Behind the trendy spectacles and colorful sweaters, fashion designer Rami Kadi is an energetic and ultra-modern talent whose eye for haute couture is all the rage among Lebanon’s insatiable vogue crowd. Situated in Ras Beirut, his charming rose-colored boutique is home to gorgeous, soigné gowns - lace, embroidered, vintage, sequined, feminine, and fierce – Kadi’s designs are masterful.

His collections are inspired by passion and emotion; his last collection, for instance, is about a torn soul left in the ruins of what used to be a majestic palace. But it's not all drama and downers, sat down with Kadi and found out that this designer is about as down to earth as you can get (and we love him for it). Seriously, you'll wish he could be your new BFF. Take a look. What is your first fashion memory?

Kadi: I was two-years-old [laughs], and my mum had a very classic style to her. We were at a store and I picked out purple shoes with a purple bow for her, and she thought it was too “funky." I forced her to buy it – I can still remember. Is your focus more on Lebanon’s fashion scene or the international one?

Kadi: I’d say I work more on international standards; I don’t base my style on anything in particular. I apply my ideas to my dresses, and whoever wants to accept it does – it could be someone Lebanese or someone French. Is Beirut your favorite city?

Kadi: Yes. I cannot live outside of it. This is why I studied here, in Esmod, and this is why I get homesick every time I leave. It’s my home; it’s where I grew up. Who is your favorite fashion icon?

Kadi: Dior. Who is your least favorite?

Kadi: [laughs] Let’s skip this one. inspires you?

Kadi: Simply, everything around me. I don’t search for inspiration, it just comes to me. Sometimes, I can see a blurred photo and I’ll imagine it differently and make a collection out of that. [Rami looks at a friend and notices her necklace] For instance, I love the colors of that necklace – they might inspire something. I try to find inspiration in everything around me. Do you plan your collections?

Kadi: Yes. Sometimes, I'll get so into the mood of the dresses I'm making for a collection that I actually wake up in the middle of the night just to work on them - bkun 3eyisha kteer. What is your favorite piece?

Kadi: I don’t have one favorite piece that I've made. I don’t have a favorite anything, in fact – because, I believe that if I have something I consider ‘at the top’ then I’ll be satisfied. People are always so satisfied, but that’s not how I like to be. We should always be grateful, but never satisfied. How do you manage to remain unique in such a competitive industry?

Kadi: It’s because I work a lot on myself and my style. I get inspired by others, but there’s always a touch in my work that’s ‘me’. What are the perks of being a fashion designer?

Kadi: When you see your dress on a client, or on a red carpet, or on a bride, and everyone is really happy about it, you can’t help but feel satisfied. What is the worst part about being a fashion designer?

Kadi: There are lots of ups and downs in our work, and there are many obstacles we face. For instance, we order all of our fabrics from France and Italy, and for this collection, we have some fabrics that still haven’t arrived yet. As fashion designers, we get stressed a lot, but the end result is always worth it. What advice do you have for people trying to get into the fashion industry?

Kadi: Always be down to earth. Don’t think fashion designers are Hollywood celebrities. It’s not about the luxurious life – there are so many people I see that want to be famous for the image that these singers/designers/actors manage to portray. When you go to fashion school, you’ll notice many rich girls who want to be designers simply because they have no direction in their lives. They don’t know just how much we work – I work for 16 hours a day. When I started, I used to do everything myself – clean, sew, iron - and I was never ashamed of it. My advice is: work on yourselves in order to get out there. Be down to earth and work hard. Don’t be afraid to fail.

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