It's time to get familiar with the mad scientist Dr. Romanelli!
He recently sat down with hypebeast to talk about his creations and methodology.
"For many mad scientists – or perhaps the more popularly known Dr. Victor Frankenstein – the act of dissection, experimentation and reconstruction is what satisfies the heart of their passion. That desire to understand where something came from and what further potential it has pulsates through their veins in a way many may never come to experience. Curiosity is human nature, however it takes a certain level of drive and focus to build a career from it.
Californian native Darren Romanelli was born with the same geist as the mad scientists we hear about. Without truly understanding – nor needing a reason to – Darren found a deep desire to explore his interests to the nth degree; to anatomize, analyze and reimagine a project. During his years in college, Fashion played the muse for his fascination, and from then on, Darren Romanelli came to be known as “Dr. Romanelli,” subsequently naming his brand the abbreviated “DRx” in 2000. Through his brand, Darren worked on projects which allowed him to delve into a myriad of fabrics and garments from other brands, and through collaboration, he singlehandedly crafted new pieces that can be argued as an elevated product; the best pieces from several merged into one coherent item of style.
Adjacent to his passion for breaking down and building up new narratives for clothing, Darren also had a thirst for coffee. On top of that, he also loved the idea of creativity, so he put the two together in 2012 to create The Pancake Epidemic, a café and creative safe haven that started off as a place for him and his staff, but quickly developed into a think-tank sanctuary for family, friends and likeminded others. His official pursuit for creativity came 11 years before, when Darren helped start the network agency StreetVirus. Operating as a marketing hub that seeks out the perfect match of tastemaker and brand, StreetVirus offers the tools needed for creative exchange which serves as somewhat of an extension of the doctor himself.
Darren Romanelli’s love for in-depth exploration and creativity inspired our own deeply vested interest in the same two things, which is why we sat down with him at his office in Los Angeles to do a bit of dissecting ourselves. We wanted to open up Darren’s head to better understand his personal reasoning behind what he does, why someone finds interest in seeking out his own version of something already established, and what he personally gains from doing so. In our bid to figuring out how his mind works, we were able to piece together an interview that describes a man with the utmost sense of curiosity, with a little bit of madness thrown in."