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Sydney label Kourh’s genderless collections challenge the boundaries of self-expression

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Gadir Rajab

WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT

“I wanted the label to convey my innate understanding of construction and fearless approach to colour and detailing.”

When it comes to fashion, its beauty often lies in juxtaposition: a pair of tattered sneakers with a pristine tailored suit, a delicate dress and a vintage leather jacket, loose tracksuit pants paired with a structured corset top. For Sydney designer Tarek Kourhani, it was the magic of sartorial contrast that inspired him to – after 17 years in the industry – launch his debut fashion label, Kourh.

Free from the constraints of gender, age and seasons, Kourh “brings together the relaxed silhouette of sports casual with tailored glamour, forging unsuspecting trends across the globe”. While Tarek is based in Sydney, he notes the brand’s global influences. “The opportunity to share this with the world is so exciting”, he says of the label’s recent launch.


Discover more local designers in our Fashion section. 


After almost two decades designing for brands like Aje, Alice McCall and Victoria Beckham, Tarek’s finally unveiled a solo project. Kicking it off with a bang, Kourh has already amassed over 4,000 followers, designed Nadia Fairfax’s birthday dress and launched in Harrold’s – all in the first month. Tarek speaks on what’s next for the brand.

Tell us about you. What’s your fashion background?


This year represents my 17th year in the fashion industry. I have designed for luxury brands in Australia and the UK, including Aje, Alice McCall and Victoria Beckham.

How did the label get started? Talk us through the process and the challenges.

I believe that there was a gap for elevated streetwear in the Australian market, so I decided to start my own label. Until now, that offering was only available from international brands. The label is my interpretation of sport-inspired, tailored silhouettes.

The opportunity to share this with the world is so exciting. Currently, I’m wearing all the business hats, but it’s extremely rewarding to see my vision for the label unfold.

What were you trying to achieve from the project at the time? How has this evolved and what are you trying to communicate through the brand now?

 

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A post shared by KOURH (@kourh.co)


Right now, Kourh is only four weeks old. My aim is to stay true to my artistic vision and evolve to ensure the label remains fresh and innovative. Kourh is underpinned by a celebration of diversity and inclusivity – the label’s genderless collections speak to confidence and challenge the boundaries of self-expression.

How would you describe Kourh designs to someone who’s never seen them before?

Kourh is defined by three key pillars: functionality, sensuality, and humour. I wanted the label to convey my innate understanding of construction and fearless approach to colour and detail. I also want my community to know that Kourh’s collections are mindfully produced in limited runs and predominantly crafted with deadstock textiles.

Where did the name come from?

 

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A post shared by KOURH (@kourh.co)


Pronounced ‘koor’, Kourh represents the first five letters of my last name, Kourhani. It’s kind of special to integrate ‘heritage’ into the label’s identity.

What are you most proud of in your work on your label?

The launch of my website! I love the mood and the functionality. The website isn’t complicated – it relays Kourh’s vibrant aesthetic and it’s 100 per cent user-friendly across all devices. I understand that consumers have an expectation of a seamless shopping experience. The launch of the label felt so real went it went live!

What do you wish you knew when you started?

 

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As mentioned, I have acquired 17 years of valuable experience within the industry – but now that I’ve launched my very own label, I understand that there will be new lessons. Let’s touch base in six months as I’ll be sure to have a long list to share with you.

What about the Australian fashion industry needs to change?

We need to push beyond the boundaries, challenge the status quo, and be brave. Many brands are starting to look alike. Having said that, I’m so proud of Australian designers and the recent showcase at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week was super-impressive.

Dream Australian collaborators?

The brand is not Australian, but I would love to collaborate with Adidas. Kourh is very much aligned with a sport-inspired, streetwear vibe. I tend to dream big, so stay tuned for those iconic three stripes across a forthcoming Kourh collection.

Go-to dinner party playlist?

 

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A post shared by KOURH (@kourh.co)


Disco always. The disco era is unforgettable – it was all about good times, good vibes, and unmistakable glamour. Take me back to Studio 54 – the epicentre of ’70s hedonism.

Who is in your wardrobe right now?

Kourh, of course. My personal style is aligned with an elevated, sport-inspired vibe. It’s about effortless modernity and absolute comfort. My wardrobe is comprised of a lot of random vintage pieces and some treasured Balenciaga, Vetements, Bottega Veneta, and Prada items.

How can we buy one of your pieces?

 

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A post shared by KOURH (@kourh.co)


You can find my debut collection on my website.

View the Kourh collection in its entirety here.

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