“Feelings are the foundation of everything that I do,” says Lebanese singer and visual artist Dana Hourani. First emerging on the fashion scene with her unique brand of style, she debuted in the music industry in 2019 with the deeply personal single “Ella Enta.” Her candid lyrics and musing vocals combined with her uplifting personality have garnered her 208,000 Instagram followers and millions of streams on YouTube and streaming platforms. So who better to team up with Vogue and Swiss fine watchmaker Audemars Piguet on a new short film exploring the connections between fashion and freedom? Part of an ongoing collaborative series to celebrate the unveiling of the latest Royal Oak timepieces, Fashioning Freedom sees Hourani delve into her early sartorial memories and covetable wardrobe to reveal the personal style cues that express her best.
We caught up with the singer at her home in Dubai, where she lives with her husband and daughter Zoe Ray. Well before her crossover into the independent Arabic music landscape, Hourani had established herself as a fashion influencer by documenting her life and style on social media. While she is now moving in the direction of her calling as a singer, her timeless fashion sense follows, as a quick scroll on her Instagram profile would prove. Going through a box of old photographs, the 34-year-old can’t help but find one thing in common with her six-year-old self. “This outfit is reflective of what my style could be today,” she says of a red and black ensemble. “I would have basic pieces but they could have a kind of twist or a unique cut out.”
Over the years, Hourani has perfected the effortless, cool-girl chic look, making it her own with unconventional silhouettes and eye-catching accessories. As for the labels she sports, they come from her version of high-low dressing centered around supporting fellow Arabs in the fashion industry. A signature accessory that ties all her looks together is the latest 34mm Royal Oak Selfwinding in black ceramic, which is both timeless and versatile – like Hourani’s style. “Recreating this look brought me to an old version of myself when I was a lot edgier and daring with the way I dressed,” she says, putting together pieces that resemble the outfit in the photograph. “I feel like now I’m a lot more classic. I go for more of the effortless style, but it was nice to have a look back and remember how I used to dress.”
With her first studio album expected to be released in November 2021, the singer has a lot to look forward to, given the success of her previous tracks “Lahza,” “Zuruni,” “Enti Ana,” and “Yay.” One can only expect her upcoming work to be a soul-searching piece that honors her roots and family. “Feelings direct the motions of who I am,” she shares. “And expressing those feelings is the ultimate freedom for me.”