Our interview with Mina Binebine who is a Moroccan-French designer living in Los Angeles. She was born in New York but raised in North Africa in the beautiful city of Marrakech, Morocco – the city of colors, and warmth, music, and art.
Fashion caught her attention at a young age. Leading up to her prom night, she designed and created her very own custom dress. Nothing could compare to the feeling she obtained when people complimented what she created by hand, heart and mind. It confirmed what she already knew: she wanted to become a fashion designer.
After high school in Marrakech, Mina moved to California and started studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, San Diego (FIDM). Overcoming language barriers and the difficulties of being away from home, she completed her Associates degree in Fashion Design. Continuing the journey, Mina moved to DTLA, where she completed her Bachelors of Design degree at FIDM, Los Angeles. After obtaining valuable experience working as a Creative Director and Designer in a haut de couture lingerie company, Mina established her own designer brand influenced by her Moroccan roots. She is planning to start her MBA in 2019.
Who is Mina Binebine?
She is a daughter, a sister, a friend and girlfriend who is enjoying and exploring her professional life by being able to express herself through her pieces as a French-Moroccan fashion designer.
What inspires your designs?
I lived in Marrakech, the red city, where one can only be inspired by its bright colors and exceptional artistic scene. I grew up in the middle of traditional Moroccan art, where I learned to dance, to play music, and especially to appreciate what makes us so unique. Having bathed in this environment in Morocco, in Africa, I wanted to share with the world my love for my culture, my country, and my city. My roots make my personality, and my brand.
When did you know you had a passion for fashion?
I always knew. Since 5 years old it’s all I talked about, it’s all I ever wanted to do. Although, the moment I realized that fashion was going to be more than just a job or a career for me, It was for my prom night when I made my dress. The feeling it brought me to be able to showcase my work, my art, and that everybody was appreciative and supportive. There is no comparison. That night I was actually elected and won the fashion prom queen! Haha!
Where do you see your brand 5 years from now?
Creating a brand is a long process and I don’t want to skip any crucial step. I am lucky to be surrounded with an amazing group of people that help me balance immediate strategies and opportunities with long-term goals. I don’t want to jinx anything, but in 5 years I will be running a successful business, with my own factory and a couple boutiques.
What is your favorite color and why?
I have always had such a fascination for the color yellow. When I was a kid I wouldn’t eat, drink or dress if it wasn’t in a yellow plate, glass or outfit! This color brings me happiness, positivity, and optimism.
What is the ultimate goal for the brand?
The goal is to be recognized as a haute couture label worldwide. Have boutiques and my own factory. I want to own a successful family business.
What is your advise for emerging fashion designers?
The only advice I can give at this stage is to just start. There seems to be this intense pressure when starting a new project to do many different things, do them fast, and execute them to perfection. Consequently, we end up refining them over and over again and just never dare to present them to the world, or never even start. Mistakes and failures are unavoidable, however, they are also the best opportunities for us to learn and improve. So just choose one thing and do it from start to finish. It doesn’t have to be perfect and there will always be time to improve and expand later.
What is your favorite season and why?
I love every season with moderate temperature, I like cold weather but not too cold, as I like the warm weather but not too hot. I am a little complicated!
Three things we can find in your bag?
A pink/peach blush for my cheeks to look fresh even without makeup, a hair clip when my hair is bothering me, and my sun/vision glasses, my eyes are sensitive.
Which fashion designer inspires you and why?
It’s hard to decide on only one designer that inspires me, there are so many. But I must say Yves Saint Laurent is definitely on the list. He loves Morocco and was inspired by it’s colors and culture. He had a house there, which is now a museum in Marrakech.
If you were to meet Ana Wintour, what would you say to her?
I admire Ana Wintour and all her successful achievements. If I had the honor of meeting her, I would be showing her one of my pieces and I would ask her to take a chance on me.
Who would be a famous person you would dream to dress and why?
Rihana hands down.
What is the Mina Binebine fall and winter trends?
Colorful! Not being scared of mix, matching, and overlapping colors, patterns, and textures.
Where can we find your garments?
Who represents you?
Myself and my partner Victor. PR would be Now PR LA.