Exclusive: Baja East Debuts New Mens Swim Capsule Collection
Get an inside look at one of the summer’s hottest releases
What better way to ring in the start of a blazing hot new season than with a new sizzling swim speedo or a turned-out swim trunk to excite your summer days filled with beach bum babes, sandy butt cheeks, and ultra-protective sunscreen moments? Baja East’s Scott Studenberg is certainly getting in that mood as the brand has just released their new men’s summer swim capsule collection.
Arriving just in time as the summer sun begins to sound the drum of fun-filled adventures that blister our skin to sun-kissed perfection, Studenberg’s latest capsule for the LA-based fashion house just might be his most intricate one yet. With a fusion of aesthetics that have undoubtedly become well-established codes for the brand ever since its debut more than nine years ago, treasured shoppers of Baja East can expect to find special takes from the many eras of pop culture that Studenberg hopes will invoke a sense of true LGBTQIA+ rebellion—an attitude that is more important now more than ever.
Having been released during this year’s pride month, the collection certainly echoes the queer background of the brand, with tank tops that scream “Doing It For The Gays” and swim briefs that look like they could’ve been plucked straight out of any ‘80s porno, and the bold glamour of its clientele— injecting references of past creations done by Studenberg that have been globally seen on the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter, and Kelly Rowland just to name a few. And to make things better, the capsule, priced at around $140-$450 also spotlights Studenberg’s goal towards sustainable fashion—with special pieces having been crafted from 80-90% polyester that derived from discarded plastic bottles found polluting our oceans.
With a VMAN exclusive look at the covet-worthy lineup starring model Brandon Good, captured by Greg Swales and Chevy Tyler, Digital & Beauty Editor Kevin Ponce spoke with Studenberg to discover what he’s looking forward to most this summer, which prints are making a grand return in newly transformed ways, which piece is his personal favorite, and what separates this swim capsule from the other releases of the brand.
VMAN: Scott, what was the main inspiration behind the swim capsule?
Scott Studenberg: This men’s swim collection, like all of my collections over the past almost nine years, is inspired by nature, glamour, and pop culture with the intention of breaking boundaries and advocating for the LGBTQIA+ community—as well as the health of our planet. One of my favorite things about designing is making original prints, so I dug into my collection archive and brought some of my favorites back, like my pacific surf print from Spring 2021 and Cali palm print from Fall 2022 for both speedos and swim shorts.
VMAN: Are there any additional prints that your customers would recognize as well?
SS: I also love glam, so I reinterpreted my Fall 2020 constellation and Spring 2021 Cali palm prints into metallics, while also offering my version of basics: solid gold, silver, sage, and midnight in novelty metallic stretch. I also drenched black swim shorts in Swarovski crystal. Yes, I am actually selling these, hand-wash only, of course—giving a nod to some of my favorite custom looks I’ve done, like Billy Porter’s 2020 Grammy jumpsuit & hat, JLo’s silver lamé bandeau harem suit, Saweetie’s crystal-covered cape and sweats for her performance on The Voice or the gold bandeau and skirt that Nicki Minaj and Kelly Rowland rocked.
VMAN: What is one of the more standout pieces that people should take notice of?
SS: To add a newer layer into the mix, I partnered with my friends at Malibu-based brand C.Bonz and dowsed my black speedo in what I call my “free love” embroidery, which is essentially an orgy of every race and gender in a variety of exciting sexual positions. Just another way I’m celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community for pride. Nothing I’m doing is basic. As far as sustainability and bettering our planet, all of the new fabrics I’ve created are made from between 80%-90% polyester that’s derived from plastic bottles found in the ocean and my metallics have been taken from deadstock fabric.
VMAN: What are some of your favorite pieces from the lineup?
SS: My favorite speedo from the collection is my update on the LBS, little black swim—the “free love” embroidered speedo—because it celebrates sexual expression, racial diversity, and all genders. To be honest, I’ve never seen an orgy-covered speedo in my life and was adamant about making one. My favorite swim shorts would be the ones printed in pacific surf. I just love the idea of wearing waves while you’re surfing them.
VMAN: Now that summer is fully upon us, what are you looking forward to most this season?
SS: I’m a sun whore, so I’m looking forward to much longer days and attending every pool party I’m invited to so I can wear the entire collection before Labor Day hits. I’m clearly not saving lives as a fashion designer, but I am looking forward to enriching them and offering what I think are much-needed options in the men’s swim market.
VMAN: What is it about this capsule that differentiates itself from the other collections you’ve put out?
SS: For one, I got to create drool-worthy imagery of my boy Brandon Good, captured by the insanely talented Greg Swales and Chevy Tyler which absolutely is not like any other collection I’ve shot. On top of that, I’ve been able to create something that I’ve seen nowhere in the market and now have swim to accompany my best-selling kaftans and off-duty beachwear. My clients are always traveling and it’s honestly about time!
Discover more pieces from the collection in all their glory, here!