Interview with Rob Darmour of it. Vanishes
it. Vanishes is a new third wave outdoor culture brand out of Portland, OR. By balancing unique details with sustainable materials, it. Vanishes is ushering in a new generation of explorers. Our social media manager, Kaylee, sat down with Rob to talk about his vision and why he decided to fill a niche for those who love the outdoors but don't consider themselves "outdoorsy".
K: What inspired the it.vanishes concept & brand?
R: I have a circle of friends that moved to Pacific Northwest from all over the world. They were really inspired by how beautiful everything is here and wanted to get outside. However, it was hard to find a community and they weren’t sure where to even start. So the initial idea was to build a concept around people who are not necessarily outdoorsy and create a community vibe out of that. That’s what got the concept going.
K: It's cool because it seems niche but it’s actually universal and you're inviting people from all walks of life to come hangout and have a good time.
R: I think it’s really important that people find their own experiences and their own relationship with nature just as a salve to all of the craziness that is the 21st century.
There’s a lot of taboos around our wild sides and much more reinforcement around conformity and living in big cities. When you do look around at the world you realize how centered everything is around big cities, and how there is this big shift in thinking of people wanting to get outside.
It was part of creating this new third wave of the outdoors that’s more about the bridge between being in a city and being outside.
R: Most of my life I’ve worked in athletics/sportswear world, but always a bit more on the lifestyle end of the spectrum. Throughout my career, it’s been really fun to create things that are for people to perform and look good in. Creating this concept is about taking a new look at the outdoor space. There tends to be a narrow customer focus that the outdoor industry is marketed toward.
It’s important because I grew up in the PNW in the outdoor environment but I wasn't seeing things that I was keen on. I was like, “We should just create a hike club. That’ll be fun to share experiences. Then we should create some product that we’re really excited about and share that with the community and the world". Let’s build it instead of talking about it!
R: What’s been interesting is trying to create outdoor experiences that speak to people on many levels; from the coffee shop, to the music we play its about making connections with people that are new in this space. But it's also about people that are a little bit more seasoned in their outside adventure who are excited about the community and get involved in the hike club. Reaching these mountain tops is super fun, especially with a group of people.
I think for me it’s been about rethinking how to market a concept, and then bring that concept to life. I think what is unique about it.Vanishes is that it’s been about the community first, then about an outdoor vibe where we want to bring different experiences into that community. So the hike club was the first thing that enabled people to get outside.
I’m hoping from here, the brand, it’s message, the concept, etc just continues to connect and gives people from various backgrounds the ability to get outside and do their own thing... and have fun doing it!
R: Tanner Goods always has a really cool perspective on the kind of products they create and the brands they bring in, which invites others to experience something fresh and outside their comfort zone. Community building is extremely exciting and thinking about how to create these experiences for people are the values that it.Vanishes and Tanner Goods both share.
Focusing on quality materials and delivering on a promise that supports the brands is something I find informs the work we do not only at TG but at it.Vanishes.