Blank You Very Much Interview

Blank You Very Much is a platform for designers to take iconic brands and redesign them. The concept of “blank” is the space where designers are able to make their mark on what is an established and recognisable brand. Currently working with Burton, BYVM has already worked with Coca-Cola, Huf, Bert Rodriguez, Pele, and Dee & Ricky. Designers are able to join the online community and enter the current competitions which are critiqued and commented on by others in the community and finally judged by external judges who will pick one design to be the overall winner. BYVM connects talented designers with huge brands, allowing the brands to instantly access new trends in the design market. Aesthetica speaks to the director and founder of BYVM, Darren Romanelli.

A: How did you come up with the idea for BYVM?
DR: Blank You Very Much was birthed from a dinner conversation I had with a good friend of mine about the recent phenomenon of crowd sourcing and we started discussing a more customized and curated approach to creating such a platform. From there, BYVM evolved from the concept of a blank canvas or a blank facade and a community having the opportunity to crowdsource the creative that would be applied to the blank canvas. BYVM originally started off with blank t-shirts, but since we launched the site, it’s taken on a life of its own and proposals have come in to “blank” different products outside of tees, evolving a lot quicker than expected.

A: What is the purpose of it?
DR: The purpose of BYVM is to give both up-and-coming and established designers the opportunity of designing against each other, working with iconic brands. On one side, designers have a chance to win the grand prize and also to be recognized by their peers. On the other side, fans of these brands are given the opportunity of purchasing something that is limited and unique. Then there is the ever-evolving world of consumerism and trends… Trends change so fast and styles come and go, so the idea of BYVM gives brands a chance to be extremely relevant to the ever-evolving market place and consumers. Brands typically work way in advance via their design process to deliver on time. So the idea of BYVM is to cater to the need for an instant fix and gratification for brands, so they can be a part of the current design trend. An example of why BYVM is great is that it gives a Creative Director of a company a chance to escape into a contest. Even if they don’t win, participation could inspire. If we can inspire someone to create, we’ve achieved the main goal of BYVM.

A: Are there any brands you’d love to work with?
DR: I would love Blank You Very Much to “blank” a professional sports team either in NFL, MBA or MLB. I have always had a fascination with sports and there is something special about a die-hard fan. It would be great to give these die-hard fans the chance to be recognized outside of their split second camera shot on ESPN to show off paint jobs or a funny outfit. We would give their design a place to live forever. Another would be a legendary band. The Stones, The Beatles, Led Zepplin, The Doors, Radiohead. Apple would be great. We would give their rapid fanbase a voice to say what they want (e.g. iphone cases). For me personally as Dr. Romanelli, the luxury space is always something I’ve aspired to work in. It would be great to work with a LVMH and Hermés, because of their incredible heritage.

A: What inspires you on a daily basis?
DR: Definitely my two daughters. I’ve always been a driven person, but my kids have created a different drive and passion that has brought my creative side to life. Art inspires me along with my fellow creators. Our new division of StreetVirus, The Pancake Epidemic has been a huge inspiration. Having an actual physical space that’s my own, where I can create has been a huge component in me being able to tap into a new sphere of energy.

Blank You Very Much currently has a Burton competition running, the deadline is 30 November.

All images are courtesy of Blank You Very Much.