Models Off Duty: Georgia Hilmer x Baja East
In the fashion world, the term “model-off-duty” is shorthand for casual, informed cool—girls in the know looking chic in emerging downtown designers. We asked some of our favorite New York-based models to list the one designer dominating their off-the-runway wardrobe.
HOMETOWN: I grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
WAS IT FASHIONABLE? Jersey wasn’t very fashionable growing up—you ran away to the city for style—but it’s trying really hard to be the new Brooklyn now.
DID YOU GROW UP READING MAGAZINES? I got really into fashion magazines just before I started high school. My favorite thing to do after soccer practice was to spread out on the couch with a stack of glossies and cut them up for collages.
WERE YOU ALWAYS TALL? DID THAT SET YOU APART FROM YOUR PEERS? My mom claims she found out I was a girl when the doctor did an ultrasound and pronounced I had such long legs, I was sure to be a ballerina. Growing up, my jeans were always slightly too short. I was a head taller than all the boys at school and didn’t embrace it until it gave me an advantage in sports.
HOW WERE YOU DISCOVERED? My agent Beth found me going to see The Blind Side at the movie theater above Union Square; she stopped my mom in the lobby and gave her a business card. Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her performance, and I got started on an awesome adventure!
FIRST SHOOT: My first editorial was a shoot in London with my good friend Andie Arthur. She had to hold a pigeon without screaming and I had to try not to laugh.
DREAM CAMPAIGN: Shooting the Céline campaign would be such a blast—Phoebe Philo’s brilliant and Juergen Teller brings such cheeky humor to his photos.
STYLE ICON: Right now I’m looking forward to summer and pretending I’m baby Kate Moss dating Johnny Depp or shooting with Corinne Day.
SENSE OF STYLE: I like my clothes to look well-loved: I borrow baby-soft tees from my boyfriend, my Saint Laurent jeans are ripped at the knees, and my The Row leather pants have taken a beating. My favorite pieces—my mom’s dresses from the ’90s, thrifted rompers—have character and history.
FAVORITE YOUNG LABEL: Baja East pieces are always so easy to wear—the fit is so relaxed you feel cool and comfortable, but the materials and tailoring are so luxe you look smart and put together. I want pieces that will last forever and look fresh for seasons and seasons; Baja East [designers] Scott [Studenberg] and John [Targon] know how to create that magic.
I met Scott and John last October through my agent, and we hit it off immediately. They’re hilarious and fun and the kindest people I’ve met in fashion. I can’t think of a pair more deserving of their wild success.
FAVORITE BAJA EAST ITEM: I’m just starting to break in my leather boxing pants, and last week I got a pair of the snakeskin racing shorts. They’re going to look amazing this summer with flimsy t-shirts.
For more from our Models Off Duty series, click here.