In the new episode of Nayda in Hollywood, prepared and presented in “360”, the journalist Simo Benbachir welcomed the Moroccan designer Hicham Ben Mbarek, originally from Fez and who immigrated with his mother to Italy when he was only five years old and his mother had no money.
In his interview with Simo, Ben Mbarek spoke of the suffering his mother endured to bring him up and to ensure a good future for him. “My mother was a woman of dreams. She always dreamed of a bright future for me. To achieve this, she deprived herself of everything. Thank God, I was able to fulfill her dream by becoming what I am today.”
Regarding the secret behind the name of his brand “Benheart”, Hicham Ben Mbarek said that the first part “Ben” comes from his name, while the second “Heart”, corresponds to the term “heart” in English. He made this choice so that he would never forget the heart attack he had before coming back to life again. “I was a football player, I liked sports and I didn’t smoke or drink. But I had a heart attack and was hospitalized for seven months for a heart transplant.”
Founded in 2011 in Florence, the Benheart brand is considered one of the most famous stores in the city, so much so that the Italian government, when it wanted to give a gift to former US President Barack Obama on the occasion of his visit to the country, chose a gift from the Benheart store. “I had a strange feeling when I met Barack Obama, a man who managed to become president of the most powerful country in the world and changed the world. He gave us hope that dreams could come true. He was pleased with me, and he wore a jacket of my creation and we took a picture together. I told him I respected him as a human person much more than I respected him as president. He liked that very much.”
Obama is not the only celebrity who has worn Behnheart designs. There are many others, such as the former Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Al Thani, who welcomed Ben Mbarek to Doha and then to his palace in Marrakech, Cristiano Ronaldo and his colleague Samuel Eto’o, and world boxer Mike Tyson, as Ben Mbarek pointed out in his conversation with Simo, adding: “Ordinary people make me happy too, not just celebrities. The most important thing is to hear the word bravo.”
The American actress Catherine Kelly Lang, star of the international series “The Bold and Beautiful” is also a fan of the brand. In partnership with Hicham Ben Mbarek, she has opened a store dedicated to the brand in Beverly Hills. Ben Mbarek spoke of this experience saying: “Catherine visited me at my home in Florence, and I remember that as soon as she walked in she said ‘Wow!’. The cry of admiration has come true. She offered to open a branch in Beverly Hills, so I told her, why not.”
Catherine, who was present in the interview with Simo, also confirmed that she was very impressed by the store the first time she saw it, especially since everything was done with great perfection; the shoes, belts, bags and jackets “everything is made with high quality leather and with great craftsmanship,” she said.
On his advice to young people who want to succeed, Ben Mbarek said: “They should know how to dream and what to dream about. They also need to put a lot of effort into making their dreams come true,” adding that “the intention is in the heart, the dream is in the head. May God make it happen.”