Last year, Vogue UK released a mockumentary of International Editor Suzy Menkes interviewing a handful of designers — Alber Elbaz, Giles Deacon and Stephen Jones, to name a few — on the "Minions"' influence on fashion. The funny video was a joke, of course, but the little yellow characters really do pass as muses. Deacon, as well as a number of London-based brands, ended up releasing a "Minions Bello Yellow Collection" of shift dresses and T-shirts to coincide with the film's release in 2015.
Now the fashion collaboration has made its way across the pond. On Friday night, Baja East will debut its spring 2017 collection during New York Fashion Week, which will include a capsule range inspired by Kevin, Stuart, Bob and the rest of the goggles-and-overalls-wearing crew.
While we found news of this collaboration to be a bit of a head-scratcher, designers Scott Studenberg and John Targon claim to have always been obsessed with the stars of the Despicable Me spin-off. "We're inspired by their slightly mischievous nature and love for fun," says Targon. "We don't take fashion in a serious way. We chose to set out and do our own thing." And it's true, the two left their posts at major fashion houses — Targon from Céline, Studenberg from Lanvin — to launch Baja East in 2013. Since then, the duo have garnered a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist nomination for their relaxed luxury apparel. Think slouchy silhouettes, gender-fluid garments and year-round cashmere pieces.
For their spring collection, Studenberg and Targon took the minions' favorite food (bananas) to create a retro-style print on open-flutter tops and dresses, sleeveless shirts, short-sleeve button downs and Bermuda shorts. A favorite scene of the designers involves the minions being wrapped up in palm leaves. From that, the two created their own take on the camo print, which you can see in an exclusive sketch above. "We want to keep the integrity of the minions and bring it to our brand and make it very part of our collection," says Targon.
Immediately following Baja East's runway show, Illumination Entertainment, the production company behind Minions, will help throw the brand's after-party featuring a "see now, buy now" merch truck. Guests will get to choose from a selection items, such as hats by New Era, swimwear and apparel for men and women. "They could literally buy what they just saw on the runway," says Studenberg, who advises showgoers to bring a change of jean shorts should they want to pair it with a newly purchased Baja East swimsuit and hat for the after party. For those who won't be at the show, you're not missing anything. The same offerings will also drop on Baja East's online shop around 9 p.m., once the first model hits the runway.