Rad Hourani – The androgynous attitude
B: BackandBack / R: Rad Hourani
B: Your designs often exude an androgynous feel. How does this concept come about?
R: Perhaps it is a reflection of myself. I believe one’s attitude should always be open and fashion should be without gender constraints, such that menswear can be worn by women, and womenswear can be worn by men. Perhaps it is due to this free flow attitude that androgyny appears in my designs.
B: How did you progress from being a fashion stylist to a fashion designer?
R: Purely by chance! I actually began working at a model agency, where some of my model friends asked me to style them, and that was how my career started to take its course. It wasn’t until I was a stylist in Paris in 2005 that I started to become ardently interested in fashion design; hence, I gradually made the switch.
B: Never having attended fashion school, do you encounter any difficulty in designing? Do you deem it as an advantage or disadvantage?
R: Not attending fashion school allows for more creative freedom in my designs. Fashion school teaches you how to design for certain market demands, and in a way, that limits creativity. Having said that, knowledge learnt at schooling is undoubtedly essential. I had to take an abundance of time to understand the process of fashion and manufacturing techniques.
B: Style.com named you as the top 10 designers of 2008 and compared you to the notable ANN DEMULEMEESTER and HELMUT LANG. Did you feel any pressure from the title?
R: It is a great honor to be compared to such phenomenal designers. Nevertheless, it is almost a ritual for every new designer to be measured and compared. Rather than pressurizing, I thought of it as more of an honorable thing. What is most important to me is to establish my own unique style thereafter.
B: Your designs are mainly black, white and grey, but every season is sprinkled with a slight dash of color, as seen in the blue of the Spring/Summer collection and green of the Autumn/Winter collection. Is there a reason behind this concept?
R: Actually there wasn’t any specific reason. My designs are always influenced by my surroundings. My Autumn/Winter inspirations were derived from the forests and the nature, hence green seeped into my work. I am very fond of baby pink as of late, perhaps it will appear in my upcoming season.
B: Do you have a muse for your design inspirations?
R: I use myself as the muse. Most of my designs is a reflection of my personal style.
B: There was a video that showcased 22 different ways to wear one of your jackets. What do you love about designing such malleable designs?
R: I had a lot of opportunities in the past as a stylist to explore and play around with clothes. I love how you can easily change the feel of an overall look by altering its moving components. A masculine item can become feminine and vice versa. This collaborative effect is fascinating to me, so I spend a lot of time in devising changeable fashion.
B: In addition to RAD HOURANI, you also design for RAD BY RAD HOURANI. What separates the two collections?
R: RAD HOURANI exhibits a fashionable concept, featuring avant-garde designs which will soon be showcased in the mode of Haute Couture in Paris. On the other hand, RAD BY RAD HOURANI is the adapted, easy-to-wear collection suitable for the general public.
R: I am in love with white shirts lately. Shorts are best for summer, as are leggings; similar to my collection I guess. My wardrobe is very simplistic, mainly in black and white, so I don’t spend too much time grooming.
B: What are your dreams and plans for the near future?
R: I will be opening an art gallery in Paris and publishing a book named “5 Years of Unisex”. My dream is to continue to do what I love. My life is my dream; my work is my life.