rich cultural value of Morocco. Her journey, from childhood visits to the beautiful Souks of Morocco to establishing a brand that champions traditional techniques and supports local artisans, testifies to her genuine passion and dedication. Through this interview, Rosella Soravia shares not only her inspirations and challenges but also her vision for a future where fashion honours cultural heritage and environmental responsibility.

Rosella Soravia

FAB: What is it about Moroccan culture that resonates with you so deeply?

Rosella Soravia: My connection to Morocco began in my childhood, as I frequently visited the country due to a close family friend who lived there. Between the ages of six and twelve, I spent significant time in Morocco, which fostered a profound appreciation for its culture. The vibrant Souks fascinated me, from the intricate craftsmanship to the colourful textiles and unique wooden materials. These early experiences left a lasting impression on me, instilling a deep love and admiration for Moroccan culture. Even before COVID, I found myself drawn back to Morocco, particularly to the Souks, where I felt a deep connection to the culture. Every visit was an immersive experience, engaging all my senses with the rich colours, diverse scents, and bustling sounds. This love for Morocco has only grown stronger over the years.

When I started working closely with Souk store owners and artisans, I gained a deeper understanding of Moroccan culture. I was struck by the strong sense of family and community, where multiple generations live together and share their lives intimately. This inclusivity extends to their approach to poverty, with a significant portion of their income dedicated to helping those in need. This generosity is a fundamental part of Moroccan culture, contrasting sharply with attitudes in many other places.

I ensure that a portion of my profits support these talented artisans. Their skills in creating intricate, handcrafted pieces from locally sourced fabrics are extraordinary. It’s inspiring to see the rich traditions and techniques passed down through generations, contributing to the unique beauty of Moroccan art and craftsmanship.

FAB: Could you share some insights into the traditional techniques and cultural significance behind these artisanal practices?

Rosella Soravia: Moroccan artisans grow up mastering embroidery by hand, creating pieces that are as much art as they are functional items. The type of embroidery varies by region, each with its own distinct style and cultural significance. For instance, the embroidery on some of my Lalam jackets incorporates symbols that convey specific meanings in Moroccan culture. This regional diversity in craftsmanship is a testament to Morocco’s rich cultural tapestry. Many artisans learn their craft from their parents and grandparents, ensuring these traditional techniques are preserved and passed down through generations.

FAB: What are some lesser-known aspects of Moroccan culture that you hope to highlight through your work?

Rosella Soravia: One of the beautiful aspects of Moroccan culture is the close-knit family structure. Families often live together in large households, with children growing up surrounded by their grandparents. Every Friday, they gather for a large meal, which is a cherished tradition. This strong sense of community and the prioritisation of family ties is something I hope to highlight through my work. Unlike more individualistic cultures, Moroccan society places a high value on relationships and collective well-being, which is reflected in their approach to poverty and social support.

FAB: How do you prioritise self-care and maintain a sense of balance while constantly being on the move?

Rosella Soravia: My upbringing, which involved extensive travel and exposure to diverse cultures, ingrained in me a love for exploration. I am always eager to experience new places and meet new people. This constant movement has become a part of my identity. Despite my busy schedule, I find balance by immersing myself in these new experiences and maintaining a connection to my roots.

FAB: Can you share a specific moment from your travels that had a profound impact on you?

Rosella Soravia: During a sabbatical after university, I travelled around South America and Australia. In Bolivia, the simplicity and rich cultural heritage of the local lifestyle deeply moved me. Despite the country’s underdeveloped infrastructure, the authenticity of the culture was captivating. Another memorable experience was in Colombia, where I was taken to a hospital after fainting. The locals treated me with such kindness and care, which contrasted sharply with the country’s often negative reputation. These experiences reinforced my belief in the goodness of people and the beauty of diverse cultures.

Rosella Soravia: My goal is to create timeless pieces that last a lifetime. When consumers purchase a Lalam jacket, they are buying into the hard work, culture, and tradition of Moroccan artisans. Through social media and other platforms, I strive to educate people about the benefits of slow fashion and the negative impact of fast fashion on our ecosystem. By promoting unique, high-quality pieces, I hope to encourage a shift in consumer mindset towards more sustainable fashion choices.

FAB: How do you navigate the fine line between cultural appreciation and exoticization in your brand messaging and aesthetics?

Rosella Soravia: From the outset, I was aware of the privilege I hold and the responsibility that comes with it. I work closely with Moroccan artisans and ensure that they are proud of their work being showcased in the Western world. I use only African models and photographers to maintain authenticity and respect for the culture. The artisans receive a fair share of the profits, and I am committed to educating consumers about the cultural significance of the pieces they purchase.

FAB: How does Lalam reconcile its commitment to sustainability with the carbon footprint associated with international shipping and production processes?

Rosella Soravia: All our fabrics are sourced locally within Morocco, and we aim for each piece to be a lasting item passed down through generations. While the brand still operates within the fashion industry, which inherently has an environmental impact, we strive to minimise this as much as possible. My priority is to ensure that our production practices do not harm the environment, even if it means limiting the scale of operations.

FAB: Do you still have time to practice urban planning?

Rosella Soravia: Yes, I am currently involved in projects around Germany and Austria. This work allows me to stay connected to my roots and cultural heritage in Austria while also contributing to meaningful projects.

FAB: Looking ahead, what are your aspirations for the future of Lalam and yourself? 

Rosella Soravia: I envision Lalam as a brand that brings together creative people to express Moroccan culture and art. While I want the brand to grow and reach more people, my primary focus remains on maintaining the authenticity and quality of our products. I am content with the current scale of operations, where we can ensure each piece is made with care and respect for Moroccan traditions.

Fashion, Beauty, and Fitness with Rosella

FAB: What is your go-to fragrance or perfume?

Rosella Soravia: My favourite perfume is Van Clef & Arpels Santal Blanc. Its sweet scent enhances one’s attractiveness and character. Stay up to date on the newest in the world of Fashion, Arts, Beauty and Lifestyle; Follow FAB on Instagram.

FAB: What is your favourite way to accessorise an outfit?

Rosella Soravia: I love using Moroccan jewellery, which allows for creative expression through earrings and bracelets.

FAB: Can you share any time-saving fitness hacks that you’ve discovered for busy schedules?

Rosella Soravia: I used to run a lot, but now I prefer a balanced approach with gym workouts and pilates sessions twice a week to maintain my fitness.

FunZone: #FABFastFive

FAB: If you could only drink coffee or tea for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?

Rosella Soravia: Coffee

FAB: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?

Rosella Soravia: I relocated and travelled extensively for love.

FAB: What is the first thing you pack for an out-of-country flight?

Rosella Soravia: My sport shoes

FAB: If you were given the chance to make your one wish come true, what would it be

Rosella Soravia: To continue living a happy life with healthy family and friends by my side!

FAB: If you could have any animal pet, what would it be?

Rosella Soravia: I have two Labradors and darf Ponnies! That’s enough for now 🙂

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