Yaw from Basement Heads speaks the honest truth with his visions for his brand and gets personal with his viewers. His dedication and hard work show through his designs and unique sense of style. Keep doing what you're doing Yaw, you're impressing us all out here.
Q: Explain the time in your life when you started to really envision Basement Heads as a brand?
A: I think it all started when I was fourteen. I never knew much about clothes, except I was always intrigued when I saw my mom setting up a pattern on the carpet. I never knew why she had to take apart the whole living room and always when I was watching TV. I think I was more annoyed thenanything, but she was always so precise, I didn’t really understand it at the time. I was in a movie when I was a kid. They gave me all these new clothes, and they were designer clothes. I was over the moon, I remember I stained the bottom of one of the shirts and I got so scared that they would make me pay. The director laughed when I said that. After being on set for five days they ended up giving me the clothes. After that I ended up working that summer and making enough to pay for my sisters back to school clothes. That moment I wanted to make something; I said to a friend that I’ll design my own clothes and make movies. He laughed at me, most people do at first.
Q: Define what Basement Heads means to you? How do you place yourself and your brand within fashion/street wear in today’s society?
A: A basement head is someone that pushes to get what he has always wanted as a kid or even now. The kid me probably didn't know it was going to be that hard. Nike says, “just do it” we say dream. I think we are on the cusp. We definitely fit in the street wear market but the further and further we push, we will be in-between the fashion world and the street wear world. I also believe that these two are merging. The art of fashion is remarkable, if you really think about it we all grow up as designers sort of. As a kid your parents allow you to put your clothes together. The other day I saw a little girl with a crown, a tutu and a baggy T-shirt tucked into the tutu. I was like that’s dope! She saw herself as a princess but she needed that baggy T-shirt to complete the outfit.
Q: How do you differentiate from other skate brands?
A: I wouldn’t call us a skate brand. We are more of a lifestyle brand. We sort of celebrate art and individuality. We learn and grow through society, so we definitely pull ideas from everywhere.
Q: Do you have a background in visuals/design?
A: Jared who started this company with me, has a lot of design experience. I have gone to school for art, but with design it’s more of me trying and drawing pieces that I think might work on an article of clothing. Right now we are playing with this concept of rebellion for our upcoming winter collection.
Q: What is the thought processes you go through when coming up with the next design and planning out where you will shoot?
A:Taking photos is a lot different then designing. Designing is sometimes a lot of research, finding your voice and then more research. With photos I try to relate the idea to the photographer, but I also want the photographer to feel like an artist. I listen to their ideas and I might make suggestions. The idea is to create together. I mostly want every release to fit the theme of that launch. The photos and the script for the look book video all have to be similar or it doesn't work. We are creating mini films for each look book that will be two minute shorts.
Q: How would you define the word success?
A: That’s a hard one for me because I think of it two ways. I think of my parents. To have people that love you no matter what and fight for you is so under appreciated. I also think success is being able to you the best you can. The mom in the new Frank Ocean album says, “Be Yourself.” I think that’s what I’d tell the high school me, stop hiding and just do you.
Q: Have you had any struggles or set backs that have stopped you from pursing what you are doing?
A: Oh man, my life is a set back. I have had a lot of things happen in the last few years that made me want to quit. Me Brian and Trophy laugh because it would be so easy to just get a job. To apply for something that we're not that interested in and get a paycheck. A paycheck looks so good you have no idea, but it’s not me. I'd rather die for what I love then not have it for at least a moment.
Q: You already have quite a bit social media following, how will you expand your social media presence and reach other areas of the world?
A: Doing as many features, as well as getting people to represent our brand that have a big audience is key. Traveling to other cites as well as launching into more stores. We have gotten a lot of love and opportunities in the short two and a half years since we started but we want so much more.
Q: Who inspires you to create?
A: It’s not a person, even right now I've been working on this launch so hard that I haven’t had a chance to draw. It kills me, its feels like how you might feel if your room was dirty. It haunts me, I just feel like I’m going a little insane until I open my book. I get a lot of what's wrong, but then I draw and it’s like a breath of fresh air.
Q: You just came out with a few new pieces that you are showcasing such as body suits and some new t shirt designs in a music video do you see yourself continuing to push this and work with styling?
A: Styling is so cool, I never knew this was coming and now that I've done it I can't wait to do more. It also changed my mindset. I think I needed to see how big this could be, because now I ain't playing. I want our shoots to be even more creative, I want our clothes to be hot even in 10 years. I want to show how much life is in me, in us. I've surrounded myself with people that just inspire me, I can't wait to show you what's in my head.