Every brand, every company, every collective is made of it’s people. Guy Vernes is a singular name, but a denunciation that surpasses the individual. This segment is an introduction and a tribute to the ones who make it all happen. Kicking-off is Mr. Guy Vernes himself.

The rise of every brand starts with nothing and over time, if you play your cards well, it might become a little something. The recipe is somewhere out there, I suppose: maybe between the lines of a Richard Branson biography or a Phil Knight interview somewhere on the net. The key to success is your definition of the latter. Needless to say, we’re all striving for it. Whatever it is.

Allow me to reintroduce myself, something I should have done a long time ago. My name is Bilal Al Mashta and although the brand surpasses the person, I’m also known by the more fashionable name of Guy Vernes.

Born in 1985 in a city called Constantine, I spent half of my life in the lower lands, the place I call home. I graduated in 2009 as a master in Law with a degree in commercial law from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. On the second of June I handed in my thesis and that same evening I decided to dedicate my short-term future to a name I worked on building for a couple of years: Guy Vernes; a t-shirt brand I started in 2006. I will tell you all the reasons behind this somewhat radical decision another time, when the complete story of the brand’s coming to existence is published. For now it suffices to tell that it’s a decision I hardly regret.

My love for creation is the only thing I’m sure of. I cannot tell you what my exact talents are, but I find pure joy, life’s most encompassing feeling of happiness in the process of creation. Add to that a free spirit and an obsessive tendency to be original and you have the drive behind a brand that’s trying to tell it’s wonderful story in the world of art and fashion. Hence the company has become my way to give the world what I have been given, my supposed raison d’être: unlimited creative production.

After 24 years on this planet, my young mind has enveloped itself on the philosophy that life is a gift you ought to live in all humbleness and gratitude. In order to be your genuine self: live, love and give the world your talents. Maybe Guy Vernes is just a boyish dream I will wake up from some day, maybe it’s a beautiful reality I will dream about later. All I know is that we’re peddling along the canals, our girls on the back-carrier, not sure whether this is the road to success or success itself. In the meantime we’re doing what we do best and if you want to be part of it, just grab a bike and tag along. It’s a ride you’ll never forget.

With pleasure, Bilal

Read more about Bilal’s work
Photograph by Laura de Haan