The city of Bristol is synonymous with individuality, independence and distinctiveness. From Park Street to St Nicholas Market one does not have to search hard to find clothing brands which have been cultivated in the city. Bristol is home to, perhaps more than anywhere else in the UK, the independent clothing brand. In a city that spurns the mainstream and embraces originality, 'start up' clothing businesses have found their home. More famously, Bristol is also home to one of the UK's most successful and distinguished universities, the University of Bristol. The two are intrinsically linked, the combination of academic excellence that the city offers, combined with the willingness to accept new styles and new clothing brands mean that many students of the university foray into starting their own apparel business. Whilst for many, the idea of selling their own clothing remains confined to the four walls of whichever halls of residence they dreamt it up in, for four young boys their dream is starting to become a reality.
Founded in late 2012, 'bakedd.' is the brainchild of Aaron Kendall and himself, Alex Raynes and Spencer Turner are the three partners of the brand with fellow student Josh Raz as a partner and designer. As with most businesses, the four students have experienced the trials and tribulations of attempting to start up their own apparel brand and have had to deal with the minefield of costs, production, design, pitching and selling. For many students, the challenge of conceiving a business concept, whilst maintaining study is nigh on impossible. Nonetheless, since the conception of 'bakedd.' in November of 2012, there has been a successful launch and 'bakedd.' clothing has started to appear in retailers in Bristol, a genuine tour de force in today's unpredictable consumer market.
The brand itself is centred on catering for young people, by
"incorporating contemporary designs which appeal to the student sub-culture"which Aaron describes. 'bakedd.' aims to target the 2.5million strong population of students currently in the UK; the brand's popularity has become apparent, with orders already taken from several major university cities in the UK. The uniqueness in 'bakedd.' is inherent in the manufacture and designs that it produces. The material of the clothing is of a noticeably high quality, a subtle feature many new 'start up' clothing companies fail to recognise the importance of. Moreover, the artwork that is produced by Josh Raz, the designer at 'bakedd.' has an air of originality about it which Alex Raynes says
"has been overlooked by many contemporary clothing brands and has been snuffed out by high street chains that mass produce apparel".
The dynamic of 'bakedd.' which has made the brand notable around the university campus is its plans for the future. It's 'in vest in art' concept is genuinely exciting and ambitious, especially for a 'start up' company. The initiative aims to marry local Bristolian artwork to clothing, and produce runs of clothing which are specific to chosen artists, teamed with profiles, interviews and blog posts on their website.
The mire of difficulties that 'start ups' are faced with are often off-putting enough for most wannabe-entrepreneurs to shelve their ideas. This is what makes the successes of 'bakedd.' noteworthy, the original designs that the brand is able to produce, their social media and retail presence as well as their ideas which encourage sustainability and opportunity for local artists are all impressive traits and reinforce the individuality of 'bakedd.'. These boys have started as they mean to go on, and in Bristol where uniqueness and creativity are rewarded, who knows how far they will go.
To visit the 'bakedd' website go to: www.bakedd.com
Josh Raz's artwork can be viewed at: http://razkissmyart.tumblr.com/