In this day and age we’ve seen the rise and fall of many urban streetwear brands and one of them, Chase Apparel, have stood the test of time. Ready to dominate the big league we caught up with the founders to talk about the brand’s humble beginnings, their plans for expansion as well as hosting the first installment of the Chase Festival which goes down on 27 December in East London.
What separates you from the current pool of brands?
We have managed to build a brand over the last 3 years. The Chase brand has created an identity and image which resonates with our consumers and the people who know the brand at large. There are far too many street wear labels that don’t have this; hence there is no connection between them and their targeted consumers. Chase is a brand built on ambition, and chasing ones dreams- whenever people think of Chase, they think success. That’s the difference between many others and us.
What’s your plan going forward to ensure your longevity in the game?
Longevity lies in staying true to yourself as the creator of the garment. Anyone can create whatever is hot right now and claim to have a brand. That seldom lasts, because the barriers to entry in street wear are so low, it’s just as easy for a brand to fade away or not get recognized at all. So to stay around, stay true to the initial vision of your label.
What have been some of the challenges you have encountered, on the journey of building your brand?
Wow, there have been a ton of challenges. Namely getting the right manufacturers to produce the garments, staying on course with the lead times you’ve set at the beginning of production and also channels of getting the brand out there. However sales have always been good because we’ve always made the right quantities of clothing.
What’s the concept behind Chase Fest?
In terms of turning up, East London is one of the best places to be in the summer. We’re from the Eastern Cape so we figured we’d give East London something it would enjoy and something it deserves, through Chase Fest. We host a number of events as a brand throughout the year, so it would culminate to this big urban musical festival back home in the summer.
What’s next for Chase Apparel?
Well we’ve done as much as we can in the Eastern Cape, so a move to other cities is long overdue. Not just in distribution but in overall operations. It was always on the cards though. If you conquer your surrounds its a good start for when you try expand into bigger, more tenacious ground. You can expect a big 2015 from us.
Your views on the current state of SA hip hop?
I’ve been listening to local hip hop for a decade, and I think this is a purple patch for it. The level is international and the sound authentic. Its easily a golden era, maybe it’s best season ever.