Considered to be one of the regional leading names in couture, Rami Kadi has garnered a following made up of Hollywood’s biggest stars – all thanks to his innovative couture and distinctive creations. Expertly crafting pieces that bridge cultures where East and West meet, his attention to craftsmanship and art is what makes him a key player in the couture calendar. And it looks like he’s about to dominate the NFT game.
The Lebanese fashion designer has officially launched his first collection of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, titled Lucid Algorithms. Made up of 120 NFTs, the launch of the new collection invites wearers into the metaverse, where you can customise your own couture piece.
In an interview with BURO. Middle East, the designer dives deep into the NFT universe, how Rami Kadi separates the physical and virtual realms, and the future of digital fashion.
In the Middle East, you are a pioneer of technology in couture. Can you tell us a little bit more about this direction?
As a pioneer of technology in couture, I felt the need to push couture and fashion in the direction of innovation and modernity to keep up with the digital trends that are arising in a world that has blurred the lines between the virtual and the real. It is necessary to bring couture into the metaverse and the NFT world to fill in the gap because not many brands of our standing have entered this field. It is a huge step, not only for Rami Kadi Maison de Couture, but for the couture and fashion world as a whole. Hence, Lucid Algorithms NFT collection is the first-ever human-computer collaboration of this scale.
Venturing deeper into the digital world and breaking the barriers that separate the physical and virtual realms, how do you manage to separate the two worlds?
As Rami Kadi sees beauty in algorithms, the input of the artificial mind to Kadi’s own creativity seeks to amplify the power of couture and broaden its bounds, by introducing a whole new genre of design that opens up new bridges between seasons, universes, and realities.
Can you please introduce us to the world of Lucid Algorithms NFT collection?
As the virtual world is becoming more and more immersed in our daily lives, I find it crucial to start embedding fashion within this realm. So, the idea behind the Lucid Algorithms SS22 collection stems from the curiosity of finding beauty even in machinery, more specifically algorithms. I decided to combine my creative efforts with that of the algorithm by feeding it elements, patterns, and colours and allowing it to compute my designs into digitally-inspired art pieces, which are the NFTs.
So, introducing NFTs as part of Rami Kadi’s collections, alongside our physical couture collection, is part of a trajectory we decided to embark on as we see the whole world shifting in this direction. As for our physical SS22 collection, Rami Kadi reinterpreted those visuals to design all but one of the Collection Couture Spring Summer 2022. As for that final dress, Rami Kadi used one of the visuals, as is and unchanged in a clear nod to the capabilities of artificial intelligence. What resulted was an astonishing window into a whole new genre of design, where colours open up new bridges between seasons, universes, and realities, and amplify the singularity of “savoir-faire.”
What are the most significant changes in the fashion industry from January 2020 versus now?
With the worldwide pandemic that the world has been facing since 2020, the presence of fashion on social media has spread exponentially. Before this social media era, fashion wasn’t accessible to everyone, even merely visually, which is something we now can do through all the media platforms that provide us with a digital outlook on luxury. It has become faster and less affordable.
What are the detailed approaches of Rami Kadi’s world in this new digital world?
As the metaverse is becoming a replication of the real world, digitally, I believe that High Fashion in the metaverse will be needed the same way it is needed here. Avatars in the metaverse that are represented by people in real life, would want to duplicate their personal fashion styles and outlooks onto their avatars. So, if you’re a couture lover in the real world, you would want to show that in the metaverse as well.
Embarking on this step early on sets up the possibility of allowing individuals to portray their personal affinities in the metaverse.
The digital transformation of the fashion community has been announced. Is this a strong signal to business? Do you think that new actions and strategies are necessary to keep the monopoly on luxury goods?
As the metaverse is becoming a replication of the real world, but digitally, I believe that High Fashion in the metaverse will be needed the same way it is needed here. Avatars in the metaverse that are represented by people in real life, would want to duplicate their personal fashion styles and outlooks onto their avatars. So, if you’re a couture lover in the real world, you would want to show that in the metaverse as well. This is why embarking on this step early on sets up the possibility of allowing individuals to portray their personal affinities in the metaverse.
Can a 100% digital new strategy be applied to the fashion industry? 3D fashion show? Order only with digital lookbook?
Digital strategies will never completely replace couture but will continue the way fashion is delivered to audiences while offering greater opportunities.
Is it now possible to buy haute couture online today? If so, what will be the future of boutiques department stores and Ateliers?
We already sell nouvelle couture online to trespass the physical boundaries and hardships such as COVID. It makes fashion more accessible.
The collection of 120 NFTs is now available on www.rami-kadi.com.