Mohamed Elmarrouf had an in when he set out to sell Moroccan design in America. The son of a Marrakech rug merchant, he brought his contacts to New York’s Chelsea Market where he originally set up shop amid specialty bakeries and blue-chip produce vendors. Now teamed with stylist Stephanie Rudloe, he operates Imports From Marrakesh as a virtual souk.
In addition to selling leather poufs, Beni Ouarain carpets, and Moroccan wedding blankets, Imports from Marrakesh collaborates with architects and designers on custom tiles, embroidery, lattice woodwork, rugs, and filigreed lighting. Design luminaries like Michael Graves, Peter Marino, and Tom Sheerer are on the client list.
You can place orders online or arrange to see pieces firsthand in the duo’s Jersey City warehouse (call ahead for an appointment and directions). Better yet, you can book a guided shopping tour of Marrakech with Elmarrouf, who also happens to own his own hotel, Ryad El Maarouf, in Zaouia, the city’s ancient medina.