Designer RAMI KADI sits with out Editor KATARINA DJORIC to talk about his beginnings as a fashion designer, love for the art of Haute Couture and the Red Carpet Season.
Read the interview after the jump:
Have you always wanted to be a fashion designer? – Yes and for as far back as can remember. In fact, my earliest memory is of a family vacation in Cyprus when I came across a pair of loud purple pumps with a flashy bow. I absolutely insisted that my Mum – normally a classic – should buy them. She did not let me down – I guess she had no choice! I was three!
Where and when did you start designing? – I’ve always had a love for colour and I’ve always drawn fashion. But it was when I was 25, in May 2011, that I launched my label with a tiny atelier and showroom in the heart of Beirut.
Why did you choose to do Haute Couture? – I’ve always been drawn to high-finish and to excess. During my fashion studies, I delved into some Ready-to-Wear, sportswear and mass production, but whatever the project was the finish was always highly refined and I always found myself to be exceeding the allocated budget. So it was only natural for me to pursue Haute Couture.
How do you see the place of Haute Couture in the world where fast fashion dominates? – Haute Couture will never cease. Just like Art won’t. There will always be a demand for the unique, for a masterpiece, no matter the economical climate. Couture’s geography may shift from time to time and the demand may fluctuate, but – so long as the commercial world as we know it keeps spinning, there pyramid will always have a peak.
Your atelier is based in Beirut, how much does the city itself play part in your collections? – Much inspiration comes to me through travel and exploring new cities, but there’s no doubt that my heart belongs to Beirut. There’s a certain dynamism here that exists nowhere else; a tension that keeps the city pulsating. Beirut is an emancipated city and I’d like to think that reflects on my aesthetic and pursuit of the bold, the clashing and the daring.
Could you describe your design process to our readers? – My process is toile-led. My atelier spin out one after the other – constantly. I play around with these and determine an evolution for what gels with what I’m feeling for the collection or a client. Fabrics and embellishment will follow…
How has your work evolved since you began your own label? – Experience is priceless on all levels: commercial, technical, awareness, etc. My aesthetic and product have become more sophisticated, though I’d like to think that I’ve retained the passion and fun-factor with which the brand was conceived.
What are you working on now? – I am working on a Cannes capsule collection. It’s going to be a celebration of glamour and an explosion of colour.
Your designs are a regular on the red carpet, who are the stars you would love to dress for the next Red Carpet Season? – I love seeing how my creations take on new characters through celebrity placement. In fact, the most thrilling outing are those on ladies who absolutely ‘own’ the look like it could have been worn by no one else. It is a part of the thrill to see what ends up on whom. As for stars, I like emerging new generation as much as the iconic, so bring it on!
What advice would you give to young designers wanting to start their own label? – If you really love, then stick to it through its highs and lows. And always remain humble and grateful along
Where do you see your label 10 years from today? – While my dreams for the RK Brand are big, I am currently working on reaching new markets, mainly in the Middle East and Europe, where I am putting increased efforts on spreading the renown of my creations. At a later stage, I hope to be able to develop derivative products and departments, Ready-to-Wear would be a priority.
Keep up with Rami Kadi on Instagram @ramikadi