Thanks to his razor sharp aesthetic and bondage inspired style, in several short seasons Rad Hourani has garnered quite a cult following in New York and beyond. The designer’s army of darkness stormed the runway to the suspenseful tones of “Black Planet” by The Sisters of Mercy. There were dramatic capes, jackets with attached backpacks and the designer’s signature draped jackets and strap front leather pants. The most important theme of the collection was transformation: Hourani created many pieces that could be folded like origami into completely different looks. Though his price points are still sky high, Hourani’s fashion resourcefulness is just what we need in this economic climate.
Dazed Digital: What was the starting point for this collection?
Rad Hourani: The starting point was all about transformation, and about creating pieces that are unisex. With these pieces you can create both masculine looks and feminine looks, or you can create tough looks or sensual looks. It’s about making it your own way, and making it go with the mood that you are feeling each day– whether it be masculine, feminine or unisex. I was able to take one jacket and create many different shapes with it. For instance, the cape that you see on one guy is also transformed into a different jacket on another girl. It’s also worn as a skirt on another model. So we have around 12 different ways of wearing one item.
DD: I really liked all of the knits that you did, and how they obscured the models’ faces.
Rad Hourani: Yes, the silk cotton knits– these knits are transformable too. You can wear them as a skirt, or as a scarf or cape. With the knit cardigan you can take off the sleeve, turn it into a scarf, or you can wear it just as a vest or even as a skirt. So my collection is all about transformation and creating completely new silhouettes.
DD: How do you feel your collection has developed from the previous season?
Rad Hourani: I don’t really think about it that way. I think more about continuation from the last season. It’s things that I’ve wanted to do in the past but never had time to do. So I think the development will be how the pieces are able to transform, and you can take it very far. We had ten jackets, and with these ten jackets you can wear them 26 different ways.
DD: How did you decide upon the styling of the hair and makeup?
Rad Hourani: I wanted to do something timeless and unisex, in a way that isn’t trendy or the look of the moment. It’s all about slick silhouettes and models that look very modern. I don’t like references to the past. I don’t want someone to say, “Oh its ‘70s or ‘60s or ‘80s.” I wanted the models to look fresh and clean and completely timeless. And it’s all about the clothes. It’s not really about the hair and makeup for me because I want the clothes to stand out. But at the same time, you still have to apply perfect makeup and have flawless foundation, and that’s why I like working with MAC. They have the best products for these kinds of things.
DD: What’s your advice for young designers just starting out in the industry?
Rad Hourani: It’s important to always have a clear vision of what you want to do. It’s not about just creating a collection. Creating a collection takes so much time and if you want to do it right, it takes so much energy and effort. You have to be very passionate about what you’re doing. If you want to be a designer, you must be real to your vision and have faith in what you believe in… and you need to work really, really hard (laughs). It’s not easy. But if you put all of your energy and love into it, you will get somewhere. It’s all about believing in your vision and believing in yourself. And remember to think about what you want to wear, because that’s the most important thing.