Amar Charles Marouf
My very first time working with a sewing machine was in 2012 when I attended a technology college in Birmingham, UK. Our Design Technology course involved a semester of textile design studies, and this kickstarted my obsession with fashion design. Over the next few years I gained hands on experience in fashion, working in retail, tailoring, and design.
My heritage is a mix of Polish-British & Amazigh-Algerian. Though I was born in Ottawa, I was not raised here. I spent the majority of my life abroad, living in Algeria, France, the US, the UK, Egypt and Italy, and I have been exposed to many diverse cultures and lifestyles because of upbringing. What I took away from these places was completely priceless, a lesson on how to be unapologetically me. The human experience can manifest so differently depending on where you live and who you are, and fashion has always been one of the few ways that we as humans have of expressing our identity.
Language too is a crucial part of our identity, and when I started studying languages in a bid to further my connection with humanity, I learned that my name, "amar" meant "to love", in Spanish and Portuguese. This had a big impact on my personal identity, because it invited me to really think about self love.
No matter where I have lived, it has always been challenging for me to buy off the rack and feel good in the clothes I wear. Expressing my identity seemed impossible when the clothing that was accessible did not feel like it was made with me in mind. In the evermore globalized world, fast fashion had such a tight grip, and became the norm. But fast fashion harms local businesses, damages the environment, and worst of all, it's entirely dehumanizing.
Charles Amar isn't your typical fashion brand. When I decided to launch, I knew that I had no interest in mass producing garments, filling landfills or filling the atmosphere with more greenhouse gases. Instead, I emphasize the importance of being able to embrace your identity, and be unapologetically you. Your clothing should be unique to who you are since you are one of a kind.
It's time to make fashion human again.