Badass Prints: fun, sex and politics

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Badass Prints: fun, sex and politics

“Dirty”, “Don’t Fake Orgasms” or the naughty “Click My Clit” – we’ve never really seen such a fun take on the classic slogan t-shirt. Based in Barcelona, Badass Prints spreads its pro-sex, pro-fun messages via spirited hand-printed t-shirts. The collective compares its rebellious streak and call to feminine empowerment to the nineties Riot Grrrl movement – naturally, we LOVE. Please chats to Carla Cimino, founder of the brand, who tells us about the creation of her fun yet fiercely political t-shirts.

What’s your background? 

I’m from Ibiza but I’ve been based in Barcelona since 2012. I came here to study graphic design and visual arts. For the last 3-4 years, I have been experimenting with different kinds of manual printing like photolithography and screen-printing.

What pushed you to create Badass Prints?

Before this project, I used to print posters, t-shirts and panties for me and my friends. Some people liked it and asked to buy my products, but I normally gave them out for free because I didn’t want to keep them and didn’t think they were professional enough to sell. I had a lot of free time and not much motivation so I decided to start something to spend my time and express how I see basic concepts of sex, gender, etc. My friend and flatmate Rebecca Luna is a fashion stylist and she’s been helping me with this project.


Do you have your own printing machine? Is it all done in your studio?

At the moment I am using a workshop that belongs to the university where I studied, the University of Design and Art in Barcelona (EINA). It’s nice because I work there with a lot of young creative people and it’s cool to see what people do and what their interests are. I am moving to Ibiza for the summer and I will make my own studio at home there. The process of screen-printing is mostly manual and kind of “Do it Yourself”, so you don’t really need to have a professional machine.

You describe yourselves as “pro sex feminists.” What do you mean by that?

Well, as I guess you know, there are a lot of different feminisms and discussions around them. From my point of view, women need to take control of their sexuality and feel good doing whatever they want with their bodies. There’s nothing bad about being loose or in having sex with a stranger the first night. I’ve run into Spanish referents like Paul B. Preciado, Maria Llopis, Diana J.Torres, the Postporn movement, etc. and more people working and questioning sexuality and gender. I think they are very interesting concepts to work with right now.


It feels like Spain is having a real moment right now, with people like designer Paloma Wool, influencer Maggie on the rocks and photographer Carlota Guerrero becoming more well known. Do you feel something is changing?

I think that Spain is a really creative place full of talented people. Now it’s easier to have visibility through the Internet and social media, Instagram is an amazing tool if you use it well. I live in Barcelona and it’s a great place for design, photography, cinema… So my feeling is that things are changing everywhere because of technology and thanks to the network. I’m in Rome right now and I’m going to shoot for a brand with people from here that I have met on the Internet, I find this fucking great.

Who is the ultimate Badass Prints girl?

Badass Prints isn’t only for girls. It’s for everyone who likes to have fun, get drunk, have sex, and for those who don’t take life too seriously.


There’s been a lot of hype, not always positive, around political or feminist t-shirts. What’s your take on that?

It’s true that there’s a hype on it right now. Brands like Inditex are making money selling “feminist” T-shirts, they mostly copy stuff from other designers, artists or from the Internet. Also, in my opinion, the messages they use are meaningless and devoid of any content.

Badass Prints is an independent brand, based on a “Do it Yourself” process. Every t-shirt is printed by hand, so it is unique and different from the others. We can say stuff that other people don’t, we don’t care about being obscene, gross, or explicit. We feel pretty connected to Riot Grrrl movement from the 90s. That’s the concept.