Talel Paris was founded by Moroccan designer Leila Roukni in 2019. The brand offers Italian-made leather handbags and accessories with a strong focus on sharp designs and unconventional shapes and concentrates on sustainable production.
Each piece is developed in Paris and made in Italy, with the highest attention to detail and quality craftsmanship. Designed for those who live an urban, modern life, Talel’s designs are bold, bright and unique. After she was nominated for the accessories award at Fashion trust Arabia, we talked to Leila Rouki to find out more about her experience.
How does it feel to have your work recognised by the FTA Prize?
I feel very proud to be part of this family and proud to represent the MENA region.
It was a beautiful experience and an amazing opportunity to share my work with so many people from the industry.
Tell us about your brand and your journey to where you are today as well as the materials you work with?
Talel is a contemporary luxury brand founded in 2019. The brand offers leather handbags and accessories with a sharp design and a focus on unconventional shapes, considering details and sustainable production.
I personally have more than 10 years of experience in the leather goods industry, all of it accumulated in Paris. Worried about having to do the same work over and over again and needing more freedom and creativity in my work, I took the decision to launch my own brand.
I work a lot with leather. Talel bags are handcrafted with the finest materials and built around the best manufacturing practices, continuing the transmission of specific know-how at every step of the production process.
What can you tell us about your latest collections?
A lot of novelties! A new small leather goods offering and new materials such as fake fur and metallic leathers.
Can you share a little about how the FTA prize is helping emerging designers worldwide?
This is an amazing opportunity for the designers from the MENA region to share their work. There is so much beautiful craftmanship and rich and diverse cultural heritage that is perfectly represented and thanks to this prize and it allows us to share it with the rest of the world. This event has been covered by so many people from the industry: by the judges, by the press, by the influencers, by the stores.. it is a great window, and it will help for sure the designer’s exposure.
What is a message you would send to the organisers and also to the industry in the Middle East?
Thank you Fashion Trust Arabia you are giving a lot of hope and opportunities to Arab designers. It’s a beautiful example of transmission and support that you are giving to young designers like us and we are very grateful for that.
What has been the highlight for you?
To show our work to this incredible panel of judges and board members who took the time to listen to each of us.
Where would you like to see your brand in five years?
I hope to be still there creating and being represented across the MENA region and all over the world.
Tell us about your creative process?
There is no compromise in my creative process! I just want to express myself and my mission is to propose a creative model, not a business model. I have this irrepressible desire for freedom in my work, at the service of a generation that sets its own rules.
What’s the biggest challenge you face with your own brand?
It’s not an easy thing to create a brand, and this asks for a lot of work and investments. The big challenge is to separate the business side from the personal side.
Where did your passion for design begin?
I have a lot of memories of my mother sewing for me when I was a child, she used to sew a lot and make me custom pieces. That’s how it started. I have always loved handbags. Whenever I had money to treat myself, I preferred to invest in a beautiful accessory, rather than clothes. A bag can tell so much about your personality and what you want to express about yourself.
Who or what inspires you the most?
I greatly admire Martin Margiela, for being avant-garde and unconventional. I like the way he breaks the rules and codes of fashion, transforming, reinterpreting and deconstructing classic wardrobe pieces often with explicit humor and irony. Also, I love that he had never wanted to be a public figure, I love his humility and his discretion. A common point with Azzedine Alaia, in addition to his very known talent.
What is the motto that you live by?
Whatever you decide to do, make sure it will make you happy.