We all have that special band t-shirt that has been through the ups and downs of life with us, the one that feels like home. Chaser Brand offers you that, and so much more. Designers at Chaser strive to bring looks inspired by generations past with a fresh and fun spin. Imagine the way that favorite band tee feels, but from a whole fashion line.
Megan Baca, VP of Design and Merchandising, brought her love of fashion design to a company she knew she could grow with. Baca always wanted to study fashion design but it wasn’t until after college that she followed her dream. The SoCal native grew up loving to design clothes that fit her beach lifestyle, but her family felt fashion design wasn’t the direction she should take. After living in Europe, Baca could no longer ignore that fashion design was calling her home.
We spoke to Baca about her love of design, how she found her perfect fit with Chaser, and what is important to one of our favorite brands.
Growing up, were you always interested in fashion and design?
I was. I grew up in Southern California, at the beach, and I was always wanting to design my own swimsuits. I was always sketching. But as I got older, heading to college, my parents weren’t very encouraging of me going to fashion design school at that point. I had to refocus and put that on hold. I ended up going back after college to study fashion. So I was still able to follow my dreams, just a little later.
What did you decide to study instead?
I went to UC Santa Barbara to study Spanish Literature with a minor in French. I lived in Europe for a year while I was in college, and a year after. So that time allowed me to think about what I really wanted to do. It’s then when I reconnected with wanting to study fashion. When I moved back to the States I studied fashion design in Los Angeles.
How did you find yourself designing for Chaser Brand?
The fashion industry is kind of a small world in LA. You find yourself knowing everyone, especially in the t-shirt world. I had started my career off — my first real design job was with t-shirts. Then I went to Sanctuary for a while before going to LA Made. We did t-shirts there. Through LA Made is how I met the founder of Chaser, Hadi Salem, and we discussed expanding Chaser.They were doing band and graphic tees at the time, but he wanted to go further. The timing was perfect for me, I was looking for something fresh and new. And it was a good time for us to come together and infuse new life into the brand. I took on the design side and started with some fashion basics. We did a leather jacket, which they hadn’t done before. And we started working in silks, dresses, and sweaters, really creating a full fashion collection around the roots of the rock ‘n’ roll tees.
After that, we really wanted to expand into original artwork. We started working with local and freelance artists to create cool artwork to put on our graphic tees. We also make sure the t-shirt we are putting the graphic art on aren’t just regular basics. There was something special about these. Maybe it’s a back detail, or different kinds of vents, or deconstruction. Just something that feels unique, whatever that signature Chaser look was bound to be.
What is it that has made Chaser successful, the signature Chaser look?
I think it was just everything coming together like it should have. The timing was right as well. We were starting out with really great fabrics, so we were ready to go. They already had the Bloomingdale’s account, which was great to come in on. I was able to bring in this newness with the deconstructed tee, this was back in 2010 when no one else was really doing that yet. We were putting really cool artwork on a deconstructed tee. I know everyone’s doing it now, but at the time we were one of the first brands to do that. They helped put us on the map, that gave us our name. Then we were able to build off of that. Start with the more grungy stuff, and add in more femininity. Add pieces you could dress up or dress down. Our ability to do that I think has really given us our uniqueness.
I know, being a fan of Chaser Brand, that quality is important to you as well.
Huge. Everyone here who works on design are always testing it, making sure it stands up to what we created. Not only quality but fit is paramount. I just want to create the best tees anyone can find. I want to do that for dresses, I want to do that for jackets. I like to line the jackets with t-shirt material so it still feels like you’re just wearing a t-shirt. I think that’s one of our most important features. Like you look super cool, but you’re also super comfortable.
What are your hopes for the future of Chaser?
I want to see it continue to grow. We’ve branched out into swimwear, which has been amazing for us. We’ve been doing towels, flip-flops, and totes. Now we are going into hats. I want people to love Chaser, and to trust in our vision. I want it to become the one stop shop for everything you love. We want to get into blankets and pillows. With time we will be able to grow into a full lifestyle brand that supports Chasers vision. That’s what’s been so great about opening stores. When I design something with my team we all try it and make sure we love it. We put a lot of love and time into what we create, and we want everyone to think it’s great. We are so excited that the world likes it, and we want to keep our customers happy.