Rai Christoforou is a Cypriot businessman, fashion icon and now TV star! Here, Rai chats about his passion for art, fashion and décor, as well as his lifestyle in sunny Limassol—a place he easily calls home.
Can you describe the time when you first realized the importance of style?
The first thing we notice in a person before we realize their character or any other characteristics is their look. Unfortunately, the first impression we leave is always an exterior one. It is our style. A clean Home
and fab style always attracts. For example, if we enter a shop looking elegant, immediately we receive better service and attention than entering the shop looking like trash. As I remember I was always elegant even as a child.
You’ve been described as a ‘style icon’. How does one become a style icon?
I’m a classic man with a twist. I’m always elegantly dressed up even on bad days. You may see me leaving the beach after having melted for 6 hours in the sun and I will still look fresh and sharp. I don’t know how that happens. I think you either have it or you don’t.
You also have a very fashionable home which has been featured in many magazines. What’s your philosophy with interior design?
I love interiors. Actually, I wanted to study interior designer but in the end, I had to follow the family business. I don’t like minimalism at all. Minimal spaces give me the feeling of emptiness. As a cozy home person, I love natural and warm colors… colorful kilims and antiques. I did the interior of my house and chose every single detail from wall colors, to fabrics, to kitchenware—right up to the smallest decorative items. I like renewing and redecorating quite often too!
How do you balance wo
rk and play?
I started working in my family company about 20 years ago. I am quite lucky because I have managed to adjust work according to my lifestyle. I dress the way I like… I always make time for myself in between my busy work schedule.
Do you consider fashion an art?
Fashion is Art and that’s a fact. Fashion designers create Art. For example, Alexander McQueen (whom I admired for his talent) will always exhibit in museums all over the world. If that’s not Art, then what is?
Tell us about your TV work?
Starting this season, I am a freelance presenter for a lifestyle show on Sigma TV. I have to admit it’s very difficult especially when doing the Fashion Police segment. Judging and giving ratings for people and friends can be difficult. It’s hard especially as Cyprus is so small and we are such a small social community. I decided to give it a try and see how it goes…
What are some of your favorite outfits why?
I love suits, and crop trousers (which are very fashionable at the moment). I must admit I have a white shirt addiction, and own probably more than 100 shirts! To a man a white shirt is what the little black dress is to a woman – a necessity! Most of the time you will see me wearing shorts with blazers.
Name 5 indispensable clothing items every man should own?
- Hermès belts
- Hermès pocket squares
- Blue blazer
- Tuxedo dinner jacket
- Gucci classic loafers
I’d like to know how you go about choosing a new clothing item? What should men think about when thinking of adding to their look?
I’m a wise buyer. I buy the “must have” items of the season. Then I start buying according to my needs and occasions. The modern man in this day and age has so many options, but I think the best way is to go is to shop according to your needs. Let’s not forget, most importantly you need to wear what suits and expresses you.
How has your personal style changed over the past 10 or so years?
As I’m writing this I find myself smiling as I reminisce on the years that have passed. From the late 80s with the punk and rock look, to 90s with shiny blazers with big padding. I always manage to adjust fashion to my person style and that’s what makes it so individual. Honestly, I prefer today’s style it’s more elegant and stunning!
Tell us about Limassol. How long have you lived there, and why do you enjoy it so much?
Limassol is my home town and I love it here. I can’t imagine myself living anywhere else. It’s safe and has an air of relaxation. I’m used to living by the sea and it is very soothing. Most of the restaurants and clubs/bars are in the seafront.
You’re still one of Limassol’s most eligible bachelors? What have you learned from women in your life about style?
Would I call myself an Eligible bachelor? I love that! Women in my life… that’s a big subject. With a stylish mum and my #besties being the most fashionably and elegant women in town—what do you expect? Fashion and style is part of our daily discussions. Going through Instagram and online shopping asking each other what to buy and how to combine it—has become routine.
I think sport and fitness is very important in people’s lives (or should be). What sport do you enjoy doing the most, and what’s your personal philosophy to fitness?
I totally agree. Sport and fitness are very important and go hand in hand with physical and mental health. I go to gym 3-4 times a week Doing mostly trx and cardio, and I’m also into swimming and running. I love running on the seafront at dawn because it gives me a boost of energy for the rest of the day. I enjoy what I do and having good results in the long run is a reward it itself.
What exciting things are coming up for you?
Hm…. who knows. I live every day as it comes, and above all with good health and happiness!