"ETHOS" the VERYRARE™ credo: interpretations to be regarded as lifestyle benchmarks for the youth in the current and next generations. What each piece encapsulates + how we will stay true to who we are and what we represent in 21 points.
1. worn winning: VERYRARE™ statement pieces are to be put on during crucial moments of your life, giving you energy and confidence • because it was made FOR YOU specifically & • because it took us blood, sweat and tears to make, literally. we’ve transferred our souls, research & history in them, and incorporated references & aesthetics we deemed eternal i.e (very)rare fusions of avant-garde, inside jokery, lux, art and leisure, creating a perfect equilibrium of comfort, wit, style, and elegance. all pieces inherently designed to be worn for the here-and-now. now and then. veryrare instants. garments to rock/flex while standing on the balconies of the world wonders, or high up on tables in nightclubs, in moshpits, advertising agencies, art studios, netflix-&-chill couches, boxing clubs, museums, poolsides. applying youth culture and artwear, utilitywear & techwear tailoring techniques to Art-inspired statement pieces, VERYRARE™ offers pieces for wearing when the days’ exertions are commencing, and the night has begun. no in-betweens. those magical moments, marked by their sense of ease and heady anticipation, can be the most decadent part of the day. it’s a combination that belies the rich/dual art & commerce heritage of VERYRARE™’s founder Raf Reyes. artwear for walking living legends, for the ones who don’t take no for an answer, for the ever-growing (in all spheres of their unique personalities), for the crazy ones in the 1997 Apple-ad sense of the term, and most specifically for the very rare individuals out there like me doing things that apparently make no sense on the moment but retrospectively will. we made ‘it’/VR ours, make it yours.
2. YOU in mind: all orders are named and numbered specifically for you and you only (your name/initials embroidered directly on the garment in our Pimlico London atelier/by us, alongside your own unique VR iD serial/in-time tracking code — supported anyways by both digital & analog paper certificates of authenticity). this is our way of attempting to enable direct-to-garment tracking and limit resale too, & establish a real, timely connection between you (the owner), the cloth, the brand, the founder and the team.
3. antagonisms: thematics, visuals, perspectives & POVs blend elaborately — like the ying and the yang - in the works. ³' authenticity (anti-counterfeiting measures, certifications, signatures, holographic labelling/encryption, SSL security) & fun (pretty self-explanatory).
4. openness to what’s new out there: NFC technology, cultural imagery+standpoints & practices, ways of treating distribution/sales more evenly/humanly, lowkier materials/textures, high-level production techniques, new retail ways etc. uncompromising on the timelessness and collector craze constituting VR’s DNA, and the OG feeling. testifying. testimonies. basically.
5. feels like Christmas (already?!): a veryrare "GOODIE GALORE" like you’ve never seen. custom-made horoscopes, coloring books, calendars, stickers, temporary tattoos, trading cards and more.. all complimentary/on the house. cuz we love you. still waiting for any one other brand out there playing Santa like us though.
6. ART: our obsession. life is Art, Art is life for us @VR. Raf breathes it and (re)presents it. so do the clothes. soon after ordering VERYRARE™, both a • unique collage (art made by Raf — museum-quality & 3Dimensional) and • custom VR logos emblazoned art handling gloves all await you at the gate. VR artwear’s for the everyday if you live life like an art form, and/or simply for those sporadic/evanescent moments that feel like Art. the very instants /instances that give spice to life, and make ‘IT’ beautiful.
7. ARTWEAR: all our pieces are individually designed and loved. hand-finess’d. created as fine, pure, expressive Art. that means the medium is the message, and all our items ultimately ooze expressive vibrancy & represent/stand for some- thing, be it specific thematics for veryrare audiences. de facto, they’re all meant to say something, they all aim at picking/choosing sides eventually. like Art does. you just have to have ‘the look/eye/vision’ to see ‘it’ i.e all the pieces/layers of the garment’s visuals assembling like in a puzzle, the easter eggs carefully placed in the designs, the nod to bigger/grander things. encrypted in our core DNA is the rejection of the idea that VR is just streetwear or ‘wear’ in general: VR is a lifestyle blanket, a mindset lining rooted in both dreams and reality. to be found in every line and paths. to catch all the wilfulness of ‘it’; wilfulness as the trait of being prone to disobedience and lack of discipline, of being hard to influence or control. fractiousness. deliberate and stubborn unruliness and resistance to guidance or discipline. contrariness/antagonism. intractability.
