There is no place like home for Moroccan-born Keltoum Benamour. Her family has firm roots there, too: her grandfather was one of the country’s leading textile manufacturers and her mother, Aziza Mekouar, owned boutiques stocking luxury brands such as Versace, Moschino and Max Mara. “Being born and raised in this fashion-addict family, I knew that it would be my thing,” smiles Keltoum.
“My mother is the definition of elegance. I used to be her little Poupée barbie,” Keltoum laughs, recalling afternoons spent at her mother’s boutiques as a girl trying on clothes. “The most treasured pieces I own are all the vintage pieces from the boutique that my mother left for me when I got older, such as Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Maille pieces that I just love to wear throughout the year, a Moschino cream clock-inspired swing dress, and Versace bags and accessories that are just so à la mode these days.”
Describing her own style as “glamorous style c’est moi! It goes with my mood and with the occasion, et j’adore!” she turns to international designers to create her glam-slam aesthetic: “Dolce & Gabbana and Missoni... I love their spring/summer collections. They are always the best. Classy, lively and they make you feel like summer is simply around the corner.” For more pared-back chic, Keltoum channels “a pair of jeans, cool tee and my Isabel Marant sneakers or Gucci slippers,” always finished with her Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch. She lives by a style mantra her mother embedded in her, ‘Toujours être chic, raffinée et élègante’, which means always be chic, refined and elegant, she tells Bazaar.
Having lived in the UAE, Keltoum now resides in Morocco having joined the multi-faceted family business (which covers construction, real estate and education), and cites Dubai as her “favourite shopping destination.” And while her love of cutting-edge fashion sees her catching people’s eye, it is the traditional dress of her home country that she considers as ultimately most feminine and elegant. “As a Moroccan, kaftans are part of our culture and tradition,” she says, explaining the pride she feels wearing them for special occasions. “My Moroccan couture attire is more than a best friend, and it is the first thing I put in my suitcase whenever I fly.” She would also, one day, love to “introduce the real, distinguished couture Moroccan kaftan to the Middle East.”
Keltoum Benamour wears Pinko dress, BCBG Max Azria jacket, Saint Laurent shoes and Marzook bag, all her own photography: Richard Hall.
Styling: Gemma Deeks. Words: Elaine Lloyd-Jones. Hair And Make-Up: Blowout&Go. With thanks to Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel