Lebanese Designer Rami Kadi On His Recent Show In AlUla And Leaving A Legacy

Lindsay Judge   |   27-05-2024

Lebanese fashion designer Rami Kadi recently brought his latest collection to the beautiful region of AlUla in Saudi Arabia for an exclusive one-of-a-kind show, making him the first designer to partner with the Royal Commission for AlUla and AlUla Moments.

Known for his innovative approach to design and his ability to always surprise in terms of his choices of materials, his silhouettes and his designs, this show was unsurprisingly show-stopping as the designer presented a series of gowns exclusively for the Middle East market. 

The Les Miroirs collection which debuted last month features ten exclusive gowns as well as the designer’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection. The designs were inspired by the breathtaking landscape of AlUla from its natural lands to its rich heritage and architectural marvels. Kadi showcased innovative use of materials such as holographic elements, recycled plastics, and shattered glass.

In an event which also served as a platform to reaffirm Maison Rami Kadi’s commitment to sustainability and conservation efforts, a portion of the collection’s sales proceeds were dedicated to the preservation of the Arabian Leopard, native to the region. Here we find out more. 

What is your vision for your brand today? 

My vision for Rami Kadi Maison de Couture today is to continue evolving as a global leader in nouveau couture and continue to be known for my unwavering commitment to craftsmanship, tech innovation, and artistic expression. I aim to create timeless pieces that transcend trends and resonate with discerning clientele worldwide. Part of my vision includes forging strategic collaborations that not only elevate our brand but also add significant value to the couture landscape. I aspire to be at the forefront of the industry, setting new standards of excellence while staying true to my heritage of couture craftsmanship and creativity. 

Congratulations on your Les Miroirs show in AlUla – tell us about this collection. 

Les Miroirs collection is a tribute to the mesmerizing beauty of AlUla. Inspired by its stunning landscapes, resilient flora, and rich history, each piece reflects the interplay of light and shadow, mirroring the enchantment of AlUla’s reflective surfaces. It’s a celebration of modern design infused with ancient inspiration, capturing the essence of timeless elegance. 

Why did you choose to showcase this collection in AlUla 

AlUla holds a special place in my heart, with its unparalleled beauty and cultural significance. It felt like the perfect place to unveil Les Miroirs collection, allowing me to pay homage to the unique landscapes and historical heritage of the region. The setting provided an immersive experience, allowing guests to truly connect with the inspiration behind the collection. 

What are your thoughts on the growing design scene in the region? 

The growing design scene in the region is incredibly exciting and promising. We’re witnessing a surge of creativity and talent emerging from the Arab world, with designers pushing boundaries and making a mark on the global stage. It’s inspiring to see the diverse perspectives and innovative approaches shaping the fashion landscape in the region. 

How would you like to see Arab designers better represented on a global level? 

I believe Arab designers have immense potential to significantly impact the global fashion scene. To better represent Arab designers on a global level, those working on a higher level need to be more visible and recognise our talent and creativity, which can facilitate Arab designers’ journeys globally. 

Tell us about your design process and the choice of fabrics. 

The design process for Les Miroirs collection was ignited by the natural beauty and heritage of AlUla. Inspired by its landscapes, flora, and iconic landmarks like the Maraya, we meticulously selected fabrics that mirrored its unique qualities. Holographic materials, recycled plastics, PVC, and shattered glass were chosen to reflect AlUla’s mesmerising essence in its entirety. 

Moreover, the cuts and designs of the dresses were intricately crafted to evoke the sand dunes, rock formations, and the reflective surfaces of the Maraya. Each piece was a homage to AlUla’s timeless beauty, weaving together elements of its landscape and cultural heritage into a tapestry of couture craftsmanship. 

Who is the woman you design for? 

The woman I design for is confident, sophisticated, and unafraid to make a statement with her fashion choices. She appreciates the artistry and craftsmanship behind each piece and seeks designs that exude elegance and individuality. 

What else is in the pipeline for this year? 

We’re excited to explore more collaborations that align with our vision and values, adding depth and diversity to our brand. Additionally, we’re eagerly looking forward to the launch of our upcoming Fall/Winter 24/25 couture collection, which promises to push the boundaries of creativity and craftsmanship even further. 

Tell us about the brand on a global level and where we can expect more growth over the coming years. 

As we continue to expand our presence in key markets across the world, we anticipate significant growth in regions where there is a growing appreciation for couture craftsmanship and artistic expression. 

Tell us about some of your highlight pieces for this year. 

Some of the highlight pieces for this year include gowns that utilise completely new embroidery techniques and sustainable fabrics. My personal favourite from this collection, especially from the 10 exclusive looks showcased at the fashion show in AlUla, is the beige pink couture crepe georgette dress. This piece holds a special place in my heart, as it incorporates an intricate macramé technique in its design process. What truly sets it apart is the inclusion of vector graphics patterns and the innovative technique in tailoring. This fusion of traditional craftsmanship with modern techniques perfectly encapsulates the essence of my vision for the collection, making it my favourite. 

What’s the biggest challenge you face as a designer today? 

As a designer today, I would say one of the biggest challenges is staying true to my creative vision while navigating the ever-evolving landscape of the fashion industry, while simultaneously navigating all the obstacles we face on a daily basis in terms of economic and political barriers. 

What inspires you? 

I find inspiration in various sources, including art, architecture, nature, personalities, and cultural heritage. Travelling to new destinations, exploring different cultures, and immersing myself in diverse experiences all fuel my creativity and keep me inspired. I also draw inspiration from the incredible women I design for, each with their own unique stories and personalities. 

What is the best advice you have ever been given? 

The best advice I’ve ever been given is to stay true to myself and my vision, regardless of external pressures or trends. It’s important to trust my instincts, embrace failure as part of the creative process, and never stop learning and evolving as a designer. 

What would you still like to achieve with the brand that you haven’t done yet? 

There are still many milestones I hope to achieve, including expanding our presence in new markets, collaborating with iconic figures in the fashion industry, and continuing to push the boundaries of couture craftsmanship and innovation. Ultimately, I aspire to leave a lasting legacy that inspires future generations of designers.