We had the good fortune of connecting with Cass “Bunny” Chase and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cass “Bunny”, we’d love to hear more about what you thought about starting your own business?
I decided to start my own business because I’m naturally insubordinate. As Sailor Ripley says, “This is a snakeskin jacket! And for me, it’s a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom,” Recluse Club is my snakeskin jacket. I’ve always known I had to find a way to be self-employed.

I have always craved a job that could utilize researching sub-cultures, art, history, music, and film. By creating fashion collections around these different interests and Americana culture, I’ve been able to find a happy marriage that allows me to feel consistently engaged.

Recluse Club is founded on being a genderless suiting brand. At the time of its creation, I was only seeing genderless clothing in neutral colorways and streetwear silhouettes. I wanted to broaden the definition of “unisex” and “genderless” fashion. I wanted to create clothes that went beyond stereotypical gender definitions.

If you have the desire to start your own business, it’s certainly a confusing, exciting, and fun leap to make. Being freelance has been very rewarding because at times it can be a major challenge, especially starting. I was an assistant designer before starting my LLC and freelance styling. I saved a quarter of every paycheck with the goal in mind to quit and have a nest egg. I often find myself having to do a lot of odd jobs outside of Recluse.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My brand picks apart Americana and film culture through the canvas of suiting. I started designing four years ago. I have been a stylist on and off for 7 years. My career yo-yos between costume design, fashion design, assisting, and styling. I’ve been fortunate to freelance this past year and maintain a career.

I would say I got here by staying true to my vision and self. When roadblocks occur, it is easy to abandon yourself. I believe in the art of manifestation and connecting dots. When I was a little kid, I dreamed of being the next Edward Hopper — very funny. I wanted to be a famous painter. The sadness and historical nature of Hopper’s paintings were fascinating. “New York Movie” (Hopper, 1939) is my favorite. I admired his obsession with America and documenting it. I started painting at an early age, due to my mother’s love for art. I would make comic books, write little screenplays, and record mini-movies on a camcorder. These mediums are still majorly a part of me, I didn’t abandon them but reference them in new directions. I paint with beads now. I use my love for culture and history through drafting a collection’s manifesto and research. I use my love for comic art in my fashion illustrations and idea development. I write characters for each model that wears my designs.

I started to like fashion when I was about 16. I hadn’t had much interest in it until I discovered Hussein Chalayan. I didn’t teach myself how to sew until I was 20 when I retired the dream of being a magazine editor. I’m still learning how to sew. I don’t have an inventory of my work, so when I receive orders, I ask for measurements. This has been a big learning curve because I am not continuously working off a size chart or my original pattern pieces. My biggest challenges are getting started and pattern making. Being bad at math isn’t easy when you’re a suit-wear designer. These challenges have given me a lot of pride and purpose. I’m proud of myself. Two years ago I wanted to style and design for musicians. I’ve slowly started to see that pathway emerge. I am hoping to get into the costume film world. I am very excited about my next collection. I’m dreaming of directing fashion narrative short films for Recluse. I’m also hoping to come out with a Recluse History & Film podcast in the next year.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week-long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.                      I’m very new to Los Angeles! I am just starting my bi-coastal journey…

I would spend a Sunday morning at Bob Baker Marionette Theater, and go to Starday vintage, Soap Plant / Wacko, and Los Feliz Flea.

I would make an appointment with Eveready Vintage and go to Retro Row after.

I would get a tattoo by Rainblow Tattoos!

The academy museum is super cool!

I recommend spending a day adventuring around Malibu

I would stop and say a prayer at Bela Lugosi’s grave.

I would drive up Mulholland drive at midnightlistening to the movie’s soundtrack.

I would get dinner at The Galley and order a Calamari Steak.

I would go to a Lucha Libre event.

I would spend an evening at Pirate Land Adventure, haha.

I’ve lived in New York City for 8 years. Here are my recommendations:

Go to the Museum of Moving Image

Eat at Astoria Seafood

Buy a custom stamp at Casey Rubber Stamps

Visit Enchantments for hand-carved candles

Go to Village Revival Records!

Get on the Manhattan-bound Q train at Dekalb and see the Masstransiscope

Go to the Ramble to feed the raccoons at sunset

Have a homemade soda at Lexington Candy Shop

Take the ferry to Rockaway and get a nutcracker

Visit La Sirena

See a movie at Film Forum, Roxy Cinema, Angelica, or IFC (midnight on weekends only)

Get a hot dog at Santa Salsa

Have dinner at Kenka

Get two darks at McSorley’s

Go to The Jewish Museum

Visit The Fotografiska Museum

Visit Ray’s Candy shop after a long night out

Pray outside of the Pyramid Club so that one day, she will re-open. 

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shout out to Nudie Cohn, The (Dixie) Chicks, my Mom, my Dad and Bo Chapli.

Website: therecluse.club // cassadeechase.com

Instagram: therecluseclub // cassadeechase

Image Credits
cover photo. Carina Allen (@rlyblonde) Photo 1: Bo Chapli @bo.chapli 2: Bo Chapli 3. Bo Chapli / Sam Kogon @samkogon 4. Carina Allen 5. Carina Allen 6. Porscha Little @theorishasbaby

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.