Worn by royalty and Hollywood A-listers including Queen Rania of Jordan, Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian, Rami Kashou is taking the world by storm. The Project Runway star talks to us about his heritage, background and latest collection.
EM: Can you talk to us a little about yourself and your background?
RK: I was born in Palestine and raised in the city of Ramallah. At seventeen, I moved to the United States to pursue a better future and a childhood dream; to become a fashion designer. I studied design in school but the real lessons working with local seamstresses and pattern makers on my designs which were sold in a well-known boutique in Los Angeles where celebrities often shopped. From that point on, I began to show my collections under various sponsors who supported up-and-coming designers and artists. Paris Hilton modeled in my first fashion show. I had no idea who she was at the time.
EM: What inspires your collections?
RK: Eccentric women, cultures, female empowerment, nature, movement, fluidity and architecture. My inspiration shifts depending on the time and environment I find myself in at that moment.
EM: Can you talk to us about the inspiration behind your latest collection?
RK: My latest designs have been inspired by my Palestinian heritage which celebrates vibrant hand embroidery that identifies different cities and villages through particular stitches and designs. Every stitch tells a particular story about the culture, history and identity. It’s truly a beautiful form of art that is labor intensive and quite unique.
EM: What is your favorite piece from your latest collection? And why?
RK: The nude transparent tulle evening dress with butterfly sleeves and colorful hand embroidery cascading throughout the bodice and fluid skirt as though the colorful thread floats over the lightweight sheer skirt, highlighting its beauty. I love that dress because it is dreamy and showcases Palestinian embroidery that I grew up admiring from my personal design angle.
EM: Describe your quintessential client; who is she and what does she seek in your designs?
RK: She is a dreamer yet aware of the world around her. She appreciates art and culture. She gravitates towards beauty, femininity and elegance. She celebrates fashion yet does not find herself trapped in a specific trend.
EM: Which designer(s) do you look up to the most and why?
RK: Valentino is a master at creating classic and beautiful garments that captivate the eyes with the details. I also appreciate Iris Van Herpen for her innovative vision.
EM: Do you have a dream collaboration?
RK: I would love to collaborate with a museum on a collection where story telling can be showcased through "art meets fashion".
EM: Any future plans on the horizon for your fast-rising label?
RK: I just finished a design mentorship program with Qattan Foundation in Palestine where I mentored 5 aspiring designers leading up to a group fashion show and cash prize towards the collection of one lucky winner. I am currently working on new designs for my collection. My custom orders of evening and bridal wear keeps me busy all year round with clients worldwide. I am currently in talks with a museum to merge fashion and art; where I would be designing an art/ fashion installation for a gallery exhibition.
EM: Describe your brand in three words.
RK: Visceral, poetic, fluid
EM: Fashion to you is….
RK: A visual way of inspiring and speaking out.