Soft spoken, modest and one of the most powerful cultural influencers of our time, Maripol is an icon without knowing or seeming to care. Of the visually explosive texture, color and craftsmanship of her native Morocco, she says “How could I not be affected?” – as if inhaling and creating culture like she has done all her life is a given. On hitting the streets of New York in ’76 at nineteen and becoming a trailblazer of the ’70s and ’80s underground, Maripol says humbly, “I think when you are new to a country, you are a pioneer and everything becomes a highlight.”
So unaffected and relaxed in herself, Maripol shops at Beacons Closet, gets her cashmere at Uniqlo and is responsible for much of the styling of Madonna, including Like a Virgin, Debbie Harry, Grace Jones, Cher and Elton John. She was also the Creative Director of Fiorucci, is a notable Polaroid artist photographer, has directed documentaries like “Crack is Whack” with Keith Haring and was a stylist, muse and actress for Jean Paul Goude. Underneath and despite her success, Maripol says she identifies with Little Red Riding Hood – at six, her mom designed a costume which won a Best Costume award – so much so that the vulnerability of the character inspired the title of her second book. Her beauty is understated in a simple tunic and wedge boots and the tougher biker chick from her early days is visible in leopard and vinyl leggings, while the two parts make whole in a vintage Prada-like dress and neon Sylvia Heisel bolero. Then in angora and lamé, today in a classic v-neck, this profound impresario who had the gift to do everything from booking the post beat generation bands to originating the outfits for the opening of Studio 54 with Antonio Lopez deserves to be center stage.