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An amorous adventure. That’s how Melissa + Baja East sounds to Scott Studenberg and John Targon.

Baja East is a NYC brand that was created by the duo of designers in 2013 and is known for their “go anywhere” attitude.

What’s that mean?
"We love the idea of off-duty dressing. Looking expensive yet not so serious."
At Melissa + Baja East, we’ve used their effortless luxury to make some pieces like you’ve seen before.  We printed python texture in plastic – 100% cruelty free as always, of course.

Baja East built their name by blurring the lines between feminine and masculine with their concept of ambissexual dressing- and they believe true style to be what really matters when it comes to fashion.

On and off the red carpet for over 15 seasons, their focus is on creating for the feminine public.
But wait, just what kind of brand is this that has fans ranging from Kim Kardashian to Lady Gaga – with Gigi Hadid in the mix too?
Baja East responds.

How would you describe the essence of Baja East to our fans?
JT: loose luxury - nothing is too serious but you feel confident wearing it - both an ultimate luxury in feeling and in terms of the materials and fabrics we work with, but never serious.

SS: BAJA EAST is a mix of west coast laid-back cool with an edge of city street.

Your shows are usually fun, each new collection is a party. This is different from other fashion brands that address a much more serious atmosphere on their catwalks. How do you describe this relationship with fashion? What is fashion to you?

JT: For me, fashion should always feel fun, even if you're at a more formal event let's hope you're having a good time otherwise why are we living. I don't think it's about being reckless but it's about feeling free to experiment with new fashion items in your without feeling you're wearing a costume. This always ties into our shows, we want to take you in a trip, transport you with the right mood and music to a place that might just be an 8 minute vacation in terms of experience but also when you actually take the clothes out of the show context you want to bring them on vacation. You want to wear them to a party or an event because you can. You can build a life long wardrobe with Baja East, it shouldn't feel out of style.

SS: For me, fashion and style are expressions of my personality and mood. Some people like to feel the same everyday and dress accordingly - Mine changes everyday depending on how I’m feeling.

Melissa is vegan, we have concern and love for animals in our DNA. How did you come up with the idea of turning such an iconic leather texture, Python, into plastic?

JT: We feel the same - we love animals and we really love and appreciate their beauty. Animal prints and scales for example exude both the danger and beauty they represent in real life. You don't necessarily want to mess with a python but those scales are significant and sexy. The idea was to take this beauty and get the exact scales so you can feel the realness but know you have it in plastic. It's the same reason we chose to use a tiger print distorted in colors you wouldn't find in the wild but with all feeling of being there but in a more psychedelic way.
What are the challenges and rewards of participating in collabs with other fashion brands?
JT: The challenge is to really understand the brand without sacrificing your own brand DNA. It's hitting a harmony that allows both sides to feel they are taking their strengths together to create something new and compelling and desirable outside of their current mix.

SS: Working with the Melissa team on this collaboration was extremely fun and innovative - we hope everyone - especially Brazilians - love it!
 
Where do you think the Melissa + Baja East shoes will take your fans?
JT: They will take our fans right back to our roots with our Thriving beach slides, the Thriving echoes our love for really going for your passion in life and succeeding to unchartered Baja East territory with the wrapped heel, the first time we've created a shoe that wasn't 100% for both women and men in general.

SS: We love the idea of off-duty dressing. Looking expensive yet not so serious.

You said in an interview that "Baja East sounds like a vacation." How will Melissa + Baja East sound like?

JT: A vacation together. ❤️

SS: Aventura Amorosa [a love adventure, in our native Portuguese].

What music do you imagine playing while our fans wear Melissa + Baja East shoes?
JT: I imagine a bit of r and b meets tropical jungle vibes. It's smooth and sexy - like the sounds of the artists SZA Jeremih or Kelela.

SS: Solange, Jay Z 4:44 and 90’s r&b.

Discover ou collab here.