1. Ben, we’ve missed you! Where have you been?
Cheers man, I've missed you guys too.
Basically I've had a busy past year with lots of moving around and a few different jobs changing around. I released a small drop through the website last year but haven't had a full on collection release for a while up until the new drop
For the last few months I've just been slowly working to get everything right with this drop, and sort of come back stronger than before as it were. It's taken a little bit longer than I would have liked it to (as I'm sure you're aware), but I got to a point where I could rush it and get it done, or I could take my time and do it properly. I think it was worth the wait.
2. Isaac Newton, Roy Lichtenstein – just a few names popping up in the new Bake Designs collection. What is the inspiration for this latest range?
With the new collection I wanted to go back to basics. Strip things down and really pinpoint more of an identity. I started looking back to real design basics, and then it led me to looking even further back at things I had learnt in the past.
I thought about some of the things I could remember from school, little quotes I remembered and subjects I was good at. The most prominent design in the new range is inspired by the work of Roy Lichtenstein and that is more than anything down to him being one of the first real artists I was aware of as a child.
In the past the Bake collections have often consisted of more varied designs, but like I said this time I wanted to strip it back and go with a more consistent collective feel.
3. Yourself, Grind London and Indcsn are leading the charge for independent UK brands at the moment. Does it feel like a good time to be involved in streetwear in this country?
It's good to see so many strong UK brands at the moment and it's definitely good to be part of that strong group that Urban Industry have picked up. I've got a lot of time for the guys at INDCSN and Grind, and there's a few other really strong UK brands around that I'm really impressed by, so in that sense it is definitely a good time to be involved.
It's also a time where more and more people are interested in Streetwear, both worldwide and in the UK. This has definitely had both positive and negative effects on the scene. For instance the market is quite saturated at the moment, there's a whole new wave of people starting companies. But at the same time there's a whole new wave of customers as well.
But I'm still definitely proud to be part of the UK scene, it's an honour for the brand to be stocked on Urban Industry and to mentioned in the same breath as brands like INDCSN, Grind, Swallows & Daggers among others not stocked on UI always feels good.
4. Anything exciting lined up over the next few months with Bake Designs? Anyone you want to work with, or any projects you’re itching to get started on?
There's always people and brands I'd love to work with, some of whom I've discussed it with and some I haven't. There's a lot of things I'd like to do with the brand, and to be fair the main thing I want to do now is to kick on and keep the momentum from this drop and carry it through to new releases, and new kinds of product.
There's nothing set in stone yet, but having dabbled with some different bits and pieces moving away from just tees and hoodies it's definitely something I'd like to continue with.
We shall see.
5. Challenges of running your own brand? Any advice for those looking to start a brand?
There are so many challenges with running your own brand. Naming it, branding it, producing it, marketing it, selling it, delivering it, and doing it all well and in profit. That's just stripping it back to basics as well.
I think a lot of people start up brands thinking it's going to be easy and it'll just work and they'll be cool. But it's not easy and it does take a huge amount of effort and commitment to do it well. There are so many problems to overcome and if you're not fully committed to it, then it is very easy to get disheartened and give up.
Based up on that I honestly think the best bit of advice I can give to people is to only really do it if they are fully committed and doing it for the right reasons. If your heart is in it and you want to succeed for the right reasons it will come together.