5 mins with Jean BAS

She’s a problem solver, a story keeper, a mother, designer and creator of bespoke fashion pieces, but who really is Jean Bas?

who is JEAN BAS?

Who is Jean Bas? I would call myself a story keeper. I celebrate iconic moments with people. I’ve dressed at least 10,000 women and I’m listening all the time. When fitting someone for a dress for a special occasion you’re closer than a second skin and you can feel their emotions. I never get tired of this.

i would call myself a story keeper

where did it all begin?

My story began when I was 11 and my house burned down. A lady gave my dad a sewing machine and my brother and I began creating our own clothes. I launched my own label in 1981. Back then coming to Newcastle was doing ‘country service.’ I moved here and thought it had beautiful beaches, and I stayed.

what do you hope to be remembered for?

I’d like to be thought of as a problem-solver. Design is problem solving. A good design is often a change in centremetres or millimetres, not inches, and those changes will solve the problem. I might also be known by thousands of women as helping them feel beautiful at one time. I never get tired of watching a woman have that moment when she learns she’s beautiful, she’s not lumpy, she just wasn’t wearing the right thing.

what advice would you offer? 

My advice is for women and it’s about investing in themselves. The French teach their girls style from a young age, we should be doing the same, because a woman deserves to feel beautiful, at any age. I also want women to know that they do not become invisible when they reach menopause.

what is next for you and your industry? 

I can see a resurgence in the sewing of our own clothes. We can’t keep supporting an industry that is destroying our planet. Choose quality pieces as the building blocks of your wardrobe. The next step for me? – I’m a storyteller and story keeper, my future lies somewhere in that space.

favourite film? 

‘Babette’s Feast’ & ‘Out of Africa’. I also love ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ as it is iconic for influencing the way women dress today.