Tunisian Fashion Week Teaches French Girls to Bling




During last week’s Tunis Fashion Week, the canonical French house Cacharel was guest of honor, though they only repeated last year’s Paris presentation of their Spring-Summer collection. For the occasion, they added a slight North African twist: curvier models, and a selection of longer cuts–more to-life than androgyny à la française.

Why Tunis? Laura Guillermin, director of communication, says that North Africa is a way “of testing the waters, and trying Cacharel on a very different girl.” It’s certainly a different market for accessories, Guillermin explained: “As for bling, we created brooches out of scoubidou [multi-colored plastic threads for children], but which almost give the same effect as diamante.”

The Cacharel girl was literally different here because about half the models they used are Tunisian. When working in fashion, one’s eye is trained to look at European models, Guillermin says, “But the girls here are comparable to Elle Macpherson.” Both types work for Cacherel, she insists, “But the difference is, when you see a curvy girl on a catwalk, the fantasy is the girl; when it is a thin girl, the fantasy is the outfit.” Tunisia isn’t Brazil, India, or China, but that doesn’t mean that the traditional French brand isn’t considering it as an emerging market, “The idea of Paris and ‘Frenchness’ is exotic to girls here. But will they give up the tight cuts? Only time will tell.”