Having been a colony of France for so long, many of the fashions popular in the country come from France. There is also a strong force for the wearing of traditional clothing. For more facts and information read our guide…
In the large cities like Algiers, most of the men and many of the women choose to wear clothing of the western style. Outside these cities, you will find mostly the traditional Arab type garb that has been worn for centuries by the Berber people of Algeria.
The traditional clothing for men includes a gandoura which is a white woolen cloak worn over a long shirt. They may also wear a cape known as a burnus. This is made of linen for summer wear or wool for winter wear. It made be plain or ornately embroidered if the person is wealthy. This is topped off by a hat known as a fez.
Women’s clothes are similar, but even more covering is featured than the men’s clothing. A haik drapes from head to toe. This is worn over loose pants gathered at the ankle.
Tuareg men can be recognized by a length of indigo cloth that is wrapped around the head in a turban and extends over their robes, covering all features completely except their eyes.
Perhaps the best known Algerian designer was Yves St. Laurent who was born in Oran, Algeria. He was of French- Algerian descent. He went to Paris after secondary school and later went to work for Christian Dior. He ended up being fired by Dior, but won a breach of contract suit against them.
St. Laurent and his partner started their fashion house in Paris during the early1960’s. St. Laurent was the first designer to use ethnic models for his runways. His first customer was French actress Catherine Deneuve. In 1983, he became the first living designer to have an exhibit at the Museum of Art. In 2006 he was made an officer of the French Legion de Honeur.
Other French designers have tried to make a big impression with their designs in Algeria but have not had great success. This is probably due to the Algerian War of Independence fought in the 1960’s against the French.
Algerian Fashion Models
Being a Muslim society, there are very few Algerian fashion models. One of note is Hadjar Nezzar, an eighteen year old beauty who won the title Miss Algeria Globe in 2011. She stated in a recent interview that she never expected to become a fashion model only seeing the possibility in her late teens. She also said that if you were determined to become something, set your mind to it and not to let anything stand in your way.