In the words of Hip Hop legend, Notorious B.I.G in the track Juicy-“It was all a dream…” This powerful line had these two Capetonians inspired to start a dream of their own, BAAS Clothing.
In 2011, Chad Carolissen and Liam Caledon got together with a couple of friends and decided to start printing t-shirts for some extra money. One thing led to another and before they knew it, they were hosting meetings every Thursday building up the brand, now known as BAAS. Don’t be mistaken, the brand BAAS isn’t just a clothing label but its representative of the Cape Town culture.
Chad describes himself as the ambitious, passionate leader and Liam describes himself as the goal worker. When asked where the name came from, the two formed this creative response: ‘‘We were busy having a brainstorm session in our happy place at the time and the word “BAAS” was mentioned, it was almost like a light bulb moment, we all looked at each other and we knew that “BAAS” had to be the name of our clothing label.”
Even though, initially, the project was to get a few Mandela’s in their back pockets for some extra change, the boys pledge allegiance that for them it isn’t all about the financial rewards. “Its way deeper than that. All our garments are bought and made in Cape Town, it goes hand in hand with our concept and helps to keep the local industry in business.”
If you’re wondering what makes these gentlemen different from all the other clothing entrepreneurs, they’ll tell you that unlike all the others, they do everything THEMSELVES. From the designing, to the marketing to everything in-between. One of the BAAS boys’ main goal is to create unity amongst the local creatives in Cape Town and get people inspired to work together, graffiti artists, rappers, writers, designers, film and media. Their belief in collaboration among creatives, is that it’ll make people less apprehensive on going into an industry that may be difficult to get into… and who doesn’t want to do what they love with an easier start?
BAAS Clothing is primarily a male clothing brand but do not worry ladies, the boys are making plans for female garments in the near future. The Mandela printed tee and KAAS & Labels Crew neck and the Military Shirt are Chad’s favorite pieces from the collection and Liam loves the Lego Blocks Printed Tee and the (already in high demand) BAAS Beanies. When the range drops you will be able to purchase all these street credible pieces at Shelflife in Loop Street, Cape Town.
These young entrepreneurs, not only have business and street smarts but they are genuinely cool kids who want not only to improve themselves but also their country. ”In 5 years time we see us having our own store/space. It would be really amazing to have our own small factory to make our own garments, creating employment for those who seek, this way we create job opportunities and contribute to the local industry. We will always be “Kaap Kinners” and will rep the Mother City till we die… we would like to become internationally recognised and rep Cape Town all over the world.”
Their parting words for those who are inspired to start their own business was:
”Do not be afraid of competition, competition is healthy and should not be avoided. Healthy competition should be embraced and attacked with full force, this will keep your brand fresh, original and uniquely yours. You have to completely believe in your brand, what it stands for and your ability to do your brand justice. Treat your brand like a business and keep it professional and proper. Do not be afraid to take on new tasks and challenges, always be original and try to bring your personality and character through your brand and lastly but most important you have to love what you are doing.”
Follow these swaggin’ up-and-comers on twitter @BAASClothing and their website is coming soon after the drop of their summer range.
LiveSA wishes you all the best for the future, gentlemen and BAAS out.