We sat down with Rad Hourani in the beautiful art gallery L40, in Berlin. Undisturbed by nothing else other than the sound of cars passing by down the street. Surrounded by the exhibition Eye and the new Vava limited edition eyewear, designed by Hourani himself. We talked about what can become a future normal lifestyle, the time of focusing on just one thing is about to be gone. According to Rad, we’ll be soon soon entering a time where everybody can do what they want. Multitask is the new human. Rad has already set a trend, as he was one of the pioneers of unisex clothing. Let’s hear his deeper thoughts and listen to his everlasting main focus – neutrality.
You are doing so many things at once, and yet you never went to school. What is your drive?
One day I thought about life in general and I said, “What am I here for?” To live, to communicate and exchange energies, is such a precious thing that we have. And I thought it would be great if I could make something useful out of my existence. And also, aesthetic has always been something very attractive to me. Beauty in general – I think it has such a great vibration, seeing something beautiful can give you a great feeling. I wanted to have a reason to my existence and also to communicate that in a beautiful way. That’s my drive.
So how did you learn all that you do?
I’m lucky to have a very precise eye, which gives me a certain proportion that I apply to everything I do. And maybe that’s what gives me an idea of what my style is. It’s really related to this mechanism that I have; proportions, light and color. I think observation is your best tool to learn, we’re different from each other and we all can have the capacity to really use what we have as a mechanism, physical and mental, to really create and do whatever we want. That’s why I don’t believe we’re only musicians, actors, artists, a photographer or a designer, I think we can be all and do it all at once.
Rad Hourani Metalmagazine 4.jpg
Today, genderless clothes are becoming more common. But as one of the first to work on that, were you clear about your aims at the very beginning?
Of course. When I first started unisex 10 years ago, there was someone doing a sneaker that was unisex, or a wallet that was unisex, or jeans or a t-shirt. But there was never really a full ready-to-wear unisex collection. And when I say unisex, it’s not making a man look like a woman or making a woman look like a man. It’s creating a very neutral garment by sampling a man's anatomy to a woman's anatomy, to create a garment that can really fit female and male without being androgynous. So it’s not just about one style. I’m trying to create something neutral, that a lady can make feminine and a man can make masculine. And that someone can also make androgynous, casual or glamorous – whatever they want. And it’s very important to me, ‘cause it’s related to a lifestyle that reflects equality and an understanding of how we function in general. So for me, it was a very focused process of work for a year and a half to really get to a base of unisex. And now it’s been 10 years that I’m just perfecting it, and perfecting it, and perfecting it.
Although you’re working in many different fields, your work is consistent and focused on the theme of neutrality. Do you work in all these areas to make your message more clear or is it because you never get enough of exploring new things?
I think it’s both. You cannot communicate your vision in just one discipline. You cannot just communicate things with clothes, you need to stimulate all senses to really understand what your vision is about. And I never wanted to call myself a designer, or an artist, or a photographer, that is a very limited way of thinking. Maybe in 10 years we’re going to speak about this again, and you will say, “You were pushing this idea of being a multi-disciplined person and now we live in a world where everybody can do everything...” 
The reason why we are here today is your collaboration with Vava. You have designed their new limited edition eyewear. Yet another field to you!
Sunglasses, yes. But I think it’s still part of the clothes. And it can be very related to me in terms of forms, and shapes, and construction. And it’s something wearable. So I think it’s still in the same field.
So designing eyewear didn’t feel like a big step?
No, I think it was a very organic and very natural thing to do. And I also always create things that I need for myself. So I spoke to my team and I said, “I feel like doing sunglasses.” And we had different propositions from different companies. It was very natural for me to choose Vava, I felt they were the right company to collaborate with. For their quality, their vision, their direction and for a simple fact – that their lens is real crystal. It is so rare that you see that, and I was completely attracted to it. And also I got attracted to the idea that it’s eco-friendly, it’s 100% recyclable, and handmade in Italy for real; it’s not that you just put handmade in Italy and make it in a cheaper country (laughs). It’s important to know who does the production. And also I like that they have their own style.
Rad Hourani Metalmagazine 5.jpg
What were the origins of the collaboration?
I had to work with their base and their identity. I kind of wanted to respect that and also extend it. It was interesting to see how you can work with a very pronounced shape, it was a bit challenging and interesting for me. I like the idea that it’s enumerated from 1 to 200, each one as a limited edition, three colors and one style.
In what way do you believe that you and Vava share the same vision and values?
I would say quality, architectural and graphic shapes, and the unisex, of course. It’s not a brand that is over-exposed or over-distributed, and I like the idea of uniqueness and a niche. Today I think there is so much of everything. Because of the internet, we have access to so much stuff, and there are not unique objects that you really want to collect. There are not many people that have identity, we are missing more of a pure identity.
You also created an 8-pieces series of art inspired by the collaboration. What influenced you in the creation of Eye?
I thought of the sunglasses and I said, “What is the goal with the sunglasses?” And the first thing that came to my mind was that it’s an object that you wear to protect your eye. So, what is the eye? It’s an organ that has a mechanism of an iris, a retina, and a lens, that captures light with color. I wanted to understand this mechanism even deeper, and understand what this protection is about. I realized it is not just useful for a physical protection of this organ, but also for an energetic protection. When you walk on the street and there’s someone that looks at you in a certain way –let’s say it’s a flattering look–, you would feel a certain vibration because this connection of energy goes through you. And it’s the same if someone sends you a bad energy through their eye – you can feel that the whole day and you don’t know why.
I wanted to have an exercise of erasing my memory and to let the brain just observe. I wanted to go into other energetic angles that I don’t usually notice or focus on. So these images are taken with a phone with no filter nor retouching. They are captured everywhere in the world and you don’t know where you are. What is really interesting is that I always said we're all one or that were all from one place. I’ve always been nationless. That’s why I don’t want you to know where we are. So in each frame, you are in different places on the planet and everything is captured from many different angles.
What can we wait from you next?
Next (laughs). The first step after this is to launch the sunglasses online on my website. And also, after that, I’m working on another collaboration, not with sunglasses but something else. That will be announced in a few months, for another brand. I'm also hoping to travel with this exhibit, hopefully to Paris, with Vava. I’m working on my script, my movie script, and it’s again related to neutrality and the way we function in life. Through sexuality, through richness, through careers, through friendship, through love or through death.I really believe there is not just genetic things to it but that there is a huge condition to it. So I’m going to apply that to a movie that definitely will be in the same direction as my art.
Rad Hourani Metalmagazine 1.jpg
Rad Hourani Metalmagazine 2.jpg
Rad Hourani Metalmagazine 3.jpg