"I STARTED IMAGINING CLOTHES THE SAME WAY I STARTED CREATING IMAGES:
WITH A SENSE OF CURIOSITY AND INNOCENCE DRIVEN BY MY NO-BACKGROUND
BACKGROUND. NO SCHOOL. NO TEACHERS. NO TELLY. NO BOUNDARIES. NO FORMATTING.
I LIKE THE IDEA OF A WORLD THAT WE COULD LIVE AND SHAPE BY OURSELVES, ONLY BY OBSERVING.
EACH OUR OWN. MY CLOTHES HAVE ERUPTED FROM THIS WORLD OF MINE. THEY ARE ASEXUAL, ASEASONAL,
THEY COME FROM NO PLACE, NO TIME, NO TRADITION, YET THEY COULD BE HOME ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.
THEY EXUDE A SENSE OF DISCREET CHIC, THE ESSENCE OF TIMELESS STYLE, DRAWN ON A MONOCHROMATIC
AND GRAPHICAL CANVAS. PALETTE OF BLACKS, TOUCHES OF PURE WHITES AND INTENSE REDS. SOPHISTICATED
MODERN CLASSICS FOR ANTI-CONFORMIST INDIVIDUALS."
This is what we love most about Rad Hourani, a new designer slated to present his very first collection at at the Spring/Summer Paris Pret-a-Porter in October. We haven't actually seen the clothes yet but stand totally captivated. Which is a little bit genius strategically speaking, no? Suspense...anticipation..intrigue...all these very narrative things are already building around Rad's name. We love the elegant plumes of mystery Rad gives off, both serving to obscure and enhance him simultaneously. We met up with Monsieur Hourani one night, right in the midst of New York Fashion Week at a little French brassaire near Union Square. He walked in like a star, boasted impeccable manners and said shockingly astute things about his design ideal, his future plans and his general philosophy of life. We take it back when we say we haven't seen the clothes. Soul of discretion and subtlety that Rad is, though he didn't say so, the gorgeously cut black top that he was wearing was probably one of his designs. His shoes were equally elegant and TI is one of those who does judge a man by his shoe. That night, ambition and charisma glistened all over Rad Hourani like morning dew on freshly bloomed flowers. We won' t presume to speak for this very poised young gentleman anymore but cut straight away to the Q+A . Needless to say his Paris presentation is a must-go!
TI: I haven't yet seen your clothes, but can sense a deliberate taste point and direction via the graphic design of your promo and business card and video imaging. How does your instinct for graphic design impact the kind of clothes you make.
RH: I'm not sure whether its my graphic design influencing my clothing, or the contrary... It is a whole, a vision and aesthetic I am trying to apply in all areas of my work, from clothing design to graphic to video filming and editing. I like the strength of a sharp black line, and that's what you find back in everything I do.
TI: Could you do a quick sketch of your background, upbringing and career path, please.
RH: I started in my late teenage years as a model scout, then became a stylist pretty quickly. I felt styling was the perfect way to train myself as an imagist... And with the years, I became involved in the final result, including creative direction. Today I design, I direct videos, I create images, I take care of every step of the process...
TI:I've been telling all the Japanese editors about you because we have this premonition that Japan is about to be a massive market for you. Is that culture an influence for you?
RH: Not especially, although my blousy jackets and tops have something a bit kimono-ish on girls... But I do believe that Japan will be a huge market because it is very savvy for new labels and up and coming designers. There is a curiosity over there that is unique and extremely welcoming when you launch a label like I do.
TI:Which designer & photographer, current or historical, have been an influence on you
RH: Well I feel pretty free of influence from a fashion point of view, as I try to design from a very 'virgin' angle. But I like Pierre Cardin and Robert Mapplethorpe, so I figure they must have had an influence on my geometrical creations...
TI: You already have fantastic relationships with many of the top models like Irina and Meghan and Johanna. Will you be one of the designers who will use your catwalk to break new model stars, or do you prefer to work with established faces?
RH: I have a close relationship to some of them, whom I will always work with, and I will always have a sudden crush for new faces whom I feel correspond to my vision of beauty, inside and outside... It's all about how I feel with people.
TI:How did you come to the attention of your PR company as well as of those very selective stores circling you?
RH:Somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who knows etc... A healthy mix of hard work and good timing... Working with my good friends Kelly Streit, who is celebrating his agency's 20th anniversary this fall, and Hung Vanngo, who is a NYC based makeup artist, got me some good exposure. s I will present a video work I have directed this upcoming October in Paris, to the occasion of Mode's anniversary. The whole idea was to have a video piece in 15 acts, sort of, and in each shortfilm, you could see a different model from Mode 20.
TI:Amazing! Is an alliance with a big conglomerate (PPR, LVMH etc) a part of your vision for your company? Do you think its possible to survive in today's market as a designer without such an alliance?
RH:Some designers are tremendously successfull and still existing in a very protected coccoonish organization - think Hussein Chalayan, Dries Van Noten. Big conglomerates are not the absolute solution for every designer who wants to grow. It really depends on the vision you have on your growth and the people you feel you can/want to work with. As for me, I prefer to keep on the good work and see what happens, although I believe that being part of a fashion group will be an important step in our expansion as a brand.
TI:Do you ever see your name becoming a mass market commodity that sells T-shirts and jeans, sneakers .. underwear...fragrances?
RH: I think that you need a good balance to achieve real success in this industry, : sense of fashion, and sense of business. I also want people to be able to afford my line, and this is why there is going to be a second line called RAD, based on the same aesthetics, but with a touch of casual, urban wear to it. So yes, sneakers, jeans, t-shirt, underwear & fragrances are on the way!
TI: I can't wait to see the Rad Hourani shopping bag. What do you think it will look like?
RH: Like the rest of the line : graphical, geometrical, slick, black and white. Looks so simple from far, but far from being simple...
TI: Brilliant. Half the battle is always the bag!
RAD HOURANI SHOW FRIDAY OCT 5TH AT 12H30 16, rue des Coutures Saint-Gervais F-75003 PARIS INFO@RADHOURANI.COM