Gravure: Tell me about your “no-background background,” as you’ve described it. How does that philosophy shape your sense of innovation—of what is and what isn’t possible?
Rad Hourani: I didn’t study fashion. I didn’t study how to make clothing. After I moved to Paris in 2005, to do art direction, I erased all of the past in my head, and all of the ways I had been conditioned as a human—how I understood men’s dressing codes, women’s dressing codes, religion, whatever. I started my own way of thinking, by observing what was going on around me, from traveling, from meeting people, from experience. That’s what I mean as “no background.” It’s a background of erasing the past and starting again with my own observations.
Gravure: I don’t know if I’d call it “rebelling,” but would you say you were “reacting” against something?
Rad Hourani: Maybe “doubting.” I think it’s very important to doubt everything you believe in. You can believe in something, and see a beauty in something, and someone else will never see that beauty. What’s important is to doubt everything, and question everything. Not in a destructive way—it’s not a negative thing, but a positive thing. It’s related to this unisex thing that I started—many people are not used to unisex clothing; they don’t understand it when they see it. But I’ve been lucky because [other] people have been reacting in a really good way—people who react to it using their minds, who are not necessarily trying to be intellectual, but who understand that what I’m doing is erasing the codes of men’s and women’s dressing.