A Muraqa'a is a patched garment worn by dervishes throughout the Near East and both Western and Northern Africa. Part practical, part symbolic, the Muraqa'a is above all a garment of humility. The patches are, at first, the outcome of the type of simplicity that would rather repair an old garment than purchase a new one, eschewing the ostentation and egoic desperation of constant consumption. From these origins, the Muraqa'a became a symbolic garment, representing the goal of the seeker's journey to true humility. It is, in a sense, an outward support for an inward journey.
Fitra founder, Benyamin, at the age of 17, began his studies at the feet of these dervishes from both Senegal and Morocco. Now, more than 20 years later, we wanted to attempt to translate some tiny hint of the benefit of that experience into a garment that could be relevant to our American context.
Rooted in the revival of American workwear, with all its emphasis on quality, simplicity, and durability, and at the same time excited about the space that streetwear provides to integrate a more diverse range of silhouettes and patterns (both ancient and modern), the vision quickly became clear.
We first reached out to Andrew over at Knickerbocker, because for us, there are few pieces more evocative of American heritage clothing than the Chore Coat; and nobody makes a Chore Coat as well as they do. We chose an olive colorway (in a 9 oz., 100% cotton, brushed bull denim) with a wood-toned corozo button, reminiscent, simultaneously, of both traditional workwear and military-inspired vintage styles.
Then we hit up our friend, Hamid Holloman, who for us is the absolute best in the game at making unique and custom pieces. Hamid is a one-man show, handcrafting his patchwork garments from vintage fabrics, creating pieces that are evocative, for us, of the ancient Japanese tradition of boro (where garments were preserved through generations by patching holes and tears by hand). He made each of these jackets absolutely one-of-a-kind by applying different fabrics and unique patterns to each piece.
We've also left a large portion of the garment unpatched, creating space for personal customization down the road, reflecting your own journey through your personal wear patterns, or through the types of fabrics collected from your travels around the world.
We're humbled and honored to present the MURAQA'A: a Knickerbocker x Hamid Holloman Patchwork Chore Coat, exclusive to Fitra.
Presented with love and prayer. We hope you dig it.