NYFW Designer Tales: Baja East on teaming up with Fila and changing their retail model
By Carlene Thomas Bailey

Fila the heritage sportswear brand just hit the NYFW catwalk thanks to a new collaboration with the design duo Baja East. WGSN reports

Feb 15, 2016
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If you are the type of person who lives in activewear then get excited because more and more of it is hitting the runway.

We caught up with Baja East designers Scott Studenberg and John Targon, fresh from their activewear inspired runway show, complete with new Fila sneakers on the feet of the models to find out more about the collab and how they are changing the way their product hits stores.

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Hi guys, you just sent your latest collection down the runway, tell us a bit about it?

BE: This season we played with colour palettes introducing an autumnal burnt orange, we called it rust. That was new for us, that whole colour story was new for us, we also played with camel and plush leopard, so that was new and exciting.

You also sent Fila sneakers down the runway, how did that relationship come about?

BE: We’ve actually never shown a collection or lookbook with heels, it’s not that our girl doesn’t wear heels or dress things up and down, that’s in our DNA, but for us it’s just that this athlesure lifestyle is very much part of Baja East and we wanted to show that off. Our girl is bad, she can rock a skin-tight cutout or a long gown but she does it with flats, sneakers or sliders, for that fun unexpected twist. In terms of Fila, it’s a major heritage brand that we’ve been obsessed with for a long time and we started talking with them and we see a nice future with them.

There’s been a lot of talk this season about getting collections from runway to store quicker, how is your brand equipped for that?

BE: We just launched e-commerce, so if you order sweatshirts right when they go up online, it will be a two month delivery time now rather than six months. And if you order a Gator coat with us today it will be delivered in two weeks.

How realistic is it for the industry as a whole to provide this more accessible retail model?

For us it is about believing in your gut and your instinct. Do we love this item? Then lets run 20 of them or lets buy 200 of them, but it does take a shift for a small brand to be able to buy that inventory and play like those bigger brands so our model is going to look a little different – we’re going to start with coats and t-shirts- and see how it goes from there.

LIKE THIS? Read up on how Fila is undergoing a fashion resurgence here

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