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As a kid growing up in the city of New Orleans, LA (aka “The Big Easy”), I was nicknamed “B. Easy” for my chill and stress-free demeanor, which was picked up by the friendliness of the people of my hometown.

I collected baseball caps and loved wearing them as a teenager. When I moved away from home, I abandoned a part of the old me because I was trying to be corporate and strict to please a formal girlfriend.

After that breakup, I was reunited with the love of my life Ann, who gifted me with this yellow cap before she died. She had it custom-made so that “B. Easy” was included on the side of the cap to remind me of being true to myself and to continue to live the philosophy of “B.Easy. No Stress. No Stress.”

There has been no greater gift to me, aside from the gift of life, than the yellow cap because it stands for something beyond the motto. It stands for love and being loved and accepted by others for being true to yourself. In my travels to Europe, I took the cap with me to share love and acceptance with others.

The life of a model is very stressful during fashion week. The luxury and glamor that we all see on the runway are not what these catwalkers experience behind the scenes. I traveled to Europe to photograph and cheer them on during the S/S 2012 runway season

 In the end, by chance and kindness, 65 high fashion models were great sports and joined the fun. In the spirit of spreading love and the “be easy” or care-free philosophy, they wore this cap so graciously for my camera in Europe. Click here for a full list of all the leading ladies who looked absolutely fly and hot with the cap!

I want to thank all the models that stopped and graciously agreed to wear and pose with the cap. Some of the girls surprised me with how quickly, sweetly, and enthusiastically they accepted to be pictured with the cap. There were so many sweet moments that I won’t ever forget. Simple acts of kindness and sweetness may be done in just a few seconds, but you have no idea, how such short moments can touch someone.

Most of the photos are from Milan. Paris Fashion Week was a crazy time for the models and me when it came to shooting since everyone was frantically rushing to the next thing, and I didn’t wear the cap everyday because of my mohawk. I was only completely turned down three times, which is fine. This was a fun and random project, and I am honestly just surprised that I only received a 4% rejection rate from the 69 models I found the guts to ask. I was expecting a higher “no” rate. Also, I only mostly asked models who were familiar with me from New York. There were models from Milan that I didn’t have a chance to see after the shows in Paris that were going to also wear the cap. Maybe, next time, if the project continues… 

Sometimes, I was shy in asking, especially when it was in regards to the bigger or older models. The one model that I badly wanted to ask was Abbey Lee. I did not have the right moment or balls to ask her to wear the cap. Abbey is my style inspiration ever since the first time I met her in person, and she was very sweet to me in Europe. I will share the stories in another post. As friendly as I can be, I have to admit that I can still be pretty shy.

Overall, this was a very fun project to photograph because, as you will soon see, some of the models were very creative with their way of wearing and showcasing the cap. The girls are all so beautiful and adorable! For me, there is nothing cooler and sexier than a girl wearing a fly baseball cap! =)

This was a spontaneous collaboration. The cap is not for sale. I just wanted to share the message of love and acceptance with you all with the help from the models.

And, for those who are interested, I am dedicating the entire project to Hats Off for Cancer - a non-profit organization that collects and donates hats of all kinds to the courageous children who lose their hair due to cancer treatments. Please visit their site to make a donation and/or find more ways to get involved.

So, with no further delay, I present to you all: “The Yellow Cap” Project. Click here to see the entire gallery and find out if any of your favorite catwalkers joined in the fun! I hope you will enjoy…

With love always,

Damian Bao 

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