It’s interesting that, despite having a label that’s deeply grounded in knitwear, the guys from Baja East are pretty obsessed with day-to-night dressing. “We cover our women and guys throughout the day, but they’ve also been asking how they can do Baja East for evening,” said cofounder John Targon. The answer? “Relaxed cocktail.”
Just a few seasons in, Targon and Scott Studenberg have built Baja East around the idea of ambisexual dressing—clothes that work well, but differently, on both men and women. Democratic knitwear lends itself nicely to the concept. Pre-Fall’s pale pink ribbed cotton baja, for instance, could live on either side of the sales floor. (The designers said they wanted to find a pink that guys could wear, too, and there is something quite neutral about it.) To bring the concept into evening, though, is a little more challenging. A silk-lined, spangly Lurex wrap skirt, paired with an oversize chunky cashmere sweater, is a no-brainer for women, but an interesting challenge for the daring man. What clearly works both ways, regardless, is the brand’s fabrications. A Japanese silk crepe, used on a simple snap-front skirt and a pair of side-pocket harem pants, felt good enough to sleep in. And sure, it’s cocktail-appropriate, too.