Chic Meets Classic
Ba&sh CEO of North America Sarah Benady makes a pop-up stop in San Francisco for the brand’s stateside debut.
Distinctively Parisian since 2003, ba&sh’s bohemian dresses and tailored blazers have become a French woman’s wardrobe staple. Now, this chic brand created by Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief is heading stateside. For a few days in October, they opened a pop-up shop in San Francisco in order to introduce locals to the brand’s diverse collection. CEO of North America Sarah Benady was on hand for the event.
Emily Heitmann: You were in corporate law before diving into the fashion realm. What led you on this new career path?
Sarah Benady: I was always interested in fashion, but felt a bit of pressure to pursue a more traditional professional path, and so I chose law. When I moved to New York City 12 years ago and started working at a corporate law firm, I still found myself most excited about fashion. My roommate at the time worked at Balenciaga, and after work I would ask her all the details about her day, and was so intrigued by what she was doing and learning—it seemed like a sign. So I quit my job at the law firm, moved back to Paris, and started exploring opportunities in fashion—starting with Cartier, then LVMH, then Printemps.
And then you ended up at The Kooples, a Parisian brand that has seen a lot of growth in the States. How did you navigate that transition into the U.S.?
It was an exciting journey—I joined The Kooples when it was a very small team and stayed there for seven years. At first, I was responsible for developing the brand throughout department stores in Europe (especially because I came from Printemps). As we saw the rapid success there, I moved to New York City to help launch The Kooples in the United States and oversaw its team for over three years as CEO of North America.
What drew you to ba&sh?
Ba&sh was a brand I grew up with—it’s been around in Paris since Barbara and Sharon launched it in 2003. And it was truly one of my favorite brands to shop for everything from work to weekend to special occasions. When I finally met Barbara and Sharon, I knew I wanted to join them. They are visionaries to launch such a unique brand—designed by women, for women, with effortless femininity and elegant confidence at the core of all the collections. They continue to inspire me and our team to this day with their energy, creativity, and kindness.
This is ba&sh’s first pop-up shop in San Francisco. Welcome! What led the company to set up shop in the Bay Area?
We are so excited for this first opportunity in San Francisco! We’ve developed a strong community of loyal clients here who shop ba&sh online or in other cities, and have been asking us to come for some time. We believe the aesthetic and values of our brand align well with San Francisco—effortless, versatile, and accessible, yet high quality. We’re excited to see how it goes!
We are, too! I believe ba&sh’s fall collection effortlessly blends Parisian chic with American classic. Which pieces should all women have hanging in their wardrobe?
I always say this, but I truly believe our Fall 2019 collection is our best one yet! It has the key essentials that all Parisian women own: a classic trench—ours this season is cropped for a modern take; a beautiful printed midi-dress that can be worn with sneakers on the weekend or heels for work; and a cozy oversized knit, made of the highest quality wool and designed to be chic yet warm.
And what is so great about the ba&sh pieces is their ability to be worn alone or mixed with another.
Yes, exactly! We truly design a complete wardrobe for all occasions.
What wardrobe combination do you personally gravitate to the most?
I love to layer a chunky knit over a printed dress and top it with a belt or even blazer if it’s really chilly.
To bring a little bit of Paris to your wardrobe, visit www.ba-sh.com