A pop-up shop is in the cards for Baja East.
Designers Scott Studenberg and John Targon on Tuesday will open a temporary store at Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan. The shop will be in the former Scoop store, which closed along with the entire 15-unit chain after the retailer said it was going out of business in May.
Tarot Takeover is the pop-up’s theme, which isn’t surprising considering the designers have been consulting a tarot card reader for some time. “We’re fascinated by tarot cards and psychics and astrology,” Studenberg said. “[Yoyin’s] amazing. She predicted some interesting things that have happened.”
Yoyin and another medium, Desire, will be doing readings for guests at a VIP party at the store on Monday night. Yoyin will be dipping into her 78-card deck Tuesday through Thursday for walk-in appointments at the store.
“It was really important with space to convey the Baja East lifestyle,” Targon said. “We’re in the business to sell clothes, but it’s about an experience and also knowing that you’re there to hang out.”
Targon said he and Studenberg transformed the square footage into “this mysterious place, like a Baja Bedouin with a psychedelic vibe. The windows are very moody and minimal and we’re playing with neon. You can equate it to a Wes Anderson movie. It’s our psychedelic pop-up hotel.”
The duo pointed out that a temporary store last summer at the Seaport — as one of WWD’s Ten of Tomorrow 2015 honorees — was shared space with other designers.
A variety of Baja East products will be on sale at the store. “We were very inspired by events in Orlando and just general pride and spreading a lot of acceptance and love around,” Studenberg said. “We have a ‘BE’ logo that we developed for our fall show.” T-shirts with the logo in a rainbow palate of colors will be available for $95 at the pop-up shop.
Also for sale will be one-of-a-kind antique pieces such as a poncho made from Balinese ceremonial skirts for $895. Waffle cashmere items will be priced at $995, French terry pieces, $225 to $295, and Opium silk harem pants, $695.“We will also have our sweatshirts and T’s,” Targon said. “John and I created two new colorways for resort 2017 for buy-now-wear-now.” The Woodstock Freedom tie-dye T-shirt in burgundy violet and blue, and the Coachella Freedom tie-dye T-shirt in black, fuchsia and sky blue are each $295.
Studenberg and Targon gifted BE shirts to some of their celebrity friends, who said they’ll post photos of themselves wearing the shirts on social media. So far, Leandra Medine of Man Repeller and Jennifer Hudson have posted.
Michael Goldban, senior vice president of retail leasing at the U.S. division of Brookfield Property Partners, said of the Baja East temporary shop, “We really want this freshness. That’s why we like the temporary activations. We like shorter term things.
“Scoop went out and we’re about to sign another lease,” Goldban said, declining to name the tenant until the lease is signed. “We like younger designers and up-and-comers. There’s a theatrical element.”
Goldban cited a recent performance by Gregg Allman, and an art installation, “Swing,” as special events geared to attract customers to Brookfield Place. “It’s outside by the water and the swings make music. Kids and adults are getting on swings.”
Brookfield Place, which is 95 percent leased, is also looking for permanent tenants. In the meantime, Goldban is happy to turn over unused retail space to worth temporary concepts.
“A dedicated pop-up space may happen,” he said. “We have kiosk locations. We may say, ‘Let’s designate a location as a rotating space for activations.’”