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Diaspo #91 : Loubna Ayouch, combining two passions in South Africa

In South Africa, Loubna Ayouch owns a fashion line that showcases her love for art and clothes. The painter roamed Europe and settled down in Johannesburg, where she combined two of her passions.

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Moroccan painter and fashion designer Loubna Ayouch. / Ph. Loubna Ayouch

After having lived overseas for years, Loubna Ayouch succeeded in marrying her two passions, painting and fashion. Born and raised in Casablanca, the Moroccan painter and fashion designer, who currently lives in South Africa, had a beautiful love story with art.

Since her teenage years, Loubna took great interest in fashion. Before discovering her painting abilities, the 14-year-old Casablanca-native enjoyed making her own clothes. «I was passionate about designing and creating my clothes», Loubna told Yabiladi. «I used to imagine a particular style or design and put it into practice», she proudly recalled.

In Casablanca, Loubna used to draw her own clothing designs, buy the needed fabrics and enjoy her very creative hobby. But once she graduated high-school, she decided to go for a major that was not about fashion.

Painting as a hobby

«I went for English literature in college, then I moved to France to study for an advanced postgraduate degree», Loubna said. She later started a PhD in Russia, where she lived with her husband. But in Russia, things took a different turn for Loubna, who decided to drop out from her PhD and pursue her passion.

«There is something about Russia that made me consider art», she recalled. Indeed, the artistic scene, the exhibitions and the beautiful galleries in Russia pushed Loubna to step up and do what she loves the most. «I broke free from my former thoughts and I started painting», she said.

After living for four years in Russia, Loubna moved to South Africa in 1997, where her love for painting grew further. «It was love at first sight», she recalled, referring to South Africa. «The country inspired me to paint even more, but it was something I did for myself without showcasing it», she told Yabiladi.

While in South Africa, Loubna Ayouch had the chance to practice her other hobby, which was making clothes. She also attended several painting classes.

Introducing art to women's wardrobes

After spending six years in the African country, Loubna moved to London, where she revealed for the first time her talent to the public. In the City, the Moroccan artist joined a group of painters, with whom she exhibited her art for the first time.

«We had an exhibition and I painted a bushman (…) the owner of the gallery where we showcased our art liked my painting and the next day, I realized that someone bought it».

Loubna Ayouch

Once again, Loubna Ayouch had to leave for a different adventure. This time, she moved to Switzerland, where she exhibited her paintings in several galleries. Six years later, the painter had to return to South Africa. During this period, Loubna realized that she had to combine her two passions, by introducing art to women’s closets.

The idea of starting a fashion line that included painting came to her through a question : «Why do we have to have art only in-doors ?», she wondered. «Art shouldn’t be just in houses and museums that is why I felt like I had to have it on clothes», she explained.

In Johannesburg, Loubna worked hard on executing her idea, by looking into different ways and techniques to paint on fabrics. «I found out that painting over the fabric looked amazing but preserving it was tricky», she told Yabiladi.

The artist and fashion designer then decided to paint with oils on canvas and then get her paintings printed on clothes she designed herself. «It has been five years since I started my business (…) I have my own company and I have my own creations», she proudly announced.

Loayo Art is the name of her company and fashion line, which is all about Africa, «Mother Earth» as she likes to call it. Loubna Ayouch recently exhibited her latest collection, through which she put forward her love for the continent, South Africa and bold colors. «Africa is in every outfit I design, full of colors, energy and vibrancy», she concluded.

Article modified on : 2019.05.11 22h57

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