8. HUMAN SCALE+SIZE: going forward, VERYRARE™ will firmly try and keep the human element/the ‘proximity touch’ in its DNA for as long as it can; we’re close-by no matter what. hand-processing each VR piece. reproducing + democratizing the feeling of getting an invitation to runways or wtv events or gift for the Paris Fashion Week for instance. these kinds of things.
9. rarity/exclusivity: Raf was 21 when he started VR (he’s now 22). so all our designs/visuals are limited to 21 drops of 21 units. that won’t change. ever. lucky winners get the first editions. game on. go.
10. collaboration: some clauses still apply like for collabs, stockists, department/concept stores, and global digital/luxury retailers, simply because at the moment of the typing/writing of this manifesto (which won’t change for years to come), VR starts from scratch and it’d be fckn cool to get signed by contractors for cool projects. bundles of the such will all have unique VR iDs directly embroidered on them too (including distinctive/specific bundle stock-tracking features to differentiate them from real fan base purchases gotten from website).
11. a portal to another world: VR is rooted in Archive, photography/film, taste&culture-making, and general archival thought processes. we will always find some rare aspect of some culture out there (that is tasteful/worth sharing/building on) and study it. we point. we shoot. we print. 35mm kodak/fujifilm and xerox. presenting/exposing stuff from our angle. like we like. the VERYRARE™ c/o Raf Reyes brand acknowledges past positions, magnifies snapshots of it, and then further puts in the effort to bridge their past, present, and future. we make narratives. neural noise. all our items come with our namesake complimentary VOAT (Veryrarest Of All Times) zine, pinpointing the whole vibe we tried to encompass in our pieces. presenting what was there, and extrapolating (on) what will be. pulling, maturing, and releasing (our veryown interpretations/versions). while writing these lines, I (Raf’s speaking/typing here) can already see haters, so-called connoisseurs & self-appointed experts looming around the corner, ready to fire arson and spill their snaky poison on VR. I won’t let that happen. you know the saying "criticism is easy but art is difficult". Basquiat said it better. SAMO© SAME OLD.
12. fuck haters. legit. if you’re a hater and you’re reading this, find smth/some1 else to hate on. it’s all love here. we’re tryna elevate each other here. mutual elevation. and have transcendental experiences together. one ride. a rare ride. wrv that’ll lead us. memories for life.
13. family: since inception, VR starts with RAF, his big brother and his best friends federating around a way to change the status quo. getting it all together. in that same rental cramped crib. if you cop VR, you adhere to open-mindedness; we inextricably become homies. brothers and sisters. Gs. equals. accepting everybody from all ways/walks of life, wtv the color of their skin or their sexual orientation or specific physical/mental/psychological condition; unity is strength, knowledge’s power, attitude is everything. VERYRARE™. as One. representing. Humanity. everybody eats. at VR, all/everything boils down to the ‘community’/ the collective. the brand may still be young, but both pop-ups, events & bonding XP-riences are/will be all the rage at VERYRARE™. just putting it here for further purposes/if anyone starts questioning the direction of the brand/saying ‘oh he/they should’ve done this and that’ kinds of things. you know. and if you didn’t now you do.
14. pricing: VR’s differentiating point is not price (and will never be price) like all the above points showcased. we’re not Walmart. or CostCo. our price may go up in the future to support big endeavors that need big financial influxes. it’s like with what Virgil said with his brand Off-White in his book ‘Artwork’ when he has people complaining over and about the pieces' price. the hard truth is that it has to cover runways, billboards, events, pop-ups, direction, craziness, goodies, art stationery, and staff (just to quote some). they all gotta expand eventually. cuz that's the VR way baby. they say choosing to become an entrepreneur is crazy. it’s true. if you’re reading this, I’m humbly asking you to please respect that, and be happy for us; that we take the betterment of the brand seriously, and that we wanna bring you an even better, more distinctive experience. nothing but the best. yano.
15. seeking higher paths: CREATION plus +INNOVATION at the forefront of our pieces: we assemble the pieces in unique ways and give them a tasteful, artsy twist known to few.
16. sustainability: right off the bat/from the very month it launched, VERYRARE™ pledged to give a portion of all its net results to the planet via the "For The Planet" association; through the likes of such, VR inscribes itself/is part of a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions through memberships and everyday actions. all of our packaging/mailers are 100% organic & biodegradable, and Raf & the team constantly try new & improved cotton blends/ hybrids and strands, organic and combed, from sampling to production; all of which while not compromising on the other aspects of the garment (softness, durability, unicity…).
