1. The two of you are best friends. What connected you?
BB: We met at school when we were doing our baccalaureates. Sharon lived alone in Paris and I lived with my family in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and we both had to go to Arcueil for a test. We didn’t know each other, but we had two very good friends in common.
SK: One of them asked if I could host Barbara at my house. I only had one bed in my small apartment. As crazy as it sounds, she agreed to spend the week at my place, and I shared my bed with her, without ever having seen each other. We passed the baccalaureate, then went on vacation together and we never left each other.
2. What was the moment that made you decide to team up on a fashion label?
SK: To tell you the truth, we didn’t know we wanted to do this before the opportunity arose, but we’d always been interested in fashion — we used to scour the shops every time we travelled. So, we had nothing to lose, everything to gain.
3. You both quit your jobs and launched the label with no formal design training. What made you take that leap of faith?
BB: Sharon did four years in law. I went to communication and PR business school and worked in a fashion press office. We were young mothers, almost at the same time, and we devoted ourselves to our children for a few years. And then, in 2003, when we felt the need to rework our lives, the perfect opportunity arrived: the man who became our partner, Dan Arrouas, offered us carte blanche to do something. His company produced pieces for various ready-to-wear brands,he had an unused shop at the entrance to his offices and he offered to let us do what we wanted.
4. What did you set out to achieve with ba&sh?
SK: The idea was to dress ourselves first, then our girlfriends and finally our clients. What we wanted were clothes that didn’t sting, that didn’t scratch, that we could move around with, and that weren’t sold at astronomical prices. It worked because it was relevant.
5. What was the most challenging part of the early days?
BB: We weren’t moulded by a classic fashion apprenticeship. We approached things in a very simple way, like wondering how we wanted a shirt to fall on us, what outfit we wanted to wear to work, what dress we needed to go to a wedding.
6. If you could tell yourselves anything now about running a fashion business when you started, what would it be?
BB: To stay true to ourselves: we’ve always done things at our own pace, following our desires and our intuition.