Meet Rami Kadi, the young, talented, and famous fashion designer belonging to the school of Haute Couture, who has taken the international fashion field by storm. With edgy feminine designs, luxurious material and a perfectionist’s attention to detail, Rami’s designs have been coveted by stylish fashionistas internationally. Haute Arabian editor, Khansa got some moments with Rami to learn more about him, the inspiration behind his line, his future plans and more.
Khansa (HA) : Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your educational background?
Rami: Born in the US and raised in Lebanon, my passion for designing was obvious very early on. It was only natural that I enrolled in fashion design school, Esmod Beirut in 2005, from which I graduated with honours and distinctions in 2008.
I then gained experience working with world-renowned Lebanese designers Rabih Kayrouz and Georges Chakra.
In 2008, I was selected by the Starch Foundation,(founded by Rabih Kayrouz and Tala Hajjar), which promotes promising fresh fashion graduates, to showcase my first two collections. My creations at Starch gained instant success and recognition, which led me to co-open in 2010 “Madame Muguet”, a luxury multi-brand boutique, where my designs were displayed among other Lebanese designers’ creations.
In May of 2011, I opened my first flagship Boutique and Atelier in Beirut, for Ready to Wear, Couture, Accessories and Bridal collections.
Khansa (HA): It is indeed so inspirational that you have come a long way at such a young age, what are your interests when it comes to professional and non-professional aspects of life?
Rami: My interests, professional and non-professional, usually evolve around the world of fashion and its related domains. I’m a regular guy who is very fond of his work, I give most of my time to my work but also like to socialize and go out in the evenings, dinner time is very important to me. Culture also plays an essential role in my life, where I travel a lot and attend several salons, exhibitions, museums and new cities every year, in order to broaden my culture and hence my creativity.
Khansa (HA): What place does fashion have in your life?
Rami: I have been interested in fashion for as long as I remember. From my very early childhood, I used to alter my mom’s clothes and help her pick her outfits, and by the time I graduated from high school I had already decided that my vocation was to pursue a career in the fashion field
Khansa (HA): When did you realize you wanted to be a fashion designer?
Rami: I have been interested in fashion for as long as I remember. From my very early childhood, I used to alter my mom’s clothes and help her pick her outfits, and by the time I graduated from high school I had already decided that my vocation was to pursue a career in the fashion field. It was only natural that I enrolled in fashion design school, ESMOD Beirut in 2005, from which I graduated with honours and distinctions in 2008.
Khansa (HA): What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
Rami: A skirt I had designed back in 1st year of school, it was purple with multi-colour tweed, and I was very proud of it.
Khansa (HA): How would you define your style?
Rami: The woman I design for is a woman living a normal life in today’s world, but who stands out with her elegance and grace. She has something about her that turns head wherever she goes, leaving a trail of seduction and mystery behind; she’s a woman who blows life into the garment she is wearing.
Khansa (HA): Your style idea would indeed turn any lady into a stunner, what are your favourite fabrics to work with and why?
Rami: My choice of materials/fabrics depends on both the trend and my mood, and is not specifically limited to one type of material.
Khansa (HA): What has been the highlight of your career to date?
Rami: I believe I’m a young designer who is progressing gradually in the fashion scene, where every day has provided me with enriching encounters and experiences that have taught me a lot and are providing me with interesting opportunities. I think every day of my career has had its own importance so far.
Khansa (HA): I believe you are truly a designer we should keep on our fashion radar for all times! You have worked for some major apparel companies in the garment centre, what would you like to see companies improve on?
Rami: In the Middle East, designers have mastered the art of haute couture and have proven that our creativity and elegance is leading on a worldwide scale. Nonetheless, I do believe that we still lack the needed effort in prêt-a-porter collections, which would allow us to compete with the top brands worldwide.
Khansa (HA): Which designer do you admire and why?
Rami: Christian Dior – I am very fond of their designs.
Khansa (HA): Where do you get your design inspiration?
Rami: In terms of creativity and inspiration, the world around me has always been a rich source of inspiration; it provides me with flashes of creativity all day long, from the moment I wake until I go to bed, and sometimes even in my dreams. Anything can be inspiring, the music I listen to while I’m driving, interaction with people, when I’m relaxing at the beach, or reading magazines, watching other designers fashion shows, etc. Another major source of inspiration is obtained while travelling, visiting new countries and getting acquainted with new cultures and fashion salons…
Inspiration is not only limited to my day to day activities, it can also be found in my dreams! I always dream about dresses or shapes and I wake up in the middle of night to draw them, and go back to sleep.
Khansa (HA): It is nice you found your dream in such a beautiful profession! Do you have a muse? How do you set themes for your design?
Rami: If I had to choose just one, I would go for the queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese, an artist who masters the art of seduction and whose fashionism and attitude captivated me long ago. There’s something about Dita that glows with elegance and captivates everyone around her. She is the kind of women who turns heads wherever she goes.
As for the themes, I set them depending on my inspiration, there’s no specific procedure.
Khansa (HA): Describe your current collection
Rami: In a sensual bouquet of dramatic flowers, blended beneath starry skies of lace clouds and velvet waves, I imagined my current collection within the chapters of a baroque fairytale, bringing together the lavish, the emotional and the grandiose.
Au Bal des Orchidées Noires takes us back to times of couture royalty, where the 56 exquisite dresses waltz around modern times of balls and chic gatherings, delighting our minds and eyes with their mix of lace, trompe-l’oeil designs and 3D embroideries.
From dramatic lights and darks chasing shadows, to fluid twists and movement, each gown reflects my signature style of elegance and grace, leaving a trail of seduction and mystery behind, and keeping the castle doors open for the now anticipated spring ball.
Khansa (HA): What is the theme you have for 2013?
Rami: You’ll find out very soon..
Khansa (HA): What are some of your fashion goals?
Rami: 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, such as a baby clothing line for example, who knows, the sky is the limit to my imagination!
Khansa (HA): Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Rami: I hope I would have accomplished the above J
Khansa (HA): What trends do you see being big for 2013?
Rami: Modern Vintage Designs.
Khansa (HA): A message for your audience!
Rami: Here are some advices I usually give my clients: be someone you would be proud to look back at, years from now, someone you could be able to recognize. Don’t try copy your friends, idols… Have your own style!
It is also very important to keep the hair and makeup natural… Don’t overdo it, especially in events and wedding! People should be able to recognize you anywhere you go.
Finally, follow the international trends but always take into consideration what suits your body best.