Designer James Perse on Cabo: Beauty in the Basics, Just Like His Collection
A Los Angeles-based fashion designer, James Perse is known amongst fashion circles as a Hollywood institution. Perse began his fashion career in 1991 at the age of 19, when he set out to create the perfect baseball cap. Frustrated by the construction, shape, fabric and coloring of most caps on the market, James created his idea of the ideal cap and sold it in his father’s iconic Los Angeles boutique, Maxfield. The customers’ response to the caps was overwhelmingly positive and it was not long before the Maxfield customers became James Perse clients — film directors ordered hats for their cast and crew, and record labels bought them for tours. A designer was born.
Fueled by the success of his initial fashion venture, in 1994 Perse launched a T-shirt line that rapidly gained loyal fans looking for a seamless blend of luxe and casual. In 1996, James founded his first namesake collection of women’s knits, which soon developed into two distinctly wearable collections: Standard James Perse for high-quality basics and James Perse Los Angeles ready-to-wear items, including jackets, sweaters, pants and dresses. In 1998, the brand launched an equally outlined men’s collection and later, a line for babies and children.
In 2003, James Perse opened its first retail store, which rapidly expanded into a boutique empire. Each of the James Perse retail environment acts as a medium for conveying James’ personal design philosophy and aesthetic — low maintenance high fashion – emphasizing elegance and comfort by pairing sophistication with simplicity.
Q & A
What is your favorite part of the beach?
The beaches of Los Cabos really have a way of taking my mind off life back at home, allowing me to truly live in the moment.
What is your favorite after beach drink?
I guess I’m a creature of habit, but when I’m in Los Cabos I always go for the Don Julio 1942 tequila.
What is your favorite day trip in the area?
I’m usually one for lounging at the resort all day, but if I need a change of scenery, I head to the beaches at East Cape in Los Cabos. The area has this phenomenal string of these spectacular deserted beaches.
Where is the best place to surf?
Also on the East Cape is another great beach and my favorite surfing spot—Shipwrecks. Just a 40-minute drive from San José del Cabo, it’s a big sandy beach with a right reef break at the south end—perfect for surfing. Because it’s so secluded, you’ll never have to worry about crowds or competing with other surfers for the best waves.
Where is the best place to have a first date?
I’ve become a big fan of the farm-to-table movement over the last few years, and recently discovered this great place, Flora Farm. It’s a ten-acre working organic farm with an unbelievable menu featuring artisanal dishes all made from ingredients sourced directly from its fields.
What is your favorite way to end the day while on Mexican vacation?
When I’m on vacation in Los Cabos, at the end of the day, after spending hours in the sun and surf, my go-to is the resort’s outdoor tequila, ceviche and sushi bar, where I order a spicy tuna roll and another Don Julio 1942.
Where is your favorite place to take the kids?
Dolphin Discovery has been around forever and runs a great swimming with dolphins program. It allows you to connect with the animal on such an intimate level. It’s one of the most exciting and moving experiences I’ve had. It’s also great because it’s something that everyone can do together.
What’s the best scenic drive?
Definitely East Cape. If you head northeast out of San José del Cabo, there is an unpaved road featuring one of the most beautiful drives in Los Cabos. You can’t beat the beach views!
Who do you consider to be a local icon?
Daniel—the resort manager at Las Ventanas— has this incredible way of making you feel at home. He’s sort like the mayor of Los Cabos—everyone seems to know him. He’s definitely a local icon.
What’s the best way to spend a Sunday morning in Los Cabos?
For me, the best way to spend a Sunday is to take it easy in my hotel room—with room service, of course. The chef at Las Ventanas makes the best scrambled eggs with Mexican cheese, fresh guacamole, and Pico de Gallo, with homemade corn tortillas. It goes perfectly with a glass of the resort’s delicious fresh juices.