Rad Hourani Chats Us Up About Genderless Fashion and Why Black is Back!

As Paris Fashion Week continues to turn the French capital into one giant photo-shoot, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: There's no such thing as wearing too much black. And designer Rad Hourani agrees. This weekend, between partying at Purple magazine's bash at Montana and prepping for Colette to drop by his showroom, the color-phobic designer took a moment to chat about his latest collection and his gender-bending design philosophy—all the while, dressed entirely in black, of course.
Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your latest collection?
"It's just a transition from last season. I don't really make a statement with each collection, it's about establishing continuity. In addition to bringing back my signature looks, I really wanted to work with metallic fabric and texture, so I found these silver chains and some metallic zippers. They're transformative because they allow you to turn a jacket into a vest or trousers into shorts."
As for the diffusion line RAD by Rad Hourani... what does it represent for you?
"All the basics, based on the same aesthetic and silhouette, but in lighter, more casual, and, of course, more affordable materials. In the main line, we use leather, cashmere, and all of these luxury, high-end fabrics. I want people to be able to afford my line—it will be available online this December."
What's your fascination with black?
"Black is mysterious, chic, unisex, slick, and timeless. Fashion for me is about clothes transcending simple functionality and gaining symbolic, evocative power by engaging in a dialogue with their environment and their time. It's a tool for self-expression and self-invention. By working with black and simple, stark lines, I strive to blur gender boundaries and achieve simplicity, but still maintain refinement through the details."
Why unisex?
"It doesn't make sense to me why a woman would wear a dress and high heels and not a man. When I say unisex, it's really about looking at the lines. They're straight, there are no curves, they don't have a feminine or masculine edge. It is completely genderless, something that has no reference."
Tell us three items every girl needs in her closet now.
  1. Rad Hourani black half leather legs pants or the strapes pants
  2. RAD by Rad Hourani top/dress in grey or black or white jersey
  3. Rad Hourani transformable black leather with silver zippers jacket.
Two favorite places: One in Paris and one in NYC.
"OFR in Paris for books, and in New York, Pure Food and Wine restaurant."

More from Fashion

R29 Original Series