BAJA EAST AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK FASHION WEEK
How big, commercially speaking, can a label selling itself as “ambisexual” be? Pretty damn big, as designers Scott Studenberg and John Targon see it. The pair (who cut their teeth working in sales for the likes of Lanvin and Céline, respectively) are casting a wide net with their lifestyle brand, banking on the universal appeal of their luxe, beachy knits. Backstage, readying Baja East’s Fall collection, they talked about trunk shows and dressing women from 20 to 70. They’ve sold some of their popular drop-crotch trousers (Studenberg was sporting a pair) to women across that spectrum—and to fans like Cameron Diaz, to boot. And the brand is just over a year old.
Dubbing this season Baja Bedouin, the pair turned out a sun-bleached offering full of cozy pieces, such as a plush gray wrap, that one might have surreptitiously tossed on while leaving the Milk Studios presentation, given the chance. Then there were others, like a long washed-silk robe, that may be trickier to navigate in the wilds of Manhattan—nice, but arguably better suited for long weekends in Palm Springs than for the urban nomad. Pre-Fall’s more structured tailoring was de-emphasized, and some of the best looks here were the hand-loomed ones, shot through with chunky whipstitch details. Standouts also included shearling pieces in the brand’s ikat graffiti print and a cropped wool skate pant, nicely reminiscent of JNCO’s jeans of yore.