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Tradition

“Marrakech is one of the world’s best shopping cities—thanks to the souks, silks, linens, leather, embroidery, and artisanal crafts—and one of its best souvenirs is one you create yourself. Stylish travelers already know to make a beeline for Aya’s, the boutique where Sarah Jessica Parker bought gifts for dozens of friends when she was in Marrakesh Morocco. Anyone can shop at Aya’s, but we at WendyPerrin.com know that the way to make a trip special is to go above and beyond what “anyone” can do. So, on a recent trip to Marrakech, I tested a unique experience available through my Trusted Travel Expert for Morocco: I spent an afternoon with the founder of Aya’s, up-and-coming Moroccan fashion designer Nawal El Hariti, in the souk and in her studio. I ended up with much more than a custom-made silk jacket. I gained a vivid understanding of what it’s like to be a young female entrepreneur in an ancient male-dominated culture.

In this series of articles on “WOW Experiences,” we spotlight the special experiences you can look forward to when you book a trip via a WOW List expert. Below, learn what can be arranged for travelers to Marrakech.

The What:

Create your own kaftan, robe, tunic, cape, coat, or whatever Moroccan garment appeals. First, meet Nawal at her boutique to brainstorm ideas and take measurements. Then go with her to the souk to shop for the fabrics and other materials to make the garment. Then it’s back to her studio for a custom fitting and a home-cooked lunch of Moroccan mezzes, tagines, and sweets. A couple of days later, your new outfit is delivered to your hotel in time for your flight home.

The Where and When:

Aya’s, on the edge of the medina, and the souk a couple of blocks away, on any day when Nawal is available. (Fridays and other holidays are less than ideal.)”