Louis Philippe de Gagoue’s eponymous blog will make you smile. His self-styled shoots effuse joy as he poses in colorful outfits that mix up vintage pieces, souk finds and designer fashion with all kinds of fun and fruity paraphernalia. The boundary-breaking, kaleidoscopic results have turned heads worldwide. Having spied the Casablanca-based stylist and personal shopper wearing a pair of KISUA cotton print trousers in a recent post LÀ-BAS we have collaborated with him on this new series of exclusive images. “I’ve incorporated KISUA into my personal style, which is funny, eccentric, eclectic, electric and modern,“ he explains. “The shoot has an exotic touch that reflects the fact that I live in the Maghreb surrounding by Berber and Arabic influences.”
Time to dive into the wonderful world of Gagoue:
What is your background?
My father is from the Ivory Coast, my mother from Cameroon and I was brought up between these countries. Both my parents are legal professionals and taught me to be properly dressed and behaved. They also encouraged me to be open-minded, curious and to not discriminate between races or people. I studied law and moved to Casablanca in 2011.
How did you get into fashion?
I’ve always been fascinated by my family’s old pictures and the sense of grace that exudes from them. To me fashion is a form of utopia - an escape from a world that is eaten up by war and conflict. I am an aesthete. I became a stylist because I have stories to tell that transport people into my universe. Styling is a way of making my dreams tangible though clothes and landscapes. My inspiration stems from history - different civilizations, people and places as well as textiles, art and literature.
Describe your blog.
I launched it in 2010 as a way to share my good mood and personal vision of fashion. My mission is to show that there isn't only poverty and civil war in Africa, that it’s possible to live here and have a highly developed style. I love creating and playing characters that cross cultures. Fashion is my playground.
How has it been received so far?
I love the fact that people follow my work worldwide. Franca Sozzani said that I deserve front row at fashion weeks. Rossy de Palma commented positively on my work too and Corinne Bailey devoted a section of her Pinterest to me. These are people I admire deeply so their support pushes me to carry on.
How do you find Moroccan fashion?
The scene is buzzing. We have a good variety of designers such as Amine Bendriouich who mixes Japanese underground influences with structured tailoring, Said Marouf who has a clean, delicate line and Salima Abdelwahab who favors the Berber style. People here are daring and up to date.
What does the future hold?
My ultimate goal is to be very influential in the fashion world. I want to open people's eyes to new ideas and enrich my own life through fashion. I want fashion to be a universal place of expression and beauty for everyone.
Images: Yasmine Hatimi
Art direction and styling: Louis Philippe de Gagoue
Model: Saadia Alaoui Soccé
Words: Helen Jennings