Rami Kashou is a Palestinian fashion designer known to make beautiful couture clothing that has perfectly balanced features of East and West. Born and raised in Palestine, shortly after high school he went to design school in Cyprus. But when he moved to the U.S, he was able to complete the process in a hands-on way. He says that design has always been an organic process for him and it has always come to him naturally. When he was in Palestine, he drew designs in a notebook just so he could pass time. Now, he is a fashion designer who has styled various celebrities for many red carpet shows. These celebrities range from Heidi Klum, Kim Kardashian, Queen Rania of Jordan, and many more.
We had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Rami Kashou and talk about his brand. But through that we learned a lot about his work, his passion, and even had an interesting discussion about the not so pretty world of fashion that we don’t usually get to see.
1. What inspired your venture into the fashion industry?
Design has always been something that I have loved to do. I would sketch all the time, from as young as when I learned how to hold a pencil. When I was in high school I was able to show my parents the sketches that I have created, and I am very grateful that they were very supportive of this. This made me feel very optimistic about the future especially when your parents see something special in you. My dad had a travelling business and so both of them would travel to different agencies, and conventions. Over there, they would bring back fabrics for me and I would take them and make something unique out of it. My mother’s friends would come over and they would all sit together, and this is where I would come in and show my design sketches. This all always led me to the fashion industry.
Photographed by: Vikram Pathak. Model: Francesca
2. Do you think it was important for you to have a Middle Eastern twist in your designs? Where do you usually get your inspiration from?
I have done many different collections, and my background is in evening wear and bridal. My latest project which is the Ard project is a great projection of East meets West; it is Palestinian hand embroided masks. It’s in the form of masks, but that really comes from a time and place that is real, that I grew up around. I have worked on a few projects that were outside my culture, and now to come back and do something that the world needs so much of and base it off something from my culture is really unique. I feel like now was also the right time to share stories surrounding the Palestinan culture especially because now more than ever consumers really care the background of the product.
3. What is one advice to people breaking it into the fashion industry?
It is important to come from a very honest and authentic place. I know that takes a lot of work, but it is really easy to create something that is just trendy and new and not truly be proud of it. That to me is a short term success. If you want to be unique and stand out make sure that work is original. Young designers need to understand that it’s not just glitz and glam, there is a lot of hard work that goes into everything.
4. What is one downside to the fashion industry?
I think just the fast fashion is destroying our planet from an ecosystem point of view. Most of these new trendy items are going to be thrown away or donated in the next few years, and the world will be on to the next thing. There is a lot of waste, and over producing when it comes to fast fashion and these big chain retailers. My advice would be to help the new small businesses as they don’t overproduce, and are more mindful. Also I would suggest to look into the big chain brands, and stores that you normally buy from and see what their ethical code is.
Photographed by Kelly Marshall. Models left to right: Mili & Liv
5. What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me is a reflection of a time and place. Fashion to me is a feeling, it is a way of communicating with people without having to use words at first glance. How you present yourself is the first initial impression and piece of information that individuals receive. It is a form of art that you can wear and it can execute an actual feeling.
In the future Rami Kashou is looking forward to his official online store that he launched a few months ago and to build off of that. He is excited to delve into the e-commerce world where he is directly dealing with consumers. He is excited to be sending a lot of his work off to various different museums like the Royal Ontario Museum, and the British Museum in London for their Middle Eastern Exhibit. Now he is also just working in the middle of his spring/summer collection.
We truly see Rami Kashou achieving great heights in the near future, and are interested to see where the fabrics take him next.
by Mariam Asif – YLT Staff