Inside The Label : BME Melbourne

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On my hunt for real raw local talented street wear i came across BME Melbourne. I've been meaning to check them out for a while. I saw a friend who did their latest look-book for the Dead Poets Collection which immediately caught my eye. I've never seen Hip hop captured in such a creative essence. It was more then just a t-shirt. Everything from the design and artwork to the packaging (They were all packed in vinyl covers which included a BME vinyl inside) really showed how talented and creative the owner JRF really was. He went through the whole process of how he came out with the idea when we were hanging out. I was mind blown. I love meeting creative young individuals like him. Makes me proud to be from Melbourne when you see brands like this.  We did a few outfit shoots with the Dead Poets Collection tees so be on the lookout for them soon on the blog and FacebookHere is a rare glimpse into the BME Melbourne studio and an interview with the man behind it all.

Who is BME Melbourne ? tell us a little about the brand ?
BME Melbourne was born as a result of me figuring out that there there is more to life than following in others footsteps; keeping in line with the way things 'should be done'. I was halfway through my double degree in commerce/law when I realised that I was becoming a person I didn't want to be, just so I could satisfy a social norm; you know- go to school, get a degree, work a shitty job. I decided that I'd take a risk and do something that had always really interested me; something that allowed me to use my creativity on a daily basis, but also forced me to keep on top of the 'logical' side of things too. I'm very interested in both the artistic side of life, as well as the psychology behind things like business and personal relationships (a weird combination I know), but it's this combination that's allowed BME to come as far as it has today.

What made you start this label?
I was a very unhappy person before deciding to take a punt with BME. I hated the routine of my life, the fact that it was so predictable, and feeling a lack of enthusiasm or passion in anything I did. I was a drone. And it seemed that so was everyone around me. 
Every time I'd go to the shops to buy some new clothes, I'd always be unimpressed with the lack of anything that stood out to me personally on the racks. It seemed as though everyone was copying everyone else- there was a formula, and all of these brands were using the same one. I'd always been very interested in street wear, and having always drawn since I was a kid, I literally got out my pens and pencils one day and started doing some sketching. Using my own particular style of illustration, and implementing graphics/concepts that I felt were making a statement, I set out on the long and windy road that has now become my career path.
My thoughts have always been to remain unique, in everything I do. When others go left, I try to go right. Fads and trends are exactly that. Originality is classic.

What influences your designs/style?
A whole bunch of different things. Life, in general, is very inspiring to what I do, in terms of the concepts behind many of the illustrations. But I find that I'm drawn to the more 'unknown' side of things. Things that others might be 'turned off' by, or that carry some sort of a negative connotation- to me, these are the things that hold the most amount of intrigue. I think my style of illustration is also a little 'outrageous' or 'non sensical' which has come from growing up as a 90's kid, and being inspired by the far-out cartoons and artwork that was so prominent at the time. In terms of designing for the label itself, I try to add a 'warped' or 'wicked' twist on most of the things I do. I like to think that most of my tees are head turners, for better or for worse.

How did you get the idea for the "Dead Poets" Collection?

I collaborated with a very talented Californian based artist, Nick Simon, for the Dead Poets Collection. The 4 heads were Nick's idea, and have been received incredibly well. I was honoured to work with such an amazingly creative individual, and was stoked at how it all came together in the end.

Where can we buy BME Melbourne ?
I'm working on a brand new website at the moment ( where you'll be able to snap up all releases. But for now, you can buy directly from myself by keeping an eye on the BME Melbourne facebook page.
I'm also honoured to be stocked in the following retail outlets across Melbourne and Brisbane.
- 1st Product (Hawthorn)
- Blindside (Chadstone Shopping Centre)
- Afends (Greville St, Prahran)
- Obese Records (Izett St, Prahran)
- Popup Kult (Brisbane)
Describe your personal style?
It surprises a lot of people to learn that I'm not one to spend hours getting ready, colour matching my threads and making myself look super duper 'cool'. Don't get me wrong, I like to look good, but this whole business about trying to 'one up' the next dude with what you're wearing really doesn't appeal to me. Give me a clean pair of Nikes, some well crafted jeans, a fresh tee, a Casio and I'm done. Depending on the day, I might choose to wear a cap or some jewellery, but I'm more about making clothes for other people to enjoy instead of myself. Again, weird, I know.

What does fashion mean to you?
I very rarely use the word fashion. In fact, I like to think that I'm not actually a part of the 'fashion industry'. When I think of the word 'fashion', images of cat- walks, prima donna models and incredibly shallow people come to mind. I'm in street wear. I design clothes that appeal to those with a sense of individuality, who aren't afraid to go against the 'social norms', think outside the square, and appreciate the time and expertise that goes into a finely crafted, locally manufactured garment.

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