What made you start designing?
This plan of launching my own label had been in the back of my head for a long time but I just didn't feel ready for it 5 years ago. When I was a child, my mother would take me every week to her dressmaker so we could choose the fabrics and designs for her next outfit so I started giving my opinions on it pretty early on. Styling is also a great way to analyze how things are constructed and marketed, especially for someone who never went to design or fashion school like me. It was probably longer than a scholarship, but I feel that I learned way more, and I now have the bonus of knowing a lot of great people who support me today.
What is your biggest inspiration in Life that you feel contributes the most to your design and style?
Myself. The way I evolve, I think, I observe. What you see is what you are.
It would seem to the outside world that your creativity pervades all areas of your life, from your speech to your design to any area you occupy..if you were to fit yourself into any one description, what would it be?
Beauty is everywhere, yet perfection is nowhere. I'm a perfectionist and I think that fashion makes me feel that perfection can maybe one day exist. So Fashion is Full of Illusions...
You've chosen to show your collection in New York, which has added a much needed edge to the spectrum of shows here and leaving the paris fashion addicts wondering why your not gracing them with your show? What made you choose to show in New York?
Circumstances have brought me to move around from an early point in my life, and I've felt compelled to continue on doing so. It's this experience that has made me consider things in a wider perspective, with no restrictions really. I want to convey this notion into my line, and design clothes that can be worn anywhere, anytime. I moved to Paris 4 years ago and that's where it all started, the inspiration, the vision, the sketching, the direction and the real debut which was actually in October 2007 in Paris. I felt very comfortable about it and I was very surprised with all of the hype. I'm very lucky to be surrounded by people like Hung Vanngo, Kelly Streit and Wayne Sterling who supported me to show in New York from the very beginning.
This Past season you worked with Patti Wilson on the Show, it came out beautifully..what made you choose to work with her as the stylist for this collection?
Patti Wilson is a wonderful talented human being. It's very important for me to have no reference in my collection of any vintage feeling and Patti has seen fashion from A to Z and knows everything about it and I feel that it's perfect to work with her to create something modern and to make sure that it has no past or reference. I'm very thankful to have Patti and her team around me.
Since your first show you've always managed to mix in big names with brand new faces giving off somewhat of a Jil, Calvin, Prada structure to the casting..is that the result of you being inspired by both the new raw girl as well as the model who may have developed her own brand further or is it more of a delicate balance that you find important in the show..?
I really enjoy working with my casting director Wayne Sterling, because we are always looking for a new, fresh, modern line up that fits perfectly with the collection. We're not interested in an only big model names line up, it's "passe" I think. It's great to work with new fresh awake models that are full of energy and love what they do, we're tired of tired models, they should work in another industry. I think you can see everything on a catwalk and we want to work with fresh, modern, energetic models which my clients want to look alike. I think a perfect example of this is my exclusive this season, Janete who opened the show.
I think a lot of people have been trying to figure out just what your background is? You speak a beautiful French, you spend quite a bit of time in Paris and you are from Montreal..what else are we missing on the background of Rad Hourani?
My dad is Jordanian & my mom is Syrian, I was born in Jordan and my dad and I moved back to Montreal /Canada (where he lived and studied) when I was 16. I moved to Paris when I was 22.
I understand the Success of the line has been quite fast for you and trying to keep up with the production demands has been your biggest challenge with all of this..what do you think it is that makes your line so sellable in a time where even luxury brands have noticed a shift in sales?
I believe that using what I would like to wear as a starting point to the design process is the most truthful and straightforward approach. It allows me to stay focused on my aesthetic statement and also assess my commitment to wearability, functionality, and comfort. I don't need to be the one who makes the boldest statement every season, I'd much rather commit to my personal aesthetics and that of the people who like to wear my clothes. I feel it would be an error to saturate the market too quickly, and rush to complete orders anywhere I can. I wanted to secure a solid manufacturing structure to ensure quality, and to be sold only in the right places. I want my clothes to be rare and perfect, I guess..
Moving into a new time for everyone, what is your biggest inspiration thus far for the next collection? Can we have a hint?
I think in life, we're here to perfect ourselves and learn as much as possible. My inspiration is something that I can't put my fingers on or describe. It's in the air and everywhere. For my 5th collection I want to put all my main classics that I started from the beginning in a way that I see my reflection in. My black and white, red, dark blue, gray, sliver...my main colors. I chose style over fashion and given the nature of the fashion calendar, I have to present my collections on a bi-annual basis, but I design them with the idea that they could be worn by anyone, at any time. Therefore I do not start every new season with a specific theme or concept, but rather try to establish a continuity from one to the next.