RDNT: Ukrainian Streetwear by Andre Tan

Andre Tan‘s Ukrainian streetwear company RDNT launches the Share Happiness initiative to benefit Ukrainian youngsters afflicted by the war. RDNT was born during the Ukrainian war and transmits themes of independence, uniqueness, freedom of speech, and a passion for life.

“RDNT stands for Radiant, radiant with joy. Like a protective shield from evil, sadness, and anger, the label is for those, who care about eco-friendliness, innovation, and happy living. It is a comfort zone,” says Andre.

This young brand’s main concept is to be present at the moment, appreciate life, and be really happy on the inside. The colour palette was inspired by the aura colour chart and comprises yellow, blue, green, pink, and purple colours. The print in the initial RDNT drop is a depiction of water, which represents life’s most important element.

Oversized hoodies and jackets, colourful cycle shorts and crop tops, T-shirts, vibrant bodysuits with accent cuts, and deconstructed jeans are all unisex and devoid of preconceptions. Most garments include RDNT distinctive cuts that resemble a smile or a heart.

The brand’s new Share Happiness campaign is inspiring in the fashion industry since the team contributes the same amount paid on each t-shirt to Ukrainian children. According to UN estimates, the full-fledged Russian invasion displaced 13 million Ukrainians, including the most vulnerable populations like as young people, new graduates, students, and children.

Andre explains, “RDNT was invented to become a symbol of light. As a responsible brand, we are concerned about the future of our country: creative teenagers and their mental health. Thus, we decided to launch a Share Happiness initiative for them. We are here for the youth, and we want them to live happily without limits and concerns.”

In the future, the brand is planning to launch a production facility in Ukraine that will run on renewable solar energy. In a more in-depth interview with founder Andre, Noctis Magazine uncovers the concepts, ideologies and motivations behind RDNT. 

Introduce us to RDNT and what it stands for?

RDNT is a sustainable and agender brand for the conscious generation. The name stands for “radiant with joy”, while aura colours inspired the first collection. RDNT aims to teach everyone to be happy and to find joy every day, especially in the darkest times.

What prompted the ideologies behind the brand?

The brand idea came to me in meditation when I looked deep inside, and I understood that the world needs RDNT and its philosophy. Our task is to change the perception, be present in a moment, and enjoy every second. When wearing RDNT clothing, people are encouraged to look more inside themselves, not outside.

Tell us a bit about yourself (designer), childhood etc?

I am 38. I started my career back in the 2000s as Andre Tan, the first among Ukrainian fashion designers to sell clothes in Paris and Milan. When I was 10, I joined sewing courses for children. My path wasn’t perfect, easy and fast. Indeed, some people didn’t believe in me, and I had to work multiple jobs simultaneously to make money for my university degree.

Have you always wanted to design clothes, how did this aspiration come about?

Yes, this was always my dream. I loved everything about fashion, I did handicrafts, sketched the first models and even did some sewing, and indeed I dreamed about working in the fashion industry. I have never questioned if I wanted to be a fashion designer. I always knew it. 

When making your designs, what are your three biggest rules?

It’s easy. First, for me, it’s essential that clothing has a soul. Second, it has to be creative. And third, always take care of the client’s comfort. These are my three rules when I think about each new collection.

Your label is Unisex, why do you think it’s important to be fluid with fashion in this day and age?

Fashion designers establish and adapt trends, and fashion always reflects society’s social and cultural attitudes. Clothing should be comfortable, stylish, conceptual and with no stereotypes. For instance, RDNT items have patches describing the brand’s concept and where you can write your Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat nickname. Now people find it challenging to meet new friends. On the one hand, there are various applications and social networks, but nothing can replace the real offline conversation. If you put your nickname on this patch, the person who likes you, no matter the gender, can easily find you online. We stand for love in all of the world and the RDNT community.

How would you describe your usual clientele?

Our client is an explorer, always striving to discover new stuff in life, and believes that self-development is a key to a rich and flourishing life. This person wants to be happy. RDNT targets the young generation, but not literally. I know 20-year-olds who feel like 40, and I know 60s-year-olds who are young and full of life. Hence, RDNT is for those who think young. 

The garments you create are made from recycled plastic bottles, can you explain the design process behind the pieces?

My clothing couldn’t be anything but sustainable because I create for the conscious generation. We use innovative fabric made from recycled plastic. The material is very similar to cotton but has hygroscopic attributes, meaning it regulates the body temperature and absorbs moisture. Our main task is not to influence our planet but to help. And why do you think more brands should be aware of the environment?

Now, it is vital to take care of the environment is vital, and it’s not just a trend but our duty and reality. We work with clients, who understand this, and even our children know that if they don’t do something about it, there will be no place to live tomorrow. Thus, now we change our habits: we sort the trash, minimise plastic use, and find new ways to recycle and new eco-fabrics. 

What are the next steps for RDNT, is there anything we should keep our eye on?

We will establish our production in those facilities that don’t harm the environment, and I am talking about the factories that operate on solar panels. Unfortunately, the war in Ukraine postponed these plans. Building long-term goals is challenging, but we launch social initiatives and financially support Ukraine. There are many exciting things ahead, no matter how difficult they may be to implement.

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Interview by Izabel Rose