Although it has been a decade since Rad Hourani last visited the streets of Toronto (choosing instead to march the grounds of Paris and New York), he decided the right time to return would be to celebrate his five year anniversary collection. He is, after all, “an adopted Canadian” by way of Montreal via Jordan.
Since the launch of his line, his main connection to Canada has been only through the factory where his Paris-designed clothing line is made, for the sole reason of it “being a well-oiled operation,” that he would do anything but change. With such a deep-rooted loyalty to us canucks, it really is a wonder that it has taken him so long to finally grace us with one of his shows (and presence). We caught up with Hourani to inquire about his much-anticipated visit, but, via email since he hopped a plane straight back to Paris right after his final bow.
Tell me about your 5th collection, what’s the inspiration behind it.
The inspiration always starts by what I feel like wearing. I have spent a lot of time recently in the forest and in nature, so the collection reflect that thought. I feel like wearing green, so I have designed some continuous silhouettes of my Unisex style in black and green, using some new materials and techniques.
Short films opened a number of shows this season. What led to your decision to incorporate film into your creative vision?
It is not something new for me, since the very first season I have used that medium to project what I had to say and feel. I have used film in my exhibition, as well, and I have used film also to present some of the Rad Hourani shows instead of producing a formal show, and I just felt that the projection of the 5 Yrs of Unisex made sense to be projected before the show.
Do you think the integration of short films/docs has to do with the audience’s hunger for a more personal relationship? Is it a way to fill a gap that’s missing from the runway experience, or modernise it?
I think it it just part of an evolution process where it is more accessible to do so. However, to me it is part of my self expression as I don’t define myself to be either a designer, a photographer, nor an artist, nor a filmmaker ,nor an art director. I consider myself all of that at the same time, so using all the mediums accessible is natural for me.
Not being dictated by trends or seasons, do you hope someone to have a Rad Hourani piece forever, not just dispose of it once deemed “last season?”
I think we are conditioned to think that what I do by not having seasons, time, gender is not traditional for a start. So I would say that its not traditional in that sense if you want to use theses words… I avoid all stereotypes in my life. I don’t use theses words, traditional,trends etc. What’s drives me is to create a signature piece of work and a garment that can be worn by anyone at anytime.
Do you think more designers will begin to show more “seasonless” collections with the changes in the global climate? Now we’re seeing snow in summer and summer in winter…
I’m sure that it could be an influence, as it gets worse the consumers will need to adapt themselves. I was the first one to do that, and the first to design a high end unisex line, I did it because it made sense to me and hopefully the whole world understand one day the exact massage.
Considering you haven’t been to Toronto in a decade, why did you say yes to showing at Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week this season?
I said yes because this season it is the 5th anniversary of the brand, and as we are travelling and producing events around the world to celebrate it. I thought to celebrate in Canada should be a part of it as I am an adopted Canadian.
As you are based in Paris, why do you have your clothing made in Canada?
As a pure business point of view it is because our factory is located in Canada, and that it is a very well-oiled operation, and as the saying goes: ” why change something that works well?”
With all the traveling you have done recently for your 5th anniversary, have you decided upon a favourite city in the world?
I don’t have a particular city that I prefer, but I enjoy the way that I am stimulated by different environments, by different cities. New York makes me feel very productive as of Paris inspires me and make me think out of the box. Each city I go to can be my favourite, as I’m not a nationalist.