Fashion has this power of reviving something that sank into oblivion. And Marioul Fadhila is no exception to this statement. A staple garment of Tunisian folk costume, the striped top was firstly sold at the beginning of the 20th century in the Medina souks by the Cohen company. The garment received the name “Fadhila” in the late 1920s when singer and actress Fadhila Khetmi started wearing it. It suited her to the extent that her name was given to it. After that era nonetheless, the garment became obsolete.
An attempt of reviving it was made in 1957. At that time the Cohen company launched sales on the French Riviera, and the Fadhila top was worn by illustrious celebrities, from Brigitte Bardot to Jane Fonda. A decade later in 1967 the Marioul Fadhila brand was bought up by Tunisian textile group Bacosport. But the top will truly gain game as of 2016 through the action of the “Be Tounsi” collective, which was promoting the revival of the craft industry.
As a result, Bacosport used the Fadhila pattern for a broad range of items, including swimsuits, purses, sundresses and summer shoes. Marioul Fadhila’s success story could be the way to go for other Tunisian heritage products. After all, isn’t fashion all about rediscovering and reinterpreting timeless staples?