Classiq is a clothing brand based out of Washington that has its roots in blending originality with simplicity. With the topic of minimalism becoming so prevalent in today’s fashion and streetwear landscape, it’s important to understand the different takes on the style. Here we sit down with Ted Baird of Classiq in defining the tough subject.
Q: First off, how did the Classiq (“Siq”) name and logo come about?
TB: Classiq was originally born from a failed shopping experience. My best friend and I were shopping at Alderwood, a mall near my house. We just received our paychecks, so we were looking to buy an outfit for the night. We ran but couldn’t find anything. I saw what I wanted in my head, but it didn’t exist. Inspiration hit and I decided to form my own line. I started thinking about brands I admired and why. Ralph Lauren immediately jumped into my head. The timeless elegance of a Ralph Lauren Polo could be worn in 1985 and 2085. Ralph Lauren is a classic brand. Timelessness was one ingredient, but it was missing something. Urban and street fashion were prevalent within my influences so I dropped the last “c” on Classic and replaced it with a “q”. I ended up blending two doppelgängers to form a timeless streetwear brand.
Q: What is Classiq’s definition of Urban Minimalism?
TB: It’s all about harmonizing two polar opposites. Streetwear has a grit and unrefined taste that was hailed in the 90s. It’s about taking that raw emotion and paring it with its mature older brother, timeless minimalism.
Q: With the minimalist trend having caught fire in recent months in the form of basic neutral colours, oversized clothing, box-shapes, etc., what makes Classiq’s take on it unique?
TB: New brands can fall into the typical trap by riding trends creating initial success, but do they have endurance? Obviously a brand can evolve and mature but it has to stay rooted within the morals it was built upon. Classiq Autumn/Winter 15 is streetwear predominately, but consumers will be able to see the growth with upcoming lines. These are very humanly aspects people can relate to. Starting off as an urban brand then developing into a refined lifestyle brand.
Q: How does Classiq incorporate minimalism into its designs and collections?
TB: I’m not a talker. Anyone who knows me knows this. Let your actions speak on your behalf. I translate this into fashion by straying away from loud and oversaturated graphics. Classiq is refined urban wear. For that guy who can walk into a room, doesn’t say anything, and his presence is felt.
Streetwear has a grit and unrefined taste that was hailed in the 90s. It’s about taking that raw emotion and paring it with its mature older brother, timeless minimalism.
Q: Classiq’s 2014 Fall/Winter collection went through quite the overhaul. Tell us about what happened and what we can expect for the upcoming 2015 releases?
TB: Classiq Fall/Winter 2014 is a sore subject. I spent the later part of 2013 and top of 2014 designing and conceptualizing the line. After months of long nights, the designs were ready for manufacturing. After weeding out 10 or 20 manufactures I finally linked with this Chinese company. Prototyping began and I slowly started to perfect the line. It was June 2014 and contracts were finalized. I was about to reach the climax then out of nowhere, the manufacture goes out of business. 6-7 months of work down the tube. It was a huge disappointment. I already began to promote the line then had to announce the line was getting postponed. People kept hitting me up for orders but I couldn’t deliver. I didn’t have any product.
My character and perseverance was tested. It got me down for a bit, but that’s entrepreneurship for you. I packed my bags for Vegas to attend Magic to begin the manufacture search all over again. This was a blessing in disguise because I was able to link with a company who understood the vision clearly and could execute my ideas perfectly. Hard dates are to be announced later this year but expect some new gear this winter.
I wanted to create a line that could flood any market. I want people in Tokyo and Jakarta wearing Classiq. Throwing Space Needles and fish all over a shirt would be cool for a local brand, but Classiq is bigger than that.
Q: In addition to the signature simplicity and minimalism, are there any additional overarching themes running through the upcoming collection?
TB: Two stripes have been implemented on several products on the right sleeve. These stripes symbol a circular equal’s sign in which reminds the wearer to keep an equal balance in one’s life. Go ahead and hustle, but don’t forget about what truly matters: family, friends and leaving a legacy. Don’t let any aspect of your life control you. If you work a lot, make sure you’re balancing it with spending time with your family.
Q: How do you define your take on tailoring, how does it fit in with the rest of the brand?
TB: Womenswear has infiltrated menswear. It’s a beautiful thing. In being a taller dude, I always ran into the problem of all my clothes not fitting vertically. Pushing the boundaries on silhouettes is what I’m doing with Classiq. You still can have a clean-cut look with an urban edge.