17. timelessness & seasonlessness: seasonlessness as, like, themes or collections /series. as Raf does on his fine art side already actually (cf. www.rafreyes.art ‘Fiery Figures’ series or ‘To Usher The New, The Old Has To Be Put To Rest’ collection). the last thing we wish for is for the pieces to be thrown away a year after purchase. we’re purposely putting the grind and effort in the selection, curation and assemblage/design of a wide range of themes and concepts; rendering them in never-before-seen arrangements so that it will still look freakin’ awesome in 50 years time. timelessness as staying relevant, the VR way. potentially decades. timelessness as middle-fingering fashion diktats. as being undefined by today’s breakneck fashion laws, churn and pace of design + speed of production. at the heart of what we stand for is the black-sheep mentality or the notion that there may be something to react against. contemporary perceptions to play with and against, depending; a chance to participate in the resetting of the fashion industry and fully seize the opportunity to reshape it. the taste, tone and quality of the materials used in every VERYRARE™ piece are altogether a bulwark against fast-fashion diktats and streetwear nd hypewear deliquescence/going mainstream. think about it. VERYRARE™ was launched in June 2020, right within Covid19's storm/global crisis/apocalyptic strike: all over media, clamoring no one was safe. well, faith in what we do protects us from that sort/type of messy evil, and more.
18. purpose moves us. VERYRARE™'s big/all-encompassing line could be summed up as “our purpose is to unite the world a little more/do our part through art to create a woke planet, active communities, and an equal vibing field for all”. our manifesto isn’t static — it lives and breathes. we don’t just claim to believe these values; we actually live them out on a daily basis.
19. VERYRARE™ branded themes/imagery, and visuals: in spite of always leaving room for making potential/needed strides (see point 3/4), still, VR’s core system of symbols revolves well around some of Raf’s most defining topics. you can thus expect some imagery to come up more often than others e.g games/gambling, travel, Wonder- land, Neverland, mythology, Art, Japonisme, illusion, dream, pills, punk, grunge, freak, fiction <-> reality, movies, animality/VR mascots, spirits, skeletons, antagonisms old <-> new and/or life/light <-> death/dark, music, rap, rage… VERYRARE™’s symbolism/conceptual umbrella is dynamic. VR’s future is fluid. flow identity. like the OG MTV, Google and IBM’s logos’ systems +evolution.
20. the VR take on 'colors for Life': color code and vibe/storyline/influences that got Raf into creating the brand in the first place: VERYRARE™ derives artistic inspiration from daily life, designing the clothes as an attempt to express and explore the colors of Life itself. I’m using the white tee as a blank canvas for culture and for what you and I vibrate/resonate to. VERYRARE™ comes to life in a red and black palette that simultaneously evokes typical London Brick Lane, passion, telephone calls, Las Vegas neon vice city, infrared-ized Banaue rice terraces, Muaythai fighters' blurred/bloodied sights, night vision, thermal cameras; altogether accented with balancing/freshening notes of neutral white, swabs of silver, and pops of pastel. VR re-interprets timeless environments of a luxurious Parisian art deco heritage, the Rex Club Paris’ interiors & facade, the sunbaked terracotta of North Africa & the Salt Lake Natron of Tanzania, red cherry Prunus sakura trees blossoming at Mount Fuji’s bordering lakes & Tokyo’s Hie Shrine’s peaceful aura/atmosphere prone to meditation. a modern reimagining of the eclectic 21st-century creative multi-hyphenate aesthetic. designed to remind you of your veryown block’s most recognizable features, your local neighborhood art museum/souvenir shop, or a crisp shot of sake &/or pint of high-ethanol’d Red Horse beer in the evening at El Nido’s mythical Republica Sunset Bar’s terrace with a view. By adding a vivacity of color to the mix, VR®® c/o Raf Reyes keeps the brand youthful and easily inserted into a plethora of daily artful living. contemporary-visual-culture-inspired silhouettes are refined but relaxed, and presented in soft & crisp cotton, light linen, and washed-out/acid-treated denim.
21. Rules: #1 Never reveal what VR truly means. #2 still, sprinkle and shroud the mix with/in mystery. #3 synonyms, semicolons, slashes, syntax, hyphens, punctuation, mathematical symbols. #4 when in doubt, refer to rule #